About this time of year we start to read about ‘Summer Legs’ like they’re a thing we can buy after we’ve picked up the tonic and strawberries.
But they’re only a special thing for women.
Men don’t have seasonal appendages. They don’t have Autumn Elbows and Spring Buttocks. They don’t do anything to their legs to get them ready for summer. No exfoliating granola. No explosive hair ripping out ceremony. My husband doesn’t give his legs a moment’s thought, he just heaves his shorts up like he’s been doing it his entire life and strolls out into the sunshine.
Us? Oh we can’t get into the shorts. Not now. We need to see the waxer! We need to go for a walk to New Caledonia and back! We need to get our legs out into the sunshine so they are not so see through, but then, we can’t, because we don’t have our Summer Legs.
And if you’ve inherited pale and blotchy leg skin from your Saxon Great Grandmothers like I have, and you can’t be arsed waxing in winter, then you don’t have Summer Legs you have a couple of Sea Anemones.
To add to this, our legs seem to swell up a bit. And just when I’m blaming it on the evil house elf for shrinking my jeans I remember.
I always puff up a bit in winter.
It’s called Winter Padding.
Along with animals, our ancestors needed to survive long, mean winters with no take out, no My Food Bag delivery, and often just no food. Starvation was a serious threat and was much bigger than heart disease or obesity. And our bodies remember this. They haven’t quite caught up with our current situation where there is plenty of food. So some of us, not all of us, pad up in winter.
Which is why seeing HAVE YOU GOT YOUR SUMMER LEGS READY? is not helpful because no, we have our sea anemone legs actually.
But by the end of January we’ll feel different. We’ll swagger our bits around in swimsuits like we just don’t care because somehow, over there in January, we don’t care.
We don’t even care about the cellulite. I’m sure Mother Nature put it on the backs of our legs to make everyone else behind us feel OK about their thighs. It’s her little trick to keep the peace. They look at our cellulite, all dimply and jiving, then they look down at the front of their apple-smooth thighs and feel good about themselves and think ‘hmmmph, I’m doing OK.’
Cellulite plays an important role in the community.
It is creating world peace on a cellular level.
Women’s bodies change slowly over time, but they also change throughout the week. They change throughout our cycles. They change throughout the seasons. Just like our moods, our bodies go up and down. Some mornings our bras are tight, some mornings we could stash our car keys down there.
It’s just the way we are.
So, you Summer Leg headliners, we see you. Don’t talk to us about Summer Legs because right now we have Winter Bodies. We know the padding will pass, because everything passes: hangovers, the seasons, moods.
Right now this is what you should tell us.
‘‘Don’t Worry About Summer Legs. They’ll Turn Up When Bloomin’ Summer Arrives Because They Always Do. For Now, Just Pick Up The Tonic And Pour Yourself Another Gin.’