Hey Urban Dictionary, usually I think you are pretty funny, true that. Yeah, I am a follower of your “Urban Word of the Day” direct e-mail shenanigans. Usually I LMAO. Oftentimes I use the word you present in a sentence in conversation that very day. Periodically, offending or pissing other people off. I happily take the hit – for you (plus it’s fun). But seriously, the way you chose to start off my week on Sunday was not appreciated.
My Inbox, Sunday morning:
Subject: Cankles: Urban Word of the Day
“The area in affected female legs where the calf meets the foot in an abrupt, nontapering terminus; medical cause: adipose tissue surrounding the soleus tendon, probably congenital, worsened by weight gain and improved in appearance only by boots. From the English “calf” meaning wide portion of the lower leg, and “ankle” meaning slender joint of leg with foot.
If I didn’t have cankles, I might be able to wear those Prada loafers with my capri pants.”
Cankles. Cankles? You had to go there, didn’t you?
Sure, I have used the related word thass. Yes, right here on this very blog, as a part of the writing process, in an effort to try and release the body image issues that have haunted me my whole “big girl” life. I look to unite others, especially us emotional women, around acceptance of who we are, what we can change and what we must accept. This e-mail, this Sunday morning ambush, seemed to be a vicious reminder that if I don’t stand half of a chance in impacting my thass, then there is no way in hell that I will be able to affect the cankles.
Yes folks, the cankles have been with me my whole life. Somehow, the combination of the Czech/Irish/Scottish DNA and I believe the environmental effects of hard farm & ranch living on my ancestors has made them all the more sturdy and tree trunk-like. As a child, I was unaware that I was sporting cankles. I knew I was a more sturdy girl in comparison to my fair sisters and friends, but I did not have an awareness of the ankle region at all. I am thankful for that as I look back, being that today it is not uncommon for an 8 year old to discuss their need to diet at the dinner table.
I think the awareness hit in that junior high-ish, awkward time of life. Oh, and it was the Eighties. Mini skirts, cropped pants, tight rolling, anklet socks, ballet flats – much of the fashion of the Eighties did not allow to cover or enhance the appearance of my cankles. What is a girl to do? I was self-assured enough, and naive, to just go with it. I did not hide. I am proud of that. Everyday in front of my full length mirror, I carefully smoothed, tightened, and arranged that day’s chosen outfit. I practiced the best stance, the most flattering view of the cankles and hoped that I could pull it off at critical moments throughout the day. I was masterful at minimizing them through a sort of special effects approach. One of my favorites was just to make my hair bigger.
As mentioned in the “definition” of cankles above, the condition can be “worsened by weight gain”. Word. I have experienced that many a time in the past decade. While I was working full time downtown, commuting from the ‘burbs, going to night school for my masters, the weight gain was upon me. In those four years, the cankles (and other parts) ballooned. I primarily went after masking it by wearing boot leg pants and super long skirts. Heels helped as well to lessen the obvious appearance of straight from calf to ankle lines.
As you can see, I have become very strategic about cankle camouflage from a fashion perspective. And even though I am in the best shape of my life right now, the cankles still rule me. I do not wear skirts. I do not wear shorts. I am the girl who wears CAPRIS in triathlons!!! (The longest pants I can swim in!) I wear pants and jeans and keep the cankles to myself. It is really not about me, I have simply decided it is best not to subject others to this unfortunate “adipose tissue surrounding the soleus tendon” that I have been given. And I am OK with it, really, it is the “abrupt, nontapering terminus” I have been dealt in life.
And based on that rant, I will now get back to my body images issues and working on those bit by bit every day. Join the club.
But really? The definition of Cankles standalone, out of the blue, in a Sunday morning e-mail. Of all the words, ouch – that hurt.