4 Jun

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.

A helpful illustration to show an example of a cankle. Sigh.

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.
– What?
– 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.

Cheryl Cole, a British star, is cited as having cankles in this picture. I'd be ok with those ankles.

Victoria Beckham has cankles now? Psh, well then I must be considered obese.

Mischa Barton's cankles? I'm not seeing it.

Hilary Duff's supposed cankles

Miley Cyrus just has a "my legs are so stick thin I don't have room for an ankle" thing going on.

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.

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12 Responses to “CANKLES”

  1. Malcolm November 9, 2013 at 5:02 am #

    People really obsess over this silly shit? Man, you really need to be shallow for this to matter at all…

  2. Ramblings of a Quickwit December 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    I hear you cankles, my problem is a little further up the leg, chalves, chunky calves, I’d love to say they’re from over exercising but alas no. Finding boots that don’t feel like a girdle is a problem but my head seems to be ok and doesn’t require me to wear a sack on it so I figure I will just accentuate the positive which seems to be what your saying too.

  3. Carmen Molefe February 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    I have the same problem, I’ve been teased and I just feel like crushing or disappearing. I sometimes dream I was born before my sister coz she has fabulous legs. Anyhoooooo, I’m just glad that I’m not the only one who has them ” the legs” lol
    XOXO thank you!!!!

  4. Hammer October 15, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Saw your profile pic from Gravitar, and your ankles are just fine. :0)
    I don’t know when it started or who started calling any of those pictures cankles, but true cankles from” back in the day” (I’m 41 by the way) were considered fat ankles that drapped over the top of the shoe (like a double chin, only on your ankle). Just wanted to throw that out there…..hmmmm, maybe I’m just getting older and theres a new word for the over-hanging ankle flesh now.?! Ancient feelin’ guy signing off! ;0/

  5. Alexandra Adam July 29, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    I actually didn’t see my cankles until people told me I had them. I have moments when I feel like crying because I know how much importance legs have at a girl my age. i just hope to let it go soon! or at least become reach enough to go under knife! haha

  6. floridakotan June 5, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    Yeah, I don’t see cankles on those celebrities. Farmer tan on that first, but cankles, no. I never noticed cankles on anyone, until a college friend complained about hers. She was tiny, but sure enough her calves just seemed to blend into her ankles. I think it is generally true that most people don’t notice…we are usually too preoccupied with our own imperfections…but you have my sympathy, ankles are hard to hide throughout the summer.

    • Kaitlin Ring June 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

      I’m glad someone’s on the same page! I was beginning to think my cankles were a fate worse than death! It sounds like I’ve pretty much got the same syndrome as your friend — My legs are pretty much straight all the way down. No amount of exercise I can do increases any muscular definition. Sigh.

      • MDS August 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

        Dear Kaitlin,
        I want to set the record straight. All guys do not want Barbie girl and Hollywood media forced images of what a women should look like. I have always been attracted to women that have your wonderful figure. Women that are built like Michelle tracten Berg, Mya Harrison, Paula Garces, Alicia Keys, and Jennifer Love -Hewitt are nothing short of Goddesses.. The problem is that women are their own worse enemy and hide from the men that are truly attracted to their body style. Stop hiding be proud of your wonderful sexy , God given body.You need to spread the word and let be known that woman should be proud of their thick ankles in this case. In other cases some other trait that is perceived to be unattractive by the Mass Media. .


  1. GTL: As long as the “T” stands for “Translucent” | A Nice Ring to It - July 22, 2011

    […] end of the gene pool in many areas: yucky toenails, fine hair, inability to tan, and the dreaded CANKLES. I do make a few trips to the tanning bed a year. (I know how bad it is. I only go a few times a […]

  2. GTL: As long as the “T” stands for “Translucent” « A Nice Ring to It - July 22, 2011

    […] end of the gene pool in many areas: yucky toenails, fine hair, inability to tan, and the dreaded CANKLES. I do make a few trips to the tanning bed a year. (I know how bad it is. I only go a few times a […]

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  4. What the heck are you guys searching? « A Nice Ring to It - June 16, 2011

    […] variation of “cankles” is also a daily one Celebrities with cankles What are cankles Why have I got no ankles Cankle […]

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