I have never liked door-to-door salesmen, evangelists, or folks pandering for donations. It’s not that I don’t want the product, the religion (but really, you can keep it. I have the Church, thanks), or to help the cause. I’m more frustrated that my hyper-sensitive, people-pleasing, over-active empathizing gland will force me to do whatever it is they need me to buy, convert, or donate.
Today, I finally got something back after years of anxiety. One of these brave few taught me a lesson.
A nice guy came by my apartment on his way through my neighborhood, saying he worked to help inner-city, in-trouble kids train for and find jobs. The gentleman was well-dressed and amiable and my roommate and I enjoyed chatting with him, as we all found something in common (ah, gotta love the human condition!).
He threw me off when, after a few fun jovial exchanges between me and my roommate, he pointed down at my leg and said, “Is that real?!”
…That was my reaction, too. Do people have fake leg muscles they glue to their quad bone like the chicken cutlets some women put in their bras? Not that I know of.
Is that real? Yes, of course it’s real!
“I run a lot,” I laughed. He spent another minute or two talking about how I could probably kick his butt, how I should go to the Olympics, how I probably make boys cry, etc.
Throughout the rest of the chat, he kept referencing my legs and let me tell you, I was regretting answering the door in my running shorts. They are about an inch above my fingertip length and they show my growing runner legs.
I look like a strong woman in my new runner legs and it reminds me of when I was in competition shape. I love how that feels.
Until some guy I don’t know points them out, continues to look at them, and talks about how I could crush inanimate objects between them.
While I can’t control his thoughts and it’s not my responsibility to control them, it brought my attention back to the Great Bikini Debate of 2012. Most people don’t voice thoughts like his out loud, in fact it was quite uncomfortable when I realized a self-identified 45-year-old man was studying my legs.
I think he had innocent intentions. The man wanted us to donate to his cause, so he needed something about which he could laugh with us. However, he made an awkward decision when he decided to talk about my legs.
We can presume (not EVERY man thinks this way, but there is evidence that most do — Jason Evert video and Young and Catholic’s anecdotal evidence) that men have thoughts about what is under the clothing we wear. Yes, it’s their responsibility to stop those thoughts from progressing.
However, had I chosen a pair of jeans, or even a pair of yoga pants (to address the tankini-covered belly vs. skin-covered belly issue), he would not have seen the distinction in my leg muscle. He would have seen that I was a strong, probable athlete, but not in such obvious detail.
Yoga pants-covered legs wouldn’t have been as “in his face” as my bare legs. I doubt it would have occurred to him to mention them as a topic of awkward conversation with the young lady who answered the door on his door-to-door day.
I’d post pictures of my legs in shorts vs. yoga pants, but that would explicitly ignore my point (while potentially proving it).
In conclusion, yes, wear whatever you want to wear. But maybe we could consider what we’d hear if men spoke their thoughts instead of keeping them private. Perhaps we’d sooner want to wear more fabric.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Elizabeth-Hillgrove-e1313149855558.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Elizabeth Hillgrove is a young cradle Catholic who grew up in a tight-knit, if not absurdly close family in the tiny Catholic world of Virginia. After a few divots and detours into apathy, embarrassment, and a vested political interest, Jesus Christ jump-started her faith life. Elizabeth has researched her way into a passion for bringing the simple, fulfilling Truth to youth and young adults, especially females. A recovering tomboy, Elizabeth will challenge you on the field, in the pool, on a trek up a mountain, or in the art studio. Game on. She is one of the three Bright Maidens and her website is Startling the Day.[/author_info] [/author]