“Why are you explaining this? We can see you’ve got legs up to your ears and you won’t stop bloody telling us.” Hold up, kids, it goes deeper than this. Lemme tell you a wee story.
For as long as my legs have been giraffe-esque and “she’ll grow into them”, it has been seemingly justifiable by the general public to not only tell me so but to also joke, cat call and like many other facets that are outside the national average, to treat them as a separate entity to the rest of my body. There seems to be a blasé level of flippancy amongst the vox populi towards them because well, how could long, skinny legs possibly harvest insecurities?
To the outside world, I am not Emily. I am ‘the tall one’, ‘skinny-malinky long legs’, ‘corr, you’re long!’ or ‘how do you find trousers?’. For a long time, that’s all I thought I was too. People just seem to see legs, and not much else. So instead of beating them I’ve joined them, because if I can lure them in with disparagement for which they so clearly respond to then maybe they’ll see something broader than the nickname and the pins.
And so I wanted to give myself this sort of nom de plume, with comic yet self-deprecating undertones to highlight that I’ve stopped pretending it’s not part of who I am to onlookers in a one-of-the-lads way. To show that I can hear your remarks about them and to try to understand why it is deemed acceptable to speak to a perfect stranger about a distinction causing inhibition in a light-hearted manner, instead of treating it like any other diversity, with respect and an open mind.
And before you say it, I’m also not unaware of the fact that some observers are being highly complimentary when making passing comments. Some genuinely wish for legs like these and they say so in a lovely way. For there are monies to be made, headlines to be written, Instagram’s to be lusted over and fetishes to be fulfilled for such assets, which has therefore prompted this pseudonym in its own right in a positive way.
My legs were always the source of self-consciousness for me, but now I love them. They have given me difference in a society striving for perfection, a chance to connect with a minority and a voice amongst the noise of normality.
I’ve always thought differently, acted differently and always, always, felt like a spare part – A gangly piece of girl who never really fit in. Before you get your little violin out, hear this – I’m done with the latter not being OK. I’m done trying to fit in. It’s just not going to happen. And it’s in part thanks to my legs. They’re essentially my USP, my secret weapon.
So, to all those too scared to leave the house or speak their mind or just be you, let me say that you should let your difference define you. Embrace what makes you unlike anyone else utterly and completely, because life’s too short not to.