According to a woman talking to her friend in line at the grocery store, there should be a space between my thighs when I stand up. A space? How big? I’m sure there’s a molecule separating my right and left thighs, but you can only see it under a high-intensity microscope like they use on CSI . This molecule is what keeps my legs from chirping like a cricket when I walk down the street. But there’s not enough space to say, watch a movie through. Or store a roll of paper towels. I’d say I’m not worried about this, but I am writing this column, so apparently they got to me.
There are all kinds of “experts” creating body rules women are supposed live up to. It seems that every month a new rule pops up on Facebook or in women’s magazines next to pictures of triple-layered chocolate cake and on reality make-over shows sandwiched in between commercials for pizza and cookies. No muffin tops! Beware of cankles! One chin is enough! Your bat wings should not be able to put your eye out in a windstorm! Is it any wonder we wear body-shapers and control top pantyhose and are still freaked out?
A friend recently informed me about the “Perfect Leg Test.” Thanks a lot, Dina. According to some people who obviously have too much spare time, there should be a four-inch difference between the circumference of a woman’s ankle and her calf, and a seven-inch difference between her calf and thigh. Great, now we not only have to worry about measuring up, we also have to remember geometry from the tenth grade. Is the circumference of my thigh pi r2 or 2 x the diameter? Or is it e=mc2? Other than my tenuous grasp of high school math, there are a few other problems: (a) I don’t know where the measuring tape is, (b) I’d have to shave my legs to get an accurate measurement, and (c) I really don’t care. If worst comes to worse, I’ll just start wearing padded tube socks to make up the difference. And maybe get a tattoo of Euclid on my ankle just to be safe.
Then there’s the “Pencil Rule.” This rule states that for every pencil, there is an equal and opposite pencil. No, no, no. It’s much simpler: basically, we women are supposed to put a pencil under each breast and if it stays there, we need a bra. I don’t know what the rule is if all you can find are Highlighters or carrot sticks. Men don’t have a Pencil Rule even though I’ve seen a few who could use a good man bra – they could hide a six-pack under their boobs and no one would be the wiser.
Just so we don’t start feeling too adequate, now there are also ads telling us we may have inadequate eyelashes. Inadequate for what? Swatting away crickets? I’m not sure if there’s a home test you can do to find out if you’re meet the criteria, but if you can’t stir a breeze by blinking quickly, you probably need to take drastic measures now.
Speaking of eyes, there is also something I like to call the “Cyclops Test” that lets you determine whether your eyes are too close together. To take this test, you’re supposed to picture a third eye between the two you have (if you already have a third eye, I’m sure there’s another test for that). If there’s not room for a third eye on your face, studies show you could be mistaken for a weasel or other nocturnal narrow-eyed creature. I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do if you fail this test; I’ve heard of having your eyelids lifted, but is there something that lifts and separates the eyes themselves? Or are we supposed to apply eyeliner out to our ears to give the appearance of “normal” looking peepers? Me, I wear mirrored sunglasses 95% of the time anyway so no one can tell where my eyes are. I’m no dummy, despite my inability to recall the difference between diameter and circumference.
If you can possibly focus those too-closely-set eyes of yours, there’s the “Halo Test.” With this test you’re supposed to stand in front of a mirror, turn off all the lights, and focus a flashlight down on the top of your head. If you appear to have a halo, you have split ends. Or you’re an angel; if so, disregard all these tests.
If you’re like me and your thighs touch, your arms flap on a windy day and you don’t have the eyelashes of a muskrat, you have one of two choices: you can spend your life feeling inadequate or you can use the “Guy Test.” That’s where you look in the mirror every morning and declare yourself perfect. Now that’s a test we can all pass.