Ladies legs are no fairytale

Off the fence
Ladies’ legs are no fairytale

Off the fence
Áine Ryan

IF YOU are a man that blushes easily, it is best to avert your eyes now. Boys, please turn to the Sports pages or the Classified Ads because I  urgently need to get something off my chest. It is about female body parts.
What is it about women and the fascination they have for  … well …  other women’s legs?
Last week, in a seasonal surge of divestiture, I bared my legs for the first time in 2011. Buttermilk white. Not a pretty sight.
Despite being genetically fair-skinned, Irish women have developed a serious addiction to the bronzed look.
Well, at least it no longer involves scorching and frying in a solar tomb, aka a sun-bed. The new trend is for all sorts of sprays, creams and gels. The spray demands that the female subject stands almost naked, in a booth or tent structure, while a beauty therapist spews a brown liquid over every crevice and cranny from a specially designed gun. Best not dwell on the gory details.
BUT back to the buttermilk legs. To be frank, I was blissfully unaware of my pasty pins when I innocently entered an expensive boutique for a quick browse last week. Part of  the indulgent fantasy involved me surreptitiously checking out the rather prohibitive price label on a to-die-for pure silk cocktail dress.
Then, next thing I noticed – from the corner of my eye –  the perfectly toned, immaculately made-up, shop assistant staring in my direction. Did she think I was a thief? Or perhaps, a desperate kleptomaniac?
But no, her gaze was  focussed firmly below my waist. Her eyes were running along the curve of my calves with the alacrity of an undercover cop.
Oh! no. Don’t say she spotted a renegade follicle; a dry patch of skin around my ankle. Why, why, hadn’t I exfoliated, scrubbed, moisturized more before I left the sanctity of my boudoir.
WORD on the world wide web is that Princess-to-be, Kate Middleton has lost loads of weight ahead of her royal nuptials to Prince William. Apparently, her legs have got so thin that her knees are more knobbly than organically grown carrots. Gross!
Seriously though, who would want to be a princess nowadays? On Friday next, April 29, millions of women around the globe will gorge on the royal wedding at Westminster Abbey. 
Every last detail about the poor princess will be chewed over on couches from Belmullet to Bermuda, Castlebar to Katmandu. Imagine the cosmic kerfuffle if the royal couturier has missed a thread or a ruffle. Or worse still, if the bride wakes up with a cold sore. Twitter will hurtle into meltdown. Facebook will be in a frenzy. 
Ah yes, in journalistic jargon, that could be a story with legs, very long legs.