Staggering Wisdom On An Area of Immense Expertise

 As you may know, I am absolutely, stunningly, perfectly beautiful in every way, except for one fatal flaw:

No, not my nose, thanks for playing.

My acne? OK, two fatal flaws.

My weak jaw? Hmm, maybe I'm not that beautiful after all...

My rather spotted, melanoma-looking British skin? Now you're just being mean...

My lopsided boobs? SIGH. I AM A FREAKING CIRCUS ACT. 

NO, everyone, although I do appreciate the tour of my hideousness, my foundational physical flaw is--


Yes, it's winter, that's probably why you missed them. 

You can read more about them here, but a quick explanation--a cankle is really the absence of an ankle resulting from a calf running headlong, full-speed into a foot without slowing down. That's a human calf, as in the lower leg, not a baby cow, although I suppose a cankle does also resemble a baby cow running into a human foot. 

There are two ways to acquire a cankle, one, by amassing fat deposits there, and the other, by being fathered by my dad.  My dad is a lovely man who is very attractive, but he has an incredibly domineering gene for a combination of large bones and excessive ankle muscle (and probably a wee bit of fat, too, hard to say) that creates a cankle even on a very thin person.  The proof of this latter point is that my sister has cankles, despite the rest of her looking like a chain-smoking 90's super model.  I myself, while not that thin, am not overweight, and I, too, have cankles.  Incidentally, I am sure that if my parents had had two sons, both of them would have gotten my mother's sinewy, tiny ankles, so dainty they look as if a Yorkshire Terrier could bite her feet right off. And don't think our family's Yorkie didn't think about it.  That dog was vindictive. 

Having lived 46 years attached to these monstrosities, I have, in fact become an expert at dressing/disguising them. So today, I will impart that enormous wisdom to you, in case there is any one else so afflicted who is still attempting to wear kitten heels.  (Please note, my advice is geared toward genetically-derived cankles, not obesity-caused ones, although my advice might work for that sort, too, proceed at your own risk.)

First, NEVER WEAR KITTEN HEELS. When you have cankles, shoe choice is a matter of life and death, and kitten heels are certain, humiliating death.  To explain why, a general rule: The larger the shoe, the closer to God, and the smaller your cankle will appear.  If you balance your cankle on some minuscule thing resembling a golf tee, it will appear like you have chopped down a redwood tree and balanced it atop a toothpick.  NO kitten heels.

This shoe looks like a harmless kitten but in fact will maul you to death and devour your entrails.

Elevating your cankle, however, is a good idea.  Personally, I can't wear any heel higher than 2 inches, but I suppose the higher the better, although stilettos would probably look almost as bad as a kitten heel, in addition to posing real dangers, like balancing a two-by-for atop an 80-story chopstick. I wouldn't risk it.

Your best cankle friend is really a wedge. Now, I understand they come and go in terms of trends, but believe me, you get you some wedges and never let them go, no matter what In Style magazine tells you. A wedge gets your cankle up at an angle, obviously good, and then arranges it next to a large chunk of shoe, the proximity to which will make your cankle look smaller. It's the same reason why I wanted to marry an offensive lineman or an actual refrigerator, which I did not do. Instead, I have generally plied my husband with high-calorie treats in hopes he will gain some weight and cause me to look thinner and hotter by comparison.  None of that has worked.  He is entirely too good-looking and trim for my comfort, but he doesn't seem to mind appearing in public with me. Also he claims he didn't notice my cankles until I pointed them out.  Probably because I wore wedges at all times, including in bed, until we had been married several years.  

This shoe is your BFF. It will wear an ugly bridesmaid dress in both your weddings. 

Now, you can wear flats, I'd just be careful.  Even a little bit of a raised heel will help matters. Shape is important. I find an oval-shapped toe is ideal, something in between a round and pointed toe. Neither of those are embarrassingly bad, however. JUST DO NOT WEAR A SQUARE-TOED FLAT. Trust me, this is something you will regret for the rest of your life. I wore a squared-toed flat to a friends wedding once and had to break into her house and destroy all her pictures. 

Honestly, no one should wear these. Just banish them from the earth.

OK, on to Mary Janes/ankle straps. I know, some of you just fainted at the mere suggested of cankles and ankle straps. Generally, you are absolutely right to be terrified, in principle, this is on par with putting a sociopathic, demented reality star in charge of the nuclear codes.  I hate to say it, because I love Mary Janes, but most Mary Janes are not going to be your friend, unless they are an actual girl named Mary Jane. If you have cankles, you can still be friends with someone named Mary Jane.  But here's the surprising exception to ankle straps--a thin strap that goes right over the area that masquerades as an ankle bone.  Even a thicker strap, if it goes just-so over those bones, will give a bit of an illusion that the bones protrude more. Try it out and see if I'm right, spoiler alert, I AM. 

These are the most flattering shoes I own. I have these in like 7 colors. I ran a marathon in these. Just kidding, but I did give birth in them. OK, no, I didn't. But I thought about it.  

And now we've come to the very painful subject of BOOTIES. So stylish, so cute, so convenient for winter, so versatile, so very, very perilous for cankles. Pick a bootie as carefully as you picked your own spouse (in my case, much more carefully, since I am of the habit of just grabbing a spouse, any spouse, off a shelf in that random aisle in Walgreens that has As Seen On TV products, massive tubs of popcorn, cheap versions of a Barbie, and pinatas. The first time, I got a Chia Pet Donald Trump. The second time I grabbed some Sauna Pants and found a winning lottery ticket in the pocket). 

Back to booties (and if you want a lift for your anatomical one, while I was husband shopping, I saw a product called Booty Pop, As Seen On TV), the main problem is that all of them come up just a snug too high, covering the only hint of a maybe, possible, if-you-squint ankle bone you possess.  What you are looking for is a bootie that hits just below whatever slight protrusion you may have. Ideally, you just don't wear booties. Ideally, you don't pop your zits or chain-eat boxes of Girl Scout cookies. But we live in the real world, and I understand the temptation. Sometimes you just want to wear booties, and that's OK.  If you must, get as low a shaft as you can find. Or just become a cobbler and make your booties, that's probably easiest.  And frankly, don't wear booties with skirts and dresses. I know, I know, I continue to attempt this unfortunate look because other people look so cute. But here's the harsh reality: YOU DON'T LOOK CUTE.  Let this dream die. Wear a full-length boot that just covers everything.  

Typical of the genre, these booties come up too high for my comfort. Danger Will Robinson!!!!

I think that covers shoes, which are the most important issue. Not of our time, just for cankles.  Moving on to dresses and skirts.  

First category--straight skirts.  The length here should either be well above your knee cap, if you have the rest of the body and age to pull that off, which I don't.  Or, they should hit right above where whatever calf you do have flares out, however slightly, which creates the optical illusion of some kind of shape that does not resemble a rectangle. Any lower, and your entire body has become a loaf of bread.

Fuller skirts--I recommend not too full. A-line skirts are everyone's friend, like Dolly Parton. And nothing shorter than high calf.  If you wear a full skirt that hits at the knee or, God forbid, above, you may as well walk around with strobe-lit magnifying glasses over your cankles.  Same goes for any sort of mermaid or embellished hem. THIS IS DEATH.  DON'T DO IT.  Unless it's an actual mermaid tail. That would be ideal because it makes legs irrelevant. Of course, you'd  need a wheelchair to get around. Worth it. Or just turn yourself into a mermaid and live in the ocean. Cankle problem solved. 

Very sensitive subject--Capri pants. These seem like the absolute worst idea ever for cankles. What is the point of wearing pants if they don't cover your ankles, right? But capris actually aren't the worst, that would be shorts.  I'm not even going to discuss them, they are dead to me. But in warm weather, what are cankles to do.  Capris actually can work.  I find a straight up-and-down cut, not too narrow, the best option. Choose your shoes extremely wisely. Maybe just tie some bricks on your feet.  Or wear these:  

Her ankles look TINY, y'all. 

And that concludes my lecture on Cankle Fashion.  I guarantee you, you will not find any better advice anywhere on the entire internet on this topic, probably because, based on my research (i.e. closely examining every pair of exposed ankles I see), only about 1% of the female population has true cankles. So I am basically writing this for my sister, myself, and like one other person.  But that's OK, because that is the beauty of the internet. If there are any people suffering from an affliction anywhere in the world, they can find the other six people and form a community and maybe figure out how to become mermaids or move the Arctic circle.  

Let me know if you have any questions. 


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