Reasons to Love Your “Igorot” Legs

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               The fact that most Igorot women have “bigger than average” calves/legs is a given. In case you’re wondering what the Igorots are, they are the indigenous people of the Cordillera region in the Philippines. One trademark of most Igorot women is their “bigger than average” calves/legs. I have relatively large calves which I should say are sometimes the breeding ground of snarky comments of whatever picture I post on social media. Receiving unsolicited comments about your body can elicit insecurities and low self-esteem. Having to receive one or few myself every now and then such as having “meaty legs,” “your legs are bothering me,” “your calves are massive” and many other offensive comments made me hate wearing shorts and dresses at one point. Exposing my calves was my nemesis in high school until I eventually learned to find my confidence and stopped caring about the size of my calves for good. Throughout the years, I have learned to shrug off whatever people have to say about my calves/legs and counteract these criticisms with positive retorts and jokes. Loving my “bigger than average” calves is my own way of not allowing body shaming to affect and define who I am. Below are my own reasons why I have learned to love my legs. And girlfriends, you should too.

1. You don’t need a leg day. I have encountered guys who blurted their jealousy of my “bigger than average” calves. These guys spend hours in the gym trying to get their legs bulkier and toner. Unfortunately, the gods of the gym are deaf that no matter how many hours they spend doing squats to get their legs bulkier, you can barely see any progress. It is definitely not a pretty sight to look at guys who have skinny legs while their upper bodies are as huge as Hulk Hogan’s. So girlfriends, be thankful that you have bulkier legs which guys are dying to have.

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2. You can hike mountains without injuring your self. Yes girlfriend, having those awesome calves can make you last those long hours of hiking. Those calves are responsible for keeping you upright as you hike those trails and mountains. Your lower body has more support and strength to hold your upper body. You can either run up or down the hill without worrying if you’re going to fall over or not.

3. Those calves are awesome for balancing. Either you’re going to stand with one leg or both legs while you do stretching is not such a herculean task. I have been doing hot yoga for a month now as part of my mission of working on my flexibility, and doing poses which involved balancing with one leg has been an easy peasy achievement. I often see people in my class attempting not to fall back as they struggle to keep their balance using one leg. I on the other hand can withstand doing any pose which requires standing with one leg. 🙂

4. Those calves are the evidence that you grow up in the mountains of the Cordillera. We have used our chunky legs to climb the guava, papaya and mango trees outside our grandmothers’ houses when we were younger. We have used our legs to tolerate the long hours of planting rice in the fields from sunrise to sunset. We have used our calves balancing ourselves as we sauntered in those rice paddies while carrying a sack of camote or rice grains on top of our heads. We have used our legs to step on sunflower leaves in the muddy rice fields, as these are organic fertilizers for our rice plants. We have used our legs to hike mountains to go to school and to the town center on Sundays. So yes girlfriend, appreciate how those legs have made your childhood more meaningful and full of excitement.

5. Your bigger than average calves are your trademarks of being a true-blooded Igorot. I had a classmate in college who joked about the best way of knowing if a girl is an Igorot is by looking at her calves. You might think that this is stereotyping or generalizing (I do anyway), but there might be a miniature possibility that this is true. The Igorots have lived and survived in the mountains of the Cordillera for ages. Darwin’s theory of evolution states that an organism changes overtime as a means of adapting to its environment for survival. Of course, it makes sense that having stronger and possibly bigger legs was essential for our ancestors to last those long hikes in the mountains. Overtime, this genetic modification has been transferred to their offspring and to their next descendants. Hence, here we are little offspring with our beautiful and “bigger than average” calves/legs.

           In a nutshell, loving those calves/legs and being proud of them should be encouraged for every girl out there to see the positive sides of having “Igorot legs.” Don’t get disappointed if your crush or boyfriend says something negative about your calves. And don’t get offended either if your friend posts a snide comment about your legs on your picture on Instagram or Facebook. To add more, having “bigger than average” calves should not deter you from wearing those traditional “engay” or “gateng,” (traditional woven skirts used by of the Igorot women) pretty dresses and shorts at all. In fact, displaying those calves with dignity and walking with boldness when you go to the beach, at a party, at your friend’s bridal shower, at your ex’s wedding or any special occasion for that matter are among the million ways of showing your confidence as a true-blooded Igorot lady. So girlfriends, show them legs off, wear them awesome heels and let’s run and rock the world!!👠 🙂

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Disclaimer: The information above is the writer’s personal experience and opinions only.  

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