Body Underdogs

These are my ankles. I love my ankles. I love them more than usual when they’re balanced above these glorious Marni platform sandals, but even when they’re not, they still get loads of love from me. They’re sturdy and flexible, but simultaneously delicate and elegant. They pair equally well with chunky platforms and ankle boots, flat sandals and towering pumps. They make capris and cigarette pants look sophisticated and ladylike. They’ve never been broken or even twisted, despite my relentlessly catastrophic clumsiness. They just plain rock.

Why am I writing a gushy ode to my ankles? Because I feel that far too often we focus on the showy, magazine-lauded, sexually-interesting body parts – legs, abs, breasts, arms – and skim over our body underdogs. Some of the details of our bodies are what truly define our physical forms.

So let’s hear it for the oft-overlooked but always-alluring body parts: What are your body underdogs? Why do you love them so? Don’t be shy!

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  • I am shy! But I love my neck. Long and graceful, it makes me stand up straight. Your ankles (and shoes) are beautiful, and so is your body art.

  • I have always loved my feet. They are dainty and smooth with perfectly proportioned toes that look perfect painted bright coral and peeking out of a pair of sandals.

  • Great post! I love my hands. They’re skilled (I’m a scientist, and I do a lot of tricky technical work with my hands), shapely, and I am blessed with naturally strong fingernails that don’t need manicures. They’re awesome at wearing rings (especially my beautiful and meaningful wedding/engagement rings, which never leave them), and they’re attached to delicate wrists that can rock a bracelet. I also think hands can be very sexy!

  • You have hit a connection with one of my hot buttons, which are feet. I think we do not give very much thought to our feet at all, which is very sad since feet really respond to good care and when we are older, having good feet (and ankles) is a really good thing, and not just from a cosmetic standpoint. So, I take good care of my feet all the time, wear as good and comfy shoes as I can. Remember – no one walks on their ass, or their boobs, or their thighs. And if you can’t walk, then where are you? So, let’s put some attention on the feet!

  • I have very delicate, dainty wrists. They look so proper and ladylike… even with a tattoo πŸ™‚ I feel pretty clumsy overall so I enjoy the look of grace in my wrists.

  • 1. My fingers and thumbs, ’cause they enable me to do so many things!
    2. My tongue, ‘Cause it lets me taste all the flavors of life!!!

  • VAMarcy

    Thanks for a great post to help us appreciate our lesser-acknowledged body workhorses, Sal! Other neglected–but very important–areas are wrists, elbows and feet…all it takes is a round with carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis or plantar fasciitis, and we learn to be grateful for their importance is everyday living. Flat abs aren’t as critical to walking, picking up the baby, or working at my desk!

  • Actually my ears are not bad – small, sensitive and streamline. What more could a girl want?

  • Interesting question! And I hate to say it (I also was surprised by the finding!), but I have none. Imagine that. NONE. I think my feet look ok, for being, you know, feet ^^ Apart from that, I don’t see any part as a particular highlight. BUT the parts all work together nicely, which is why I end up loving my body anyway. When I was a teenager, I didn’t like my broad shoulders. But now I know if they magically narrowed overnight, the rest of my body would look stupid and out of balance. So I embraced it, and I embraced it all and hard. In fact, I’m still squeezing it ^^ (Lovingly.) πŸ™‚

    Relatable Style

  • Sal! I love this post!

    I love my shoulders and my wrists. Whenever I wear a long sleeved top, I like to roll back the sleeves to show my wrists because I think they are so lovely.

    • Yael, I’m with you! I like my little wrists and broad shoulders, too! I love wearing 3/4 sleeves and bracelets to show off my wrists. As I get older and my former hourglass figure starts shifting towards more “sand on the bottom,” my shoulders balance out my body shape.

      I think we should all celebrate the features that makes us unique, and eschew whatever the media is touting as an “ideal.” πŸ™‚

  • I have great, well proportioned, slightly bony hands and feet. I love them. I think they’re so awesome that I barely ever wear rings and I never consider manicures or nail polish colors. For dance I do hand and arm exercises that give my hands and arms a great flow, and despite having a desk job I’ve had very few problems with RSI type injuries. My feet get high-quality shoes and I never force them into heels if they don’t feel like going.

  • at my highest and lowest weights, my collarbone still made me feel feminine and sexy.

    i’m also a fan of my upper back/shoulders…i’ve worked HARD for the definition and it shows. i recently ended a marriage and am most sad that i can’t look at the pics of them in the Big White Dress w/o competing thoughts taking away from the shoulder dimples!

  • Sara L.

    My feet are one of my favorite parts of my body. They’re small and delicate with perfect little toes. I tell my husband all the time that I have pretty feet and he just looks at me like I’m crazy.

  • Becky

    I’ve always liked my forearms. They’re long, just shy of monkeylike. My dad has the same long forearms; I have the feminine version, which makes me feel connected to him, and still uniquely me.

  • SD

    I really like my collar bone/neck area. It all looks so feminine and lovely. I also like my wrists : )
    I’m trying to think of other (more creative) area that I like but it’s difficult! I do mostly like my breasts and my overall figure but those fit into the Hollywook glamorized area in my opinion.
    I also like my eye color. It shifts from brown to green and many shades in between on any given day. I like my voice. I think it has a seductive edge to it which I can whip out hard core when I want to.

  • I appreciate my feet and shoulders, for they often do the most work of carrying me and my things around. Living in a city where I do a lot of walking I am afraid of anything ever happening to my feet. I am so lucky to be able to walk long distances and to fill my bags with too many things to cart around with me.

  • This is such a great post! I love my hands, but since Laura posted about hers, I’ll add that I also love my collarbones, however strange that sounds. They’re not sunken in, nor do they jut out too much; they’re shapely and sexy, and they can always be revealed without my feeling like I’m a little too bare.

  • Velma

    Dainty shoulders and collarbones, pretty ankles, and a nice nose! πŸ™‚

  • I love my collarbone, and The Hubs goes gaga over the small of my back. There are also lots of body parts that I just don’t have a problem with aesthetically — I’m more concerned that they function! So yay for all hands and feet and noses, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Cel

    I actually HATE my ankles. They’re thick and unladylike, boo.

    Funnily, I think my favourite area on my body now is my collar bone. After losing a bunch of weight in the last few years, I can actually SEE the shape of my collar bone. It’s lovely and delicate and feminine I find, and I love wearing tops or necklaces that showcase the area.

  • i love my nose πŸ™‚ it is small & has a nice little flip lol. when i was younger, people would compliment it and i’d be confused because… it’s a nose? but i do appreciate it. i think it’s lovely.

    i also love my legs, but not in a glamorous/sexual way. i love how strong & muscular they are, from regular bike riding & walking. they get me where i need to go & they have never ever let me down, no matter how much i treat them like second-class citizens πŸ™‚

  • Awesome topic!

    I love my hands too – I have nice delicate wrists and long fingers. I also like my feet, veiny and bony though they may be.

  • Jen

    I like my fingernails that I can grow long and look like acrylic when they’re painted . . . even been asked where I get my nails done at. Nope, homegrown and painted. I like my sloping shoulders. My ears are kinda cute, even though they’re really thick and it took four times to get them pierced. I love earrings! I love my little button nose, especially considering the long snoozes my family is blessed with.

  • It has to be my shoulders and my toes.My shoulders are elegant and my toes long and straight and thin!

  • I would say my wrists. They’re very delicate and dainty but they can carry a lot of weight!

  • i love the backs of my legs – i am very grateful they are not veiny at all πŸ™‚

    PS: great article about you, Sal, in the Vancouver Sun a few days ago

  • Lorena

    I like my ears, my nose and wrists because they are small.
    Oh ! and I got compliments from someone saying they liked my veiny hands, they said they “looked classy”–sometimes it’s odd what other people are attracted to πŸ™‚

  • Hetley

    Yes! Love this idea.
    While I do love my square shoulders, tiny wrists and long-fingered hands..there’s an underdog part I hated for most of my life that I’ve recently come to..well, if not love, then at least appreciate– my sternum.

    I was born with pectus excavatum– a concave breastbone. Most are flat to slightly convex, but when viewed from the side via x-ray, mine is shaped like a shallow C. It doesn’t cause any pain, but my heart and lungs are 30% smaller than someone else my height (I tell my partner this whenever I’m accused of being mean/PMSy πŸ™‚ — it’s because I have a tiny Grinch heart!)

    Despite that, I appreciate it because it connects my ribs, protects my lungs and my Grinch heart, and allows me to breathe! “Deformed” or not, I need my sternum all day, every day. I appreciate that it’s there and it functions, abnormal shape be damned.

  • I like my calves. They are strong but shapely. As a friend put it: “you’ve got killer legs for a shortie!” LOL!
    I also love my eyebrows because they are slightly pointy in the middle, just like my dad’s.

  • I like some of the things other people have mentioned, including hands and feet, but I’ll say this since no one has mentioned it yet: I love my chin. I have a beautiful dimple right in the center that comes from my dad, and it’s cute as all get out.

    • Jenny, I was just going to say the same thing. I also have a dimple in my chin, just like my dad. I also have his hands, which are comically broad compared to the rest of my small frame, but just like his, they can do so many awesome things!

  • All my life, people have complimented me on my feet. They are not too bony and hardly show veins at all. Instead, they are honey-colored and smooth, with a delicate, feminine shape and perfectly aligned toes that look lovely, no matter what color I paint them.

    Thanks for this! It’s fun to be reminded of something besides what we are told to appreciate about our bodies.

  • Jen

    My feet remind me of one of those marble statues from ancient Rome. They’re almost masculine-looking with defined structure and visible veins, and to me that conveys strength. I like feeling strong, which is why I also love my broad shoulders and rather large biceps.

  • rb

    My favorites are inside. I love my reproductive organs! I know that sounds icky and weird, but I am in awe of my body’s ability to grow a baby from a microscopic little ovum, and to nourish the baby for a full year or so once it’s out. After I saw that my body could do all of this, I have been more inclined to give it a break on other issues.

    • You make me sooo feel less weird since my first thought was my uterus that has a little peanut growing in it right now. It’s really made me learn to take care of my body in a different way. Before, I pushed it through hard work outs and I loved it for making it. I spent my first 17 weeks working hard and now these last 2 it’s taking more of a toll on me so I’ve learned that rest is good, and eating plenty is good!

      • rb

        Congratulations, Tabitihia!

  • I love my hands! They’re just like my mom’s… with long tapered fingers and perfectly shaped nails. Yay!

  • malevolent andrea

    Another vote for wrists. Wrists, forearms, calves, the high arches in my feet, and my ribcage.

  • erinsuzanne

    my perpetually rosy, round cheeks. i hated them as a kid, but now that i’m in my early 30s, i like that my smile is a defining feature- and that i’ve never outgrown my chubby cheeks. even after losing a lot of weight- including in my face- my cheeks are still pink and round and it makes me happy.

  • Ankles team!!! – I do love mine with delicate bone structure and lovely lines! Wrists and collarbone / neck area get lot of love as well. My finger nails are well formed as well, they look nice even when super short. And I love to paint them!

  • Molly

    I love my collarbone! It’s the most subtle and sexy part on a woman’s body, I think. They make a woman look so effortlessly regal. I also love my ankles–the look fabulous in heels, because they are so narrow. I get a lot of compliments on them strangely enough.

  • Fel

    Awesome post!! and ooh, it’s gotta be my collarbone & shoulders, love ’em! πŸ™‚

  • Rad

    I love my model-like straight broad shoulders, with prominent bones and toned muscles. They look amazing in a bathing suit top, but I kind of find them too sexual to display for everyday. Both drapey and clingy tops hang off them like a dream. They also balance out my heavier lower half.

  • I like my knees. Well proportioned to my legs, and not too boney.

  • T.

    My ears! My mum often told me what beautiful ears I have, she always looks at people’s ears first, because SHE has protruding ears and she hates them. I always wear earrings, possibly because I like my ears.
    I also like my hands (long and graceful), but I wouldn’t call hands underdogs, hands are important.

  • Kate K

    I love my wrists. I’m very big in size and shape and even in personality but my wrists are small and thin and very very delicate. I love wearing lots and lots of bracelets to accessorize them or rolling up my sleeves to show them off. I love 3/4 length sleeves.

    Also, despite having serious issues with my size 11 feet and finding cute shoes for them, I do think that I have darn cute toes.

    • Erika A

      I also have size 11 feet and adore my toes. Go us!

  • tagatha

    I’m a bit surprised that people (or do you mean just magazines in general?) think that ankles are not sexually interesting but then again, I think anything can be sexually interesting in someone’s body, when you’re interested in that someone πŸ˜‰

    I like my hands and wrists, they’re not as strong and flexible as they’ve been (broken & sprained) but I use them all day long when I write at work and they’re beautiful when I dance. Plus I love to wear nail polish (turquoise at the moment)!

  • Aziraphale

    What a great post! I’m having fun reading through all the comments.

    Another thumbs up for wrists and ankles. I’ve got a small frame and my wrists and ankles are delicate and feminine without being bony. Also, how about a shout-out to the shoulder blades? I just like ’em. I’m not sure why. I think shoulders and shoulder blades are just as sexy as breasts, abs and thighs, and I think they’re sexy on many people — men as well as women.

    The other thing I quite like is my nose. It’s sharp and straight, not too big or small, and has just enough of a bump at the bridge to give it character. When we describe sexy facial features, we usually focus on the lips and eyes, but I’ve gotta say, noses and eyebrows count for a lot, too, in my book.

  • I love my hands – from my wrists to my fingernails. I have small wrists and I love that my hands aren’t quite “dainty”. The contrast between my little wrists and my not too big / not too small hands makes me happy.

  • Ariel

    My lips! They have a nice shape, and even when my mouth is hanging open and I don’t realize it – it looks like a nice little ‘O’ of surprise.

    My spine! A bit of an odd one, but I walk with good posture and it gives me a little fake ‘oomph’ in the butt due the curve of it. πŸ™‚

  • Ha ha! I admire you for drumming up that much enthusiasm for ankles. I’m afraid I can’t come up with anything similar!

  • Erika A

    I really like my nose. It’s strong without dominating my face, and despite the face that I broke it in 2003, it’s healed very well and after some inspired chiropractic and bodywork on my face, my nose is now nearly as straight as it used to be.

    I also like my forearms and wrists. They flow nicely into my hands, are strong and shapely, and help me accomplish manual labor around the house. I enjoy the way I look with watches and bracelets on and often push my sleeves up above my wrists.

    This was a lovely idea for a post, and gave me a chance to reflect on parts of my body I often take for granted.

  • Glamdoc

    Oooh, yes! Just home from another endless e.r. shift and could do with some self-love! Great post, Sally!

    Aherrm, here goes – to my much-loathed body, who doesnΒ΄t deserve even half of the hatred I used to and sometimes still feel towards it:
    -I have great eyes! Warm, brown, and kind (which sometimes make me too approachable and innocent-looking)
    -I have a nice little chin with a cute dimple
    -I have full and dainty and kissable lips
    -I love my feminine shoulders
    -And arms and hands
    -Aaand a shout-out to the ankles too! And dainty feet, that I love so much that I even got a lotus tattoo in Feb on the left one πŸ™‚

  • Berna Bleeker

    I like my eyes most, I think. They’re a nice grey-green color. πŸ™‚

  • Berna Bleeker

    Oh, almost forgot my *hair*! It’s quite grey for my age, but it’s a nice silver-grey, and definitely looks better than the boring light brown color it used to be.

  • Veronica

    I love my ankles too! I also love my wrists, ears, and nose. My feet are good too since I spent from about 6th grade to my early twenties never wearing sandals because I hated that I had icky toenails. But all is well there now and I LOVE sandals. πŸ˜€ A bit of a strange one but I love my eyelids. They’re nice and easy to apply makeup to.

  • I vote for my ears. I think my ears are cute, but more importantly they let me hear so much. It amazes my parents because they thought I didn’t hear anything but really I just learn to turn off how much I CAN hear. I went through studio classes to learn to be a sound engineer, and I took classes instead of just interning because of how insecure I was that I didn’t know the technical stuff. I still can’t run down the stats of most mics and speakers, but my work was praised because of my strong ear. I don’t have the best voice, but I was great for critiques in voice classes because of my ears. Now, I make live mixes for church, and do other things, thanks to my ears. πŸ™‚

  • Holly

    Sally, This is one of your best posts ever. Love the content. Love the shoes (love them most w/ that khaki outfit, which has inspired a copycat look on this end).

    I love my eczema-ridden-man-hands. Can you imagine a life without hands?

    Smiles,
    h-

  • I have to say, I want to give my nose some love. I’m Asian so it’s small and very flat, and when I was younger I’d look at my profile in the mirror and wish that it were pointier (ie. more Caucasian >.<). But you know what, my nose is unique and lovely and my boyfriend thinks it's cute. What more could a girl want?

  • What a wonderful post! I do love my feet, hence I must wear sandals pretty much year round and I just hate when I have to wear boots in the winter! P.S. Those SHOES!!!! Where and how can I find those, please??