Great Legs

Barbara Walters repeated the old saw on The View this morning, “Legs are the last thing to go.” She swiveled toward the audience, proving that she does have an enviable pair of legs.

Indeed, all the ladies of The View who show their legs (Whoopi Goldberg always opts for pants) have shapely legs. Indeed, think about any and all of the women you have seen in the movies or on network television, and see if you can identify a single woman who doesn’t have great legs. This is true whether the female celebrity is tall or short, full-figured or slender, average or spectacular in all her dimensions: Great legs are a must for what is deemed a media-worthy image.

In real life, however, many women are not blessed with what in today’s standards are considered great legs. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has received all manner of criticism about her pantsuits over the years, criticism that as often as not has ignored the fact that she dresses in part to flatter her legs, which, by current standards, are proportionately short and considered less than ideally shaped.

Watch any of the makeover shows, and time and again you’ll see the experts take women out of slacks and put them in skirts. Look at your great legs, they exclaim — see how fantastic you look! It’s an easy fix for women who have great legs. It’s not a fix at all for women who are not enamored of their legs.

Short sturdy legs deserve celebration too. They may never appear on celebrities or in advertisements in the media, but they carry us where we want to go. Skirts may not present a comfortable or attractive option to the woman with such legs. For her, the perfectly cut pair of pants is the sine qua non of fashion, an elusive treasure.