Shapely Ankles and Cankles

Why are women getting plastic surgery to slim down their ankles? Cristen and Caroline explore how slender ankles became a feminine beauty standard and the etymology and science behind the dreaded cankles.

The Invention of Cankles

For evidence that female bodies are judged from head to toe for their adherence to arbitrary beauty standards, look no farther than the ankles. Slender ankles have been a subtle hallmark of the idealized feminine silhouette practically ever since hemline-shortening fashions first put them on public display. But now that some women are going under the knife to slim down their ankle circumference, it's high time to investigate the cultural invention of "cankles."

Psycho Ladies Bicycle: The First Bike For Women

In part to due to this social panic, the Starley company stepped in again in 1889 with the second bicycle specially designed for ladies. David V. Herlihy notes in "Bicycle: The History" that in 1888, the Smith National Cycle Company came out with the Ladies' Dart Bicycle, but it couldn't keep up with demand, and Stanley quickly overtook the ladybike market. The Starley model came with an adorable wicker basket chock-full of chocolates and tampons (just in case!) as well as an emergency modesty poncho. Just kidding! But the name of said ladybike is no joke: Psycho Ladies Bicycle...