Ever feel like you’re carrying a bit of extra baggage? A rucksack full of dimpled lard, a lake of retained water, a blimp’s worth of lady-bloat? Then put your inflamed cankles up on the pouffe and enjoy Lucy Sweet’s guide to our tender places.
Illustration by Lucy Sweet.
When God was making women, He was all like: “Hey, these are pretty good. I’d better not let these gorgeous biatches get ahead of themselves, though. Tell you what, I’ll make sure they don’t get paid enough AND give them loads of cellulite, lol.” So He poked his celestial finger and gave us thighs like two sandwich bags stuffed with Ambrosia Creamed Rice. Thanks, dude! Sadly, like Keith Lemon, cellulite is never going away. You can scrub at it with a wire brush while looking at a picture of Gisele all you like, but the only things guaranteed to erase it are Photoshop, 100 denier tights or death.
Not to be confused with cellulite, saddlebags are those side-angled flesh panniers that appear when you’ve spent too much time sitting on your arse eating biscuits. If you were a horse, someone posh would admiringly slap you and say you have a fine pair of haunches. If you were a cow, you would be the number one cow at the abattoir, destined for an artisan butcher in Stoke Newington. However, you’re a woman, so you basically just look a bit shit in leggings.
Every month, you get a visitor. And just before Mr Bloodbuckets comes to stay in your knickers for a week, along comes Mr Bloaty, otherwise known as water retention. This is your body’s way of helping you to feel even more attractive while wearing adult nappies and shouting at everyone within a 10 mile radius. When you’re retaining water, you look like John Belushi’s corpse and feel like a human bouncy castle (but without the fun). According to doctors, the only way to get rid of it is to eat less salt, exercise more and avoid alcohol…hahahaha doctors are funny, aren’t they? *eats bucket of chips doused in Baileys*
Womb of Doom
When you’re on your period, life is a bleak, post-apocalyptic landscape that makes The Road look like Chitty Chitty F****ing Bang Bang. And in between staunching the flow, you must also walk around with an abdomen filled with rocks, gravel and broken glass. Standing is too painful, sitting throbs with the heat of a thousand suns, and the only treatment on offer is a hot water bottle and an episode of Loose Women. Not good enough, society. Men would go to A&E for less.
“Cankle” is such a horrible word that just typing it has made my feminist hackles rise. Instead, I prefer to think of them as skin-coloured leg warmers. Yes, a Nora Batty-esque swollen ankle usually occurs during pregnancy, as your body goes into mutiny and starts objecting loudly to carrying 7lbs of human being to work every day. These padded flesh socks also come with loud and pronounced veins and make your feet look like a pair of novelty slippers from the Debenhams sale. Actually, its medical name is Oedema, which is a lovely name for a girl, don’t you think?
Lucy Sweet is a writer and incorrigible lard arse. Her nursery school teacher said she would never be a proper lady, and she was right.