I have cankles and I’m not ashamed. I’m a woman who has proudly embraced her lower leg issues. I have even started a support group, a sorority of sorts, a Sisterhood of Cankles. Our current club president is Hillary Clinton. She’s the highest profile cankle sufferer in the world and look what she’s done. Did cankles ever slow her down or stop her in her professional quest? No. She hasn’t let her cankles define her and neither should you. Sure, she wears a lot of pantsuits to detract, hide and disguise her cankles,and that’s okay. The sisterhood of cankles is all about embracing your ankle calf hypertrophy, not flaunting it.
Cankles strike females at an age when they are most vulnerable – their early teen years. It’s as if as soon as your old enough to shave your legs your calves and ankles begin to change right before your eyes. They morph from two separate body parts – calf and ankle and enter into a God forsaken marriage where they beget their offspring the horrific – cankle. Think of it as the devil’s love child. When a young teen is first diagnosed with cankle she’ll need the unconditional love of her family and reassurance that she is not a freak. This is also the point where she will need to be steered away from short skirts, mini dresses, and cropped pants. Cankle suffers learn early on to embrace a wardrobe of cankle “camo” – pants, black tights, and more pants. When considering colleges think of universities in the upper 48 states and Alaska. Studies have shown that the happiest cankle sufferers live in cold climates requiring them to rarely have to peel off their black slouch socks and jeans to expose their lower leg.
I was alone in teen cankle suffering. Both my parents and siblings have shapely calves that taper to a petite ankle. My malformation, although genetic, also did not show up in any of our extended family’s calves. It was a shame I was forced to endure solo. The beloved female ritual of shoe shopping was especially hard. As a cankle sufferer I had to steer clear of flats. Also known as “cankle extenders” for the unflattering, stumpy leg line they create. And forget about buying boots. Since it is impossible to suck in a cankle no zipper boot, without four-wheel drive, can make that journey up a cankle calf. Ditto for ski boots. In some cases they have to be special ordered to fit around the girth that is your cankle. Especially, if your like me and wear a size 11 shoe and have to contend with cankles. I know right about now you’re thinking, “Wow, size 11 shoe and cankles she sure sounds sexy -not.” Cankles also interfere with jean shopping. Wide leg pants good, skinny jeans bad. Most woman can get their jeans half way up their butt. It’s after that one might contend with a size issue. Canklers have a problem pulling those skinny jeans up past their ankle bone. Depressing doesn’t even begin to describe it. Imagine the shame as your grasping the denim pant, yanking and yanking for it to slide past your ankle and it won’t budge.
As a mother, I was frightened about passing on my mutant cankle DNA to my off spring. As other mothers watch their children to make sure they’re hitting all their developmental milestones I was watching for cankle. It is all about leg proportion for me. Alas, it is still too soon to tell if the cankles were passed on, but so far their ankle to calf to thigh ratio looks good. Whew. A cankle can not even be eradicated by plastic surgery. It’s a trio of bone, muscle and fat that defy the surgeons knife and lipo. There are a few instances where canklers have tried surgery and the results were what look like zip lines scars of the back calves and they were still, sigh, canklely.
As a middle-aged cankle suffer I’ve learned to be thankful that I have legs that work, who cares what they look like. But deep down I coveted slim ankles, and well shaped calves. I dream of being told I have “incredible lower leg beauty.” I imagine myself slathering moisturizer on my slim ankle and shapely calf. In my dream I’m transfixed by the beauty that is my ankle bone. But, then I buck up and remember that I’m part of something that is bigger than my cankles. I’m a member of a sisterhood, millions strong, and someday, God willing, we will make cankles not something to be feared, but something to be admired. It will be the sign of a strong woman. A woman who has not let her below knee genetic obesity stop her from enjoying life. We will cast off our pants, grab those short skirts, put on cute flats and expose our cankles to the world! Watch out all you skinny ankles because someday soon we will be a Cankle Nation. Fat ankles rule!
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