I’ve said it for years. Since I was in elementary school I’ve hated my ankles. My legs are pretty much straight from the knee down. I’d post a picture, but I really don’t want to subject myself to that. For many years, most people I mentioned my self consciousness to were like, “Uh, nobody notices people’s ankles.”
I wonder when that ended. Suddenly, everyone’s obsessed with us “poor souls” who are plagued with “cankles.” And that’s fine. Cankles are funny. And popular. People apparently really like reading about and looking at pictures of cankles. Don’t ask me why. Still, it’s getting a little out of hand. I can’t vouch for any statistical data behind this guy’s claim that cankles have been regarded as one of the most unattractive features since the early 20th century, but the fact that it’s on the Internet will only perpetuate his declaration.
I first heard the term in the movie Shallow Hal, when the two main characters are discussing the weight of one of their love interests:
- Hey, all l’m saying is she’s got cankles, for God’s sake.
- Cankles! She’s got no ankles. lt’s like the calf merged with the foot, cut out the middleman.
- l know what cankles are. Rosemary doesn’t have ‘em.
While this probably injected cankles into the mainstream, the term was known to exist before the movie was released in 2001. Even though I was complaining about my fat ankles before the term “cankle” went mainstream, I’ve started to believe that cankles — in some cases — are a myth.
Ok, that is undeniably a cankle. That is what my brother described as “a bologna stuffed into a shoe.” The thing that I — as a cankle-sufferer myself — think is a little ridiculous, is that now people are labeling celebrities as having cankles. Since there’s really nothing aside from cankle liposuction you can do to get rid of fat ankles, I was just learning to deal with it. Some days I’d even think, “Hey, I don’t know if I really have cankles after all.” But now that stars like Miley Cyrus, Mischa Barton, and others are being criticized for having cankles, how am I supposed to compete? I personally don’t see it in most of them, but I’ll let you be the judge.
As I Googled “celebrity cankles,” it seemed almost every major celebrity has been accused of having cankles. I know, it’s ridiculous to agonize about cankles when there are so many more important things going on in the world. Believe me, I spent (and admittedly still spend) too much time worrying about it already. But that’s my point exactly. We now have things like Cankle Awareness Month (which is coming up in July, by the way, so get your awareness ribbons ready). Major news sources are covering cankles in more and more stories; the Wall Street Journal even did an article about cankles, often cited by cankle haters everywhere (who can really make some mean personal attacks, by the way — Hey, don’t be offended, it’s not our faults we have cankles).
All in all, I’m ready to let the cankle thing go, and that’s a big step for a lifelong ankle hater. But, like scrutinizing celebrity beach bodies and uncovering which celebs have cellulite, I doubt the critical public eye will let it go soon. Hopefully the rest of us can.