BINGO WINGS & KNOBBLY KNEES

At our local markets the other week I was surprised to hear one of the of the stall holders comment that many women want dresses with short sleeves to hide the flab on their upper arms, commonly known now as bingo wings.

Years ago when I was teaching at a women’s health and sexual assault referral centre, aMo's Bingo Wings

Mo’s Bingo Wings

member of the group also commented how brave I was to wear sleeveless dresses showing my own bingo wings. I was able to reassure her that it wasn’t courage, it was simply that I feel the heat and can’t wear sleeved dresses in the summer.

I was also surprised to learn a few years back of the existence of “cankles” (calves and ankles merging together) via a spoof segment on the idiot Sarah Palin by the brilliant Tina Fay. Up until that time I’d been blissfully unaware of “cankles”.

So in the interests of truth, justice and a commitment to anti-fat prejudice and utter stupidity about women’s bodies, here are my own bingo wings. God, I’m shameless, aren’t I?  But I’ve also noticed that, having posted this pic, the sky hasn’t fallen in, birds are still flying,  I still feel absolutely terrific about my body and anyone who makes any rude or negative comments to me will find themselves on the receiving end of some snappy repartee as well as a bunch of fives in the kisser.

And now to some other fat news. A while back I posted a pic of my rather luscious, bodacious, saggy, damaged knees.  It was their first outing in public and, while my knees were a bit

Knobbly, DENTED knees!
Knobbly, DENTED knees!

nervous, they survived the exposure experience. Both knees had been damaged by falls where I’d landed on the edge of concrete so I have fluid pockets underneath both knees plus my right knee twists inwards as I had no idea of the damage I’d incurred with the bad fall I had decades ago. The deformity has emerged as I’ve aged.  But last year I had another bad fall where I hit a coffee table doing down and bounced off a chair just to add some drama to the whole shemozzle. And now I’ve not only got knobbly, swollen knees, they’re DENTED as well and look seriously weird.

Now I must be honest and say I am a bit self-conscious about my knees because I look like I’ve got dropsy, so I’ve generally worn trousers or maxi-dresses which cover the whole of my legs. But over the past month or so I’ve been seeing a homeopathic practitioner and, to my surprise, my legs have staged a revolution all on their own and demanded air and light. And I’ve suddenly started wearing much shorter dresses (it’s too hot for trousers) which flash my knees to the world. Once again, I’m exposing myself so here’s a pic of my lumpy, knobbly right knee which is in by far the worst shape. And my legs and knees are loving it. They’ve emerged from the closet and, as with my bingo wings, the earth’s revolutions have not ground to a halt, lumps of sky are not littering our backyard, and I feel pretty damned terrific.

Added to this, over the past couple of years I’ve lost nearly four stone (56lbs) in weight.  I want to make it clear that this is not some stupid obsession with thinness but due to the fact that the excess weight I was carrying was uncomfortable and affecting my quality of life. I also addressed the emotional issues behind my need to be fat. However, I absolutely refuse to bow down before the hysterical, false and offensive anti-fat campaigns of the medical profession acting as front guys for the diet and pharmaceutical industries peddling lies, lies and damned lying statistics about obesity and fatness just to flog and profit from  their weight-loss programmes, their weight-loss pills and potions, and their disfiguring plastic surgery and highly dangerous stomach-stapling operations and other disfigurements of people’s bodies.

Women’s bodies are meant to be whatever shape they’re meant to be – whether curvy, thin, carrying fat, short, tall, black, white, yellow or purple with pink polka dots.  The whole “obesity epidemic” is a con trick to stuff people into artificially thin stereotypical shapes which happen to be a fad of current society. Future generations will look back on the obsession with thinness with shock, horror and disgust. Because it’s led to so much trauma for women particularly that such a huge part of our lives is consumed by image problems, diets, thinness, fatness, but never-just-rightness.  What a serious waste of our lives, for god’s sake!

Rather than rant on in this post, I’m going to address a couple of other issues which spring to my ever-active mind in relation to the current obsession with thinness and the whole issue of fatness – women’s position in public and private life, and our de-spirited society. But just to round out this talk of fleshly women, juicy females and loving your very own, special body regardless of what size it’s meant to be, here’s one of my favourite paintings by Lucien Freud, a celebration of flesh and a self-confidence in herself and her lushness on the part of the women he painted:

Big Sue - Lucien Freud
Big Sue – Lucien Freud
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