I have horrible knees. Really, really horrible knees. They’re fat, and flat (who has flat knees!?), and strangely misshapen. They’re pale, and pasty, and the skin is a strange texture. I blame bad genes and years of Catholicism.
These knees have not seen the light of day (or night) for a long, long time. And yet today, for the first time in 20 years, I am wearing a dress that allows them to be visible. To see and be seen by the world at large.
Why? Because I am making a concerted effort to do what makes me happy and not care about what other people think. To make peace with myself and the way I look. That, and the fact that I went shopping on one of my rare brave days and decided to buy the totally cute 60s inspired shift that I loved – even though I would ordinarily have left it behind because of the ‘knees on show’ issue.
So now I sit in my office too nervous to walk to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee lest people start pointing and laughing, or sneering and whispering behind their hands, or gasping and…. You get the idea. Because on an emotional level I totally believe that it could happen, even though my brain tells me that no-one cares about my knees.
I know that I should be/get over this. I am no longer a child and being filled with all of this teen-like angst and insecurity is no longer excusable. I should be doing mature and cathartic shit, like writing letters to 14 year old Me. Telling her that the insecurity that consumes her will pass. That she will outgrow it and find a deep level of acceptance, appreciation for her body and endless pools of self-esteem to draw on.
But that isn’t true because sometimes (read: often) I feel just like 14 year old Me, trapped in 32 year old Me’s body.
Today is one of those days.
But at least I’m trying, and putting the knees of horror on display. That’s progress, isn’t it? I may even work up the courage to get a cup of coffee later.
*Edited to add: I have been struck by a new wave of confidence and am thinking:
Let’s see how long it lasts…