I’ve been thinking about legs, not something that usually concerns me. Recently, I was walking with my dog, Arena. It was a warm day and I was wearing shorts. After a while, I noticed a lady walking behind me and looking at me strangely. When Arena stopped to savor an interesting smell, the lady said to me:
“Your legs are swollen. You need to take maca and linasa to reduce the swelling.”
(These are local herbs common in Peru).
I was stunned. She was long gone before I could respond. Thoughts ran through my head.
“There’s nothing wrong with my legs.”
“Why did she say that?”
“Was it a concern for my well being, or did the appearance of my legs bother her?”
My legs are not slender. They are meaty. But they are not swollen. They are good old American legs, typical of my fellow countrymen with substantial calves and generous thighs. I have seen many Americans here in Peru with just the same legs. Not that they are beautiful legs, but they function as well as other legs.
Still, her comment led me to look at other people’s legs. One conclusion is that those of us with “American legs” probably should wear long pants. And now, because of my awareness, I only wear my short pants in the house. It is part of my project to beautify Peru.
Then I reflected. A stranger’s comment changed my behavior and what I wear when I go out. Maybe I am being too sensitive to what other people say.
As I look at other people’s legs, I notice that many Peruvians have very skinny legs. This is especially true of young women. I don’t know if this is a genetic characteristic or a matter of diet. Maybe it would be good to learn more about the growth and development of legs, but I don’t really have time for that. Maybe somebody could develop a new field of study called legology. It could be aimed to develop perfect legs: not too meaty and not too boney.
Then, no one would make comments about legs on the street.