Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ballet, Barometers and Bosoms

We all have our own tests, our own inane maneuvers that we perform in solitude (usually after getting out of the shower or when trying on clothes) and use as absolute barometers of thinness and beauty. Unfortunately, I have several and the one I have been doing the longest is the Inner Thigh Touch Test. I started taking ballet and tap class when I was twelve and, at about age 14 and 15, everyone starting changing--except me. Most girls' pink tights were stretching thinner across their thighs and their black long-sleeved leotards swelled in places--butts, bosoms and hips--where my leotard still clung flat to my bony body. One day we were all facing the mirror and standing in first position--heels touching, toes turned out. I looked down the line, making mental notes: Her knees are almost touching, her knees don't touch but her thighs do, her thighs only touch at the top, where that really bulbous piece of fat first starts to form; skin is rolling over her hip bones, and, damn, her calves even touch. And then I looked at me, a stick poking out at harsh angles in Spandex. My legs were separated from each other from ankle to the bottom of my leotard. You could drive a tractor trailer right through and it wouldn't bump into anything on top or the sides. Every time I went to ballet class, I took note of this and beamed from within. I wasn't the prettiest girl or the most popular; I wasn't well-versed in pop culture or the latest trends in fashion, cosmetics and hair, and I certainly didn't attract the boys. But, gosh darn it, I was skinnier. My waifishness and height was all I had. And it's still all I have. Although those inner thighs seem to creep closer and closer together every year...

photo courtesy


  1. Just picture where their thighs are at nowadays. I smile guiltily at things like that. Little rewards for the soul ;-)

  2. This made me laugh for how strikingly funny it was written!... and I have to say it's so important for a person to love themself & embrace their differences. We're all unique...and have gifts to share with the world!



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