One of my ongoing body-image struggles is with my legs. I loathe shorts and absolutely refuse to wear them unless required for something outdoorsy. The majority of my skirts are knee-length or longer, not out of prudery (although that does contribute), but because I hate my knees.
In my most warped self-image, I look like ordinary me but with toothpick legs and tennis-ball knees sticking out the bottom of whatever skirt I’m wearing. This was especially prevalent during high school, when all my friends seemed to become either voluptuous, athletic, or just plain more human-shaped, with symmetrical knees, while I felt increasingly like a very short flamingo.
Living in the Northwest, where it’s warm approximately four days out of the year, I can get away with wearing jeans 90% of the time. Flared and boot-cut jeans were lifesavers, sweeping over my knees and pretending they weren’t there.
Then skinny jeans showed up, and suddenly everyone’s knees and calves were on full display. I freaked. I refused to get them for a solid year before finally deciding that maybe if I wore them with heeled boots and not regular sneakers I wouldn’t look quite so stork-like.
And I realized I wound up looking pretty good in them.
I even got a second pair of skinny jeans in regular blue denim, since the style seems to be sticking around. (Watch, now that I’ve committed to it, it’ll disappear.) And I’ve gotten braver about wearing a variety of shoes with them, and while I’m not really excited to go run around in shorts, I do feel a lil’ bit better about my knees.
Tunic: JC Penney (clearance for $9!)
Jeans: Anoname, from Nordstrom Rack
Boots: Nordstrom Rack
Belt: Forever 21
There isn’t anything wrong with my knees. In fact, they’re very good knees. They never wonk out on me when I’m wearing different shoes and they’re the last part of my legs to go when I’ve been walking too much. They’re a little tiny bit knobbly, maybe, but that’s because they’re bones. And they’re certainly not the same shape as they were when I was completely embarrassed by them in high school. I didn’t have any litany to convince myself to like my knees, and I didn’t follow any regimen to tweak my psychology into obedience. Nope – I just wore the same pair of pants so often that my legs looked different on my own. I’m not totally in love with them yet, but I don’t mind being attached to them, and that’s a start.