Body Conscious: Get Sexy Knees for Summer
When the term "cankles" took the media -- and gyms -- by storm a few years ago, it left many women wondering: Do I have chubby ankles? It wasn't enough that we had to worry about muffin tops, flabby arms and larger-than-we'd-like derrieres. In an ever-increasingly body-conscious society, it's not surprising -- and even somewhat expected -- that we continue to pick apart those areas of our bodies we deem sub-stellar.
And that includes knees.
Knees, like ankles, may not be at the top of everyone's "Sexy Body Parts" list, but if a woman considers them unattractive, it's enough to alter the way she dresses -- and even the way she feels about herself. And while there is not an official term (like cankles) for less-than-svelte knees, do we really have to resort to a life void of flirty miniskirts and sexy shorts? Of course not!
First of all, it's important to realize that our bodies are perfect and beautiful just the way they are. Our knees, in particular, allow us to run, jump, climb, squat and move throughout our days. Without them, we would be in serious trouble. So, before condemning your knees for the way they look, send them some gratitude. Some good loving.
For those looking for a little help with their appearance, Houston dermatologist Dr. Paul Friedman said with shorter hemlines and bare legs being fashionable, more and more women are approaching a cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon. In fact, knees account for approximately 10 percent of his body-contouring patients today.
While the reasons vary, Friedman said many women are concerned about excess fatty tissue in their knees. Other patients want to rid themselves of sagging skin around knees and thighs. And still others come in with distinct scars or an increased amount of pigmentation across their knees (both of which typically follow some sort of trauma). "Causes are multifactorial," Friedman explained. "Genetics, diet and lifestyle all can play a role. However, we do see many thin, athletic patients that still have small deposits of fat on their knees."
Celebrity trainer and USANA spokeswoman Kathy Kaehler said she's had clients who want to tighten up their knees because they just don't like how they look. "They hate how it determines what they wear, or how they think people's eyes go to their knees," she said. Kaehler said knee-haters specifically gripe about the skin, the bumps and the lines that loose skin can make.
And while Kaehler agrees that saggy knees can be attributed to genetics, much of the time she believes it's due to underconditioned quadriceps and weight gain -- which is good news, because it means there is something we can do about it.
Believe it or not, celebrity makeup artist Scott Barnes said this is a common beef among his clients, too. "Women always complain to me that there is some body part they don't like. They always ask me how to fix it." When a woman is unhappy or self-conscious about the way her knees look, not surprisingly, she covers them up. Longer skirts, pants and tights are often used to camouflage these seemingly imperfections.
"I think all women are concerned with their legs in general, and of course, no one wants ugly knees," said Barnes. "I see women all the time looking for additional ways to slim or slenderize their legs. And that includes knees that are soft and delicate."
So if you find yourself knee-deep in reasons why you don't like the way your knees look, click through the gallery to take a look at the top tips from these experts on how to beautify and show them off.