Walking Tall

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I have developed a love/hate relationship with my legs over the years. I don’t really have a problem with it per say, it’s more the reactions that others have. And while walking around this weekend, I felt this dissonance rather strongly and with acute awareness.
Now don’t get me wrong, the positive attention is amazing and strokes my ego like no other can. My legs have a natural pull to them and can be hard to ignore – especially in a short summer dress. A man hanging out of his car window hollering at me is, in my opinion, not the most creative method to get my attention (really…you are driving AWAY from me!!) but is also strangely exhilarating – especially given my age. I often giggle quietly as couples walk past me, man trying ever so hard to hide the path of his eyes and woman staring at me with a mix of awe and anger all rolled into one. Cue the nasty glare. Tourists have even taken pictures of me as I walk past thinking that because I am tall and thin I somehow must be famous yet they are unsure of who I am exactly. Now, THAT is a VERY odd experience…and leaves me sad that I have somehow duped them into thinking they got something really neat from their trip. But it has also given me insight into what it really must be like being a celebrity and the lack of privacy or consent. People smile at me more. Doors magically open for me. The positive effects of my legs are truly endless!
But, there must be a sense of balance and my legs are no different. The anger in women’s eyes is palpable. The comments that are not necessarily meant to be negative often come off as being just that. When a short man tells me (somewhat angrily) that I should not be wearing heels because it is simply not right or fair always seems to illicit the same response – that “ why I should be forced to wear ugly shoes because YOU are genetically average?!” Yeah – I’ve even mastered that line with the deadpan look too. Or the stares that are not necessarily in awe or envy but more in oddness and sadness. “It must be hard to date” I’ve been told. Children who state the obvious rather loudly to their parents as they look at me embarrassed for their child’s simple honesty. You could say that I’ve had to develop a thick skin over the years. And why it has taken me years to get over the stoop/slouch in my back in an awkward attempt to blend in.
Now that I am older (and wiser?), I can relish in both the positive and negative attention as it makes me different from the rest of the crowd. But, it has taken me many years to come to terms with my ability to stand out. And now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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