30 June 2011

When Did You Know?

When did you come to the realization your proportions were different? Was it a slow development, or a distinct moment when you knew?

When I was about eleven, my legs were somewhat bowed, and since I was skinny, it was even more noticeable. A friend of mine at the time practiced ballet, and I remember how we did a leg test, you were supposed to be able to hold a paper envelope between your knees. With my feet and heels touching, and legs relaxed, there were a number of inches of air between my knees, whereas her straight legs held the paper with ease. I was not eligible for ballet!

Around that same time some, a guy once exclaimed with disgust at my crooked, knocking-knees legs, and thus I mostly wore jeans and trousers from then on, this was my first "legs" insecurity, and I had inward facing knees as well..

When I became a teen I was quite interested in fashion, and remembered reading about Elle Macpherson 44 inch legs, and I also believed I had lengthy legs since I was very tall. There I was lying on the carpet in front of our huge floor length mirror measuring my legs, and I measured them about the same 40 ish inch length. Looking back, I know I had wrongly measured with my feet and toes pointing long and forward (adding 3 or 4 inches), and not from the heel. And so for a number of years I had unknowingly deluded myself at having supreme long legs, however they were still slightly bowed, not as much as before, but I was still slightly unsure of them.

When I reached my late teens I had a very loving and wonderful boyfriend, who happened to adore my legs, he loved that they were crooked, and exclaimed at how boring straight legs were. These were the happiest times for my legs. They were toned, and I liked the length, and shape, and everything about them. (Most tops were shortish on me but I cleared it as just being tall.)

When my teenage years ended, I began to discover that my legs were not long, but slightly short for my height. There was no distinct moment, but a collection of happenings that brought it all about. I don't recall the the chronological order but here goes:
  • My beloved brother, not being particularly beloved hinting at my having short legs.
  • My hubby, telling me my proportions were slightly different.
  • My having a baby, and the OBGYN, telling me I had a "nice long torso" with lots of room for the baby, and that being the reason why my belly never got very big. And how she (the doctor), with her petite frame and small torso had had a massive belly with her baby.
  • Being told by a chiropractor I had a long torso, and a flat back. Double bad, and the reason behind my flat ass.
  • Being measured by a pattern maker who calculated I had arms and torso longer then normal (I think she said by an inch or so) which explained how most sleeves were too short on me as well.
  • Seeing my cousin for the first time in many years, and being shocked at how long her torso was, and coming to the conclusion that this was perhaps genetic. However my mother has long legs, so it all came from my fathers side.
Once I came to the realization I had these particular proportions, I was depressed and became obsessive at trying to hide them. I would stare at my self in the mirror with disgust. When it came to clothes all I cared about was whether I looked long torsoed or not, I did not care for pattern or color, or style. It was at this time I began this blog, because had I ravaged the internet trying to find info about this issue, and found so little that I decided to create my own. And the blog has attracted many more readers then I ever expected, and has been a healing process for me, I am no longer unhappy about my proportions, and I discovered they are not as extreem as I believed.

Would love to hear your stories.


  1. omg girl i feel you totally! im 17, im 5'8.5 i would like to be a model, my face is high fashionish but i dont have the long legs that they want so im basically screwed lol,,
    well when i was like 14 i remember i was wearing shorts and this woman told me that i had gorgeous long legs and i should be a model bla bla, i remember i got that alot, but i probably realized my proportions last year because i saw models at my height in bikinis, and i saw i didnt look like that even tho i was thin like them, i couldnt put my finger on why, but then i realized i had a long stomach and my calves were short (well thats my problem basically i have a long torso with a long neck a pretty wasitline, but my calves are really short so they kind of through everything off) and ya i had that thing were the shirts were short on me, and i had to lengthen my jeans, so now i realize why,, but i mean its not THAT bad if my legs were longer id have a PERFECT Body cuz i have everything else, but its not that bad, if my legs are the only thing wrong with my body then i guess im lucky cuz theres a bunch of women that have 982347 things wrong with their body not just one specific thing

  2. Thanks for sharing your story, I think you should still try out being a model, you are of the right age, and look at Alessandra Ambrosio and Bar Rafaeli. At least go to a modeling agency, and have them decide.
    Wishing you all the best.

  3. @LADYSHORTLEGS thanks hun :) yes of course ill still try, im just worried about people hating on me cuz of my proportions like they do on alessandra for example, but oh well, even the most perfect girl someone has SOMETHING to pick on,,, so i guess i shouldnt let it get to me

  4. Your story could definitely be mine! As recently as a few years ago, my mother pointed out my "looooooooong body" to everyone which made me super ashamed for most of my life and I just avoided mirrors at all costs. One day I decided to do something about it, surfed around, started shopping conciously and slowly slowly my self-image has improved. I see "short legged" people all the time now an realize that it is really not so bad.

  5. I think I was probably about 13-14 when I realised that although all my friends were stupendously beautiful, leggy and slim, I was undoubtedly not. I was dumpy, stout, oddly shaped and didn't, at the time, seem to give a flying fig about it.
    I'm 17 now, and although I've grown taller and slimmed down slightly, I still stand at a short-ish 5'5, UK size 8-10. The funny thing is, my torso isn't long at all; the thinnest point of my waist is actually relatively high in comparison to a "normal" female figure. It's my hips that are long, reducing my inseam to measly 28/9 inches. Being quite curvy (UK 34C-28-35.5) everything just looks weird. My long and wide hips make my thighs look like chunky sausages, which further makes my legs look short, and my calves aren't particularly shapely, they just go straight down like tiny carrots, and they're slightly bowed. Any helpful advice? I can't seem to wear anything but high-waisted shirts and wrinkled boots, which get really stuffy in the summer! sadface :(

  6. Love this post! Mine was also a collection of happenings that brought on the terrible realisation of my proportions during my mid teenage years.

    I've always had chunky legs and have always been extremely self conscious of them but it took a while to notice that they were also short compared to my torso. Between the ages of 13-15 younger family members used to point out my "fat legs" to me on a semi-regular basis. Unfortunately children have no tact. This is still my biggest insecurity -- I think I'd be slightly more accepting of my disproportions if at least I had skinny legs...

    Later on friends would absent-mindedly comment that I appeared taller than I was from a distance when standing next to me (I'm just under 5"4). I'd moan about not finding jeans the right length but this is a common problem amongst my friends as none of us are that tall. I just assumed I was shortish in general, not just my lower body.

    It really hit me one time when trying on a dress in a clothes shop. I came out of my cubical to look at it in the full length mirror in the changing rooms and the girl who was in the cubical next to me happened to be doing the same thing in the same dress. I thought the dress looked odd on me as most clothes tend to. Then I looked at it on the girl beside me and couldn't for the life of me figure out why it was longer on her (just above her knee) than it was on me (about mid thigh) even though she was a couple of inches taller than me!! I just kept staring at my body trying to find out what was wrong. When I got home it hit me... my legs looked like they were too short for my body.

    I knew I was pear-shaped as I have a flat stomach, small waist, small shoulders , big hips and big bum but never thought about disproportions before. I didn't even know such a problem existed and my first thought was that maybe I had a form of dwarfism that my parents never told me about! First place I headed to was the internet and found out that there were others with this body type. A couple of years later I eventually found this blog which has helped a lot.

    I still obsess over my body and sometimes find myself looking at other women's proportions when walking down a busy street. I do spot a lot of ladies with shorter legs and wonder if they are aware of them or blissfully ignorant.

    I never show my legs. Summer is the worst because I can't hide behind black opaque tights if I have to wear a dress. In fact I never go out with bare legs unless it's more than 40 degrees -- I live in black leggings. Thankfully maxi dresses and skirts are in fashion right now -- they saved me last summer when I was living in central Europe during a heatwave! The fact that I'm really pale and don't tan at all (even fake just looks ridiculous on me) doesn't help (darker skinned women pull our type of figure off better I think). I'd love to be able to wear a short dress with no tights on a night out or denim cut outs with flat sandles during the day but I just look strange. If they ever invent a lower body transplant I'd be the first to sign up!

  7. My teenage time fell on mid and late nineties in Russia. And at that time the beauty ideal was a long-legged blond. Therefore teenagers, being brain-washed, compared people not to reality, but to this stupid ideal. I mean, normal legs that are approximately half of the body, would be considered short, and long legs were kind of normal. No one ever said that I had short legs, except a few cases, when I was dressed in a really unflattering way: long top and flats (this would make any woman look a bit short-legged, unless she has disproportionally long legs). And even then these comments came only from very stupid teenagers. But insecurity somehow was seeded into my head. By the way, my mother has the same proportions as me, but she has never worried about that at all, as when she was a teenager this fashion did not exist and people paid attention to other things.
    I have the same problem as the first commenter: my body would be considered absolutely perfect if my legs were slightly longer. I used to be very skinny, and of course people would sort of expect such a “model” skinny girl to have longer legs, because they see such image everywhere in mass media. If I was fatter, probably I wouldn’t worry about legs. I was wearing heels at all times (except for the gym), and people thought I had a perfect body. But insecurity still existed. Once there was a beauty contest “Miss University”, and the boys told me I should go there, but I knew I could not win because I was 165 cm and did not have long legs. You see, for men I was beautiful enough, but not for these artificial standards.
    Later I moved to Australia, and there so many women were so fat that you would never even notice other problems. My feet were deformed from constant wearing high heels, and it took me a couple of years to get rid of this habit. Now I wear smaller heels, like 3-6 cm. At the moment the problem of short legs does not bother me any more. First of all, I think fashion for stupid long-legged blondes is slowly going away. Secondly, I’ve just come to my hometown (Moscow) and looked around: many Russian chicks (even though they call themselves the most beautiful in the world) have legs shorter than me, even heels don’t help, + they have many other problems: plain faces, fat, “brick” type of figure, bad hair and so on. Some have the same proportions as me but are 10 cm shorter in height, and can’t show off their legs at all. Now I feel very confident about myself. Here are a few tips:
    1) Never complain outloud about your leg problem, especially to your boyfriend. People might not even notice that if you don’t say it yourself. If someone says you have short legs, argue that they are normal.
    2) Dress appropriately, but don’t try to deliberately hide your proportions. Just out on things that make you gorgeous, sexy, confident in general. Once one guy told me “you have shortish legs and try to hide this”. I guess, if I was not trying to hide something and was just wearing something cute instead + was confident, he’d never dare say this. By the way, later he had to marry a chick who was meter fifty high and with really short legs, I’m Sindy Crawford in comparison to her.:))
    3) Always keep fit. Gyms, outdoor activities, etc.
    4) Never compare yourself to models or beautiful girls. It is selective attention. Look how many women have many more problems with yourself – and they still have career, husbands, kids. Also, models have a disproportion, their legs are longer than they should be. And never look at the pictures, they are photoshopped!!!
    Hope my post will be helpful to someone. 

  8. It's again me, the author of the previous comment. I made a typo, not "out on", but "out on", of course.:)) Also, I wanted to write something to other commenters:
    1) To commenter 1: the success of the model dependes on her appearance only partially. Many "regular girls" look heaps better than ugly Gemma Ward and plain Vodyanova. And... from your description it appears to me that you have normal, human proportions. And we need such models!! Clothes should be for normal women, not only for "hangers".
    2) To LSL. Not sure you need it, but may be your younger female relatives with the same problem. There are medical techniques to straighten the legs, they are not so dangerous as Elizarov's leg lenghening and also give you a few cm in lengh, as the legs become straight. In Russia there are quite many specialists who do it.
    3) To the commenter before me. Pear body type is one of the most feminine and beautiful. And the fact that not all the clothes suit you is absolutely normal. It used to bother me too, but I've put up with it. There are 12 body types and for each something is suitable and something looks like shit. Long-legged women also can't wear everything. I've once seen a long-legged woman in Forwever New, she was trying on a belted coat that I usually wear. Looked ridiculous.;))))

  9. put on. Damned keyboard...:)

  10. thanks to the girl before me "Anonymous" wow im russian too! lol thats awsome, well the problem is with my proportions i cant do runway and thats where the money is :( at this point i rather have a boxy short torso with long legs idc anymore, i just want a runway body type which i dont have so i guess ill just have to do print :( and plus i cant be a bikini model cuz my face is more for couture modeling than the classic pretty bikini model face lol

  11. Charlotte FarrarSunday, July 10, 2011

    Love your website! At the grand age of 28, I've only just come to the realisation that I have short legs in commparison to my body. I'm not sure why I started searching on the internet about it, I think I must have stumbled across something and it suddenly dawned on me! I always thought I had a nice long slender back but now I know that i'd much rather my legs be longer and that I'm out of proportion! I wear a lot of high waisted shorts/skirts/jeans which I must have unconsciously worn as they make my legs look a bit longer. I am 5 foot 7 and have always deluded myself into thinking I had longish legs, it helps that my legs are long from my knee to my ankle. I hate wearing a bikini now because when I look back at photos my top half looks the same length as my legs. I am much more aware of it now and try and buy higher bikini briefs etc. When I mentioned it to my boyfriend a few months ago he agreed I had short legs and a long torso and thinks its cute- I was gutted. He also says I walk like Wilma from the Flinstones, you can always count on them to tell the truth hey! :-)

  12. Hm, maybe I'll share my story. I'm barely fifteen and 168 cm tall, and for most of my life most people told me I have tall, slim legs, blablabla. You could say I'm slim (48-49 kilos) and even last year my classmates kept telling me I should be a model :/ (actually, I still think I could be a lingerie, but for now I'm too young to think about such crap)
    And then a few months ago I measured my legs. 80 cm. God. Damn. It.

  13. "And then a few months ago I measured my legs. 80 cm. God. Damn. It".
    But it's normal for your height. Not long, of course, but normal.

  14. Well my story is pretty similar to you girls: I'm 5 foot 7, pear-shaped, although very slim (48kg). My legs are toned and my torso is lean, which is all good.
    When I was growing up (13 or so), shop assistants would tell me I had lovely shapely legs, but all I wanted at the time was to have long skinny legs. Things got a little out of hand, cos I fell into anorexia at an early age (won't go into the sad details) but my legs never lost their tone and shape, despite being emaciated.
    People would comment on my long legs, but really they weren't. I realise this for sure when I was in a shop trying on a pair of very very low Miss Sixty jeans. I came out of the dressing room feeling self-conscious cos the jeans were so low rise, they fell off me and I had to keep hiking them up. Standing next to me was a shorter girl in the same jeans, and hers sat nicely on her figure. Her legs were just as long as mine, if not longer!
    After that, other events occurred, such as one of my boyfriends pointing out I had a long tummy (although this was positive in his eyes).

    I am so glad high waists are everywhere, as it looks far nicer on us long-torsos.
    Anyway, now I am happy with my legs as they look pretty good in heels, nice and shapely and lean, and I would rather be a pear than an apple. I like my slim torso, I always have a good set of abs whether I work out or not, and I have a small bubble butt.
    I think we just have to remember to focus on the positive and dress for our shape, it's amazing how dress sense affects how people perceive you :-)

  15. I was sitting next to this girl in class who was only a few inches taller than me but she pointed out that when i sit down i tower over her so i must have short legs. I knew it was sexy for women to have long legs so i thought that meant i was unattractive.

  16. My entire life I was told I had long legs and still am told that quite frequently. However this year I was signed with a modeling agency and began to realize that I have pretty short legs for my height. I am 5'11.5 with a 34" inseam. We are often asked to fill out our measurements for jobs and I always sneak a peak at the other girls... girls who are an inch shorter than me have legs an inch longer! It has made me so self conscious that I hardly ever wear shorts and don't even want to put on a swimsuit anymore. And on top of my short legs my upper body is extremely thin with a freakishly long neck while my legs are muscular and my butt saggy, emphasizing my short legs. I have gotten so obsessed that I google celebrities legs all the time and check out other women's legs on the street. I'm glad I found this blog... it makes me feel slightly better. The tips really help... I am going to start growing out my hair and working on getting a nice lifted bubble butt!

  17. Hi, so glad I found this site, I was starting to think I was the only person in the world with a freakishly long torso. I first realised i had a long body and shorter legs at a pretty young age because my dad has the same body type (thanks dad) and used to point it out to me (thanks again). I remember starting to get very self conscience about it when I got to about 14 or 15, especially when my dad saw me in a pair of shorts and said to my mum what short legs I had. Mum, aware of my insecurities, told him to shut up lol. Btw my dad isn't horrible, he's just a bit tactless and because he doesn't see his proportions as a problem he couldn't see why I would either. Men,eh?

    Anyway, when I was younger I was quite obsessed about my long body/short legs and would get very upset about it, although as I was an extremely skinny teenager it was easier to disguise it. Even so, I would always wear heels if possible and people would say 'ooh, you have lovely long legs' Ha, I thought, if only they knew.

    Over the years I've gone through phases of being totally obsessed with it to not even thinking about it. I'm fed up of wearing heels all the time and these days generally wear pretty pumps and skinny jeans - I know this isn't the most flattering of combinations but what the hell? I love my pumps and skinnies and if anyone thinks I look weird - f*ck'em. Saying that, I still get my bad days though where I feel very self conscience.

    One of the worst things for me is sitting as I tower over everyone (so I tend to slouch alot). I'm so glad to read I'm not the only one with this embarrassing sitting down problem.

    Anyway, these are a few things to bear in mind if you have our proportions:

    As someone mentioned earlier, never, ever point out your proportions to other people if you can help it. Chances are, they haven't even noticed.

    Carrying on from the last point, don't forget, we are obsessed with this while many people are not even looking for it. Even if they think there is something not quite right about you, they probably can't put their finger on what it is anyway. Ha.

    It's highly likely that even if you do have long body/short torso it's not nearly as bad or as noticable as you think it is.

    I did break my own rule and mentioned my proportions to my ex and my current boyfriend. Both said they hadn't even noticed (this was after quite some time of being together) until I pointed it out. Neither of them thought my proportions were weird and they said they didn't care anyway.

    If you do have a boyfriend who points it out and sees it as a fault, I say dump the douchebag immediately. Same goes for a so called friend who might make a big deal about it. You don't need to be around anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself.

    Thanks for reading my post all you gorgeous,lovely long torsoed ladies :)

  18. When did I realize how disproportionate I am? When, a couple of years ago, I innocently bought and read the book "Color Me Beautiful's Looking Your Best" (or something like that). It's a great book, lots of neat info on personal color schemes and everything, but then there is that part about being 'high-waisted' or 'short-waisted' or normal. Up until that point I had always thought I was PERFECT because my belly button is in the exact center of my body, evenly cutting me in half. I had never before thought that, my goodness, my legs might be SHORT because of this! But then there was the remembrance of a friend telling me once how short my legs are, when she was walking just behind me... and how I always looked a bit 'odd' compared to all the other girls I knew during my all-too-angsty teen years...

    I've been more than obsessed (and depressed) about my leg length since. My husband says I'm gorgeous, athletic and muscular and pretty, and everyone says I look years younger than I am. So they have little sympathy, especially as they all are so comparably long-legged (it makes me so jealous!!). I'm almost five-foot-five and wear jeans with a 30" inseam. I'd give almost anything to have long, lovely legs and fit pants with a 34" inseam instead. SIGH.

  19. Hi, mine was the previous post to yours. You have the same proportions as me. I'm 5'5 with an inseam measurement of 30". You sound like you have a lot going for you, pretty, althletic and young looking and I reckon that's what people see, not the length of your legs. It also sounds like you have a lovlely husband. Apart from your friend (who sounds a bit tactless to say the least) I bet nobody else even notices unless you point it out. So although I totally symapthize with your insecurities, try not to let it get you down. Hugz :)

  20. Im going into highschool this year. I really appreciate being able to see all these people that I can more or less relate tI. girls at my school are very diverse but most are blessed with long thin legs, so when I walk around, keeping pace with all my friends, im constantly reminded of the fact that I will always be short. Im 4`10 by the way, and my doctor says im done growing sooooo....I suppose I just need to learn to love it. But people do notice. I checked, and I have a 43.5% ratio of my legs to my body, which explains why its so obvious. I noticed it a couple years ago, and I've slowly become more self concious. I couldn't even wear heels if I wanted to either because I have such muscular calves. They're bigger than all of my guy friends, even the 6`3 football players. Its just so embarrassing aha but I think im coming to terms that this is my body. Im healthy, and I should be happy, right?