“Excuse me, do you have elephantiasis?” a girl had asked me once. Something died
inside of me that day. A day I had prepared for my whole life.
So as I was walking towards my classroom, I noticed that some girl was staring at
my legs, as I was about to walk past her, she stopped me and asked, “Excuse me,
do you have elephantiasis?”
Then I heard people burst out in laughter. I was beyond hurt, she didn’t know that
she had just destroyed my world and literally humiliated me. I walked past like
nothing had happened. I mean, I was a loud mouth so I wasn’t about to show people
how hurt I was. When I got home, I cut my skirt vowing to myself to never reveal my
Growing up, I never wore anything that revealed my cankles, I wore strictly pants,
from crèche up until varsity. The idea of exchanging my pants for a dress or cropped
jeans filled me with dread. My legs were a bane in my life, and I resented my mom
for passing on her cankle genes. At one point I even asked her which line was she
on when God was giving away skinny beautiful legs with ankles. I mean I didn’t have
those skinny legs that had an ankle like every normal person.
I tried to diet my cankles away
My insecurities were getting the better of me, I also wanted to wear skirts and
gladiators without drawing attention to them. I tried dieting to reduce them, I would
starve myself, mind you, I was still in primary.
People thought I was dieting because I wanted to lose weight but that wasn’t entirely
the case – my legs were. But all the exercise in the world could not change the shape
of my ankles. At one point I thought the reason why I didn’t have a boyfriend was
because of them, until a classmate told me that the problem was that I was not
when I was in high school It was normal for me to wear slacks because I was
self-conscious and I didn’t want another sequel of what happened when I was in
primary. I thought it was better to be safe than sorry.
When I got to varsity, girls of all shapes and sizes wore skirts and shorts – even
those who had cankles. I grew confident everyday by just seeing them. I would wear
shorts indoors and people would compliment me on how beautiful my legs looked.
So I was like, “fuck it let me go to lectures with a short skirt and see what happens.” I
had pants in my bag just in case someone said to me, “Excuse me, do you have
elephantiasis?” To my surprise, no one was bothered by my legs, and all I heard
was, “You have beautiful legs, you should show them off more often.”
And four years later, I am more confident and I don’t care what anyone thinks of my
legs. I’ve accepted them, I love them and I wear pants whenever I want to.