January, Second Post: Calves
Going to start off by noting that I included the second picture because I really like the knee-highs that I’m wearing today, and if I could find more relevant occasions to wear them, I definitely would.
In the slightly more pertinent category - I’ve liked my calves for essentially as long as I can remember, except the hair. The hair is always something I’ve struggled with, as I talked about in my last entry. I have a genuinely hard time with my hair, even after spending a significant amount of time around women who don’t feel the need to shave. I do. I have since I was 9. And that’s - sad, I think, when I spend time dwelling on it. I have two stories about my calves, both of which I think have a lot to do with how I feel about them (and one about how I feel about hair in general).
We’ll start with the less positive, eh? When I was in third grade, I took African Dance with a local teacher. It was one of the things my mom initially forced me into so I would know the non-white community around my school better, and it mostly worked, except there were three white girls in my class, and I was friends with one of them the year before. We’d friend broken up, which - let’s just say I’ve always been a woman of principles - and she and her friends had been giving me a hard time ever since. There was this one girl, though, Camille, and Camille had never been my friend, but she was merciless. I think she’s the first person who ever pointed out that I was fat to me. But what Camille really thought was gross were my hairy legs. Every time we had African Dance, she’d make comments about my legs, ask me why my mom wouldn’t let me shave, etc. She essentially taunted me about my hairy legs long enough that I spent about half of the year coming home and crying and begging my mom to let me shave. I don’t think I ever got over it, really. I don’t think I ever totally left behind that moment of realizing other people didn’t think I was as great as I thought I was.
On the nicer side of the coin, in 5th grade, I think, I was on this jump rope team. It was basically my favorite thing about elementary school. The woman who coached us was also our gym teacher, and I adored (and still do adore) her. She was fantastic with kids, she was really fun, and she also happened to be a competitive body builder. I still remember her walking up to me after one of our performances and telling me she’d kill for calves like mine, which after spending three years jumping rope on her team every day were, let’s face it, pretty nice. My calves have always been one of the parts of my body I can go to as a positive, and I think that sort of helpful comment young in my life and right when I started to become self-conscious about my body is a big part of the reason.
So, post two: calves. I like them. I’ve pretty much always liked them, as long as they’re shaved. Still working on this loathing of my body hair.