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dd is upset that she 'has purple and red blotchy legs and cankles'. Can anyone help?

(55 Posts)
Gatekeeper Tue 29-Nov-16 19:22:08

she is 14 and the most beautiful girl on the planet but she hates her legs. She has stopped growing now 5' 2 ish i am 5'8 but she has inherited my mother's legs . Mine are the same shape wise but are a bit longer due to my height so more in proportion

Her issue is that they are blotchy all the time; in cold weather they turn a myriad of colours like mine do but because her skin is very, very pale it shows up more. She is also upset that her legs are shapeless and she has cankles sad. She is slender elsewhere

She is otherwise very healthy and rarely ill- just hates her legs. She is crying about them upstairs and after a cuddle and a chat I said I would ask Mumsnet

oh wise ones...what can you advice? I have given her a bodybrush I found in my drawer and showed her how to use it on her legs to start things off to help improve circulation

Thank you

TheOneWhoKnocks Tue 29-Nov-16 20:00:51

Body brushing and sport will help with circulation.

For camouflage, all I can recommend is gradual self-tanning lotion and nude/fishnet/opaque tights. Also, getting older. I have this problem and used to do whatever I could to hide it - now I'm 26, I don't notice/care so much, either because the problem has improved or because my perception of it has...

Ilovetorrentialrain Tue 29-Nov-16 20:13:27

Hi OP the body brush will be a good start (lightly before or during a shower) and if your DD could massage in a rich moisturiser after that would make a difference - adding to the circulation benefits as well as looking good on the skin too - a slight shine always helps I find! Could you maybe go out and choose a nice moisuriser together? Or even as a PP has suggested, one with a subtle hint of colour for once a week?

Being a young teen is so hard when you become aware of something you don't like, like this. I remember it well (My mum wouldn't let me shave my legs and I remember crying in my room like it was the end of the world). These things shouldn't matter but they just do sometimes!

All the very best to your DD.

Gatekeeper Wed 30-Nov-16 08:45:00

anyone know which exercises are best for toning and shaping legs? She is completely unsporty and we live in a small village with no facilities. She doesn't want to go running

Dulcimena Wed 30-Nov-16 09:08:52

Does she not do any sport at all? Netball, hockey, football...? There must be something she can do locally. Developing an interest that involves her body being functional rather than aesthetic might help with her perspective too. If it's worth in cold weather, opaque tights.

Dulcimena Wed 30-Nov-16 09:09:00


Crispbutty Wed 30-Nov-16 09:11:11

If you live somewhere hilly and have a dog, walking is a great way to tone legs. Even without a dog as an accessory.

Gatekeeper Wed 30-Nov-16 09:12:02

one session of pe a week at school and that's it ; I remember when i was at school being chucked out three times a week come hail or snow to play hockey or netball

DoItTooJulia Wed 30-Nov-16 09:20:40

I have the most beautiful friend. She is slim, gorgeous, shiny hair, applies perfect makeup but she has legs just like you describe. She too hates them. She was a sprinter in her youth too!

She wears trousers. Wide leg trousers, cigarette pants, skinny jeans, tuxedo trousers. And jump suits. She totally rocks the look. She is easily my best dressed friend! (And she wear the most beautiful shoes too).

Perhaps you could help your dd find beautifully cut trousers? I don't know if this is helpful, sorry!

oddsockfairy Wed 30-Nov-16 09:28:31

Yoga or Pilates are wonderful for toning and circulation - plus it's something you can do easily at home!

MrsDustyBusty Wed 30-Nov-16 09:29:19

If she'd like to try some exercise which might help for shape, ballet beautiful is great. The presenter is a lovely, gentle woman who is encouraging and kind. But the regime is quite tough and effective for shaping.

atticusclaw2 Wed 30-Nov-16 09:31:08

self tan and yoga

Lucked Wed 30-Nov-16 09:33:52

I think if they are not overweight the cankle effect is really about the actual shape of the legs. Brittany spears has thick ankles and very toned legs.

It's winter now so tights are the best camouflage. Also ankle boots are better than shoes. It really will be about styles that flatter and confidence to just not care which is easier said than done. It is so true that when you are older you look back at your teen self and despair over your hang ups.

Bluntness100 Wed 30-Nov-16 09:36:05

Could you get one of those little step machines from Amazon? They only cost about 30 quid. I'd also agree some fake tan helps, and also wearing tights.

Can uou also maybe focus on her good bits, which I think you're doing, In your post you do a lot of comparisons to yourself, which is maybe not so necessary if you do it with her as well. I'd also say are you sure she's stopped growing? She's only 14. My daughter shot up after this age, so stopping growing at 14 would be not the norm really. Usually you can say that for sure when they hit seventeen or so.

Rumtopf Wed 30-Nov-16 09:38:05

Body brushing and a really good moisturiser. I use diprobase (I get excema when my skin in really dry, it doesn't smell wonderful just plain but it is like a drink for my skin) and then ponds cocoa butter with self-tanner every 3-4 days or so.
Drink lots of water and moderate exercise - swimming, yoga or Pilates.

Poor thing, it can feel like the end of the world.

ChickenVindaloo2 Wed 30-Nov-16 10:24:45

Show her pics of Celtic-skinned celebs like Nicole Kidman etc. They have that blue tinge in their skin.

So do I! But it's improved if I wear tights under trousers when it's cold.

Re cankles. Also a problem of mine. Cheryl Cole has them too.
Best exercise: when standing, raise your heels off the ground and squeeze your calf muscles. Lower. Repeat. This will strengthen the calf and provide definition between it and the ankle.

Get her to focus on the bits of her that ARE good - for me, it's my eyes, hair, eyebrows, teeth.

ChickenVindaloo2 Wed 30-Nov-16 10:27:04

And sorry if this is a bit cheesy but point out that not everyone is lucky enough to have legs that work and would kill to have her legs! xx

liquidrevolution Wed 30-Nov-16 10:54:02

Cheryl cole has cankles. And so do I. And it would appear my 2 year old DD has also inherited this feature (plus we are both pasty pale and blotchy as we dont do fake tan a la Cheryl)

We all have lovely eyes though. Your DD must focus on her good points of which I am sure there are absolutely loads.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 30-Nov-16 10:58:42

I agree with chicken tbh I wouldn't give this 'problem' too much attention other than body brushing and nice moisturiser. Keep reinforcing she has good legs that work and skin is not air brushed and one colour.

TheHighPriestessOfTinsel Wed 30-Nov-16 11:05:47

I have cankles. Even when pretty fit and skinny (am currently neither) I still had tree trunk legs. I've never found any way to change their shape, and mostly don't care.

However they are best disguised with a slightly chunkier shoe, whether trainers, heeled mary janes, or an ankle boot. delicate little strappy sandals or kitten heels just give me a pig's trotter effect.

Amandahugandkisses Wed 30-Nov-16 11:07:43

I know she's obviously too young but you can have surgery for cankles.

libertydoddle Wed 30-Nov-16 11:15:26

I'm 43 and still don't like my legs. I hated them so much as a teen I used to hit my legs sad. It's a family affliction - my Mum and all my aunts are the same.

But in terms of learning to live with them...

1) Have a look at how Trinny Woodall dresses - she is very slender but has bigger legs and dresses them very well.
2) Exercise definitely helps and walking is the best especially hills and stairs. Also exercise makes you feel better about your body generally. Could you arrange to do a 30 minute walk together every day to get her into the habit?
3) Opaques are your best friend in this weather if you have to wear skirts and dresses.
4) Definitely focus on her good points, everyone has them. Usually the people with the best legs are apple shapes and most of them would love smaller boobs, more defined waist one is perfect - hard to take that in at 14 though.
5) this might sound counter intuitive but shorter skirts can look better as it lengthens the leg, so a dark a-line skirt that hits a couple of inches above the knee with black opaques and black ankle boots with a small block or wedge heel works wonders.

misscph1973 Wed 30-Nov-16 11:26:19

Oh, poor girl!

Try a home made coffee scrub: Used (preferably organic) coffee grains mixed with organic extra olive oil. Scrub skin (body and face) before shower, and rinse off (do not wash off with soap). Don't scrub too hard, the coffee grains are large ! And the shower will need a clean after, it gets oily (but the drains will be fine). No need to moisturise after, the oil does that. I swear by this once a week, it clears up everything, including acne and my skin is so soft. Plus my wrinkles are less prominent!

If her skin gets read/blue in winter, is it because she is cold? Is she bare-legged in winter?

Does she like swimming? Great all-body exercise.

Does she eat enough good fats? As in love oil, butter, avocado, wild oily fish. Does she perhaps eat a little to many carbs?

specialsubject Wed 30-Nov-16 11:30:02

nothing to be done about leg shape beyond exercising them. The idea of surgery on a weight bearing part of a healthy body is ludicrous. At 5 foot 2 she isn't going to have long legs, she would look ridiculous if she did. Farting around with silly creams and scrubs is a waste of time. Far better spent going for a walk. Just as good as running if done briskly.

dress to suit - it is freezing out there, can't imagine she is going out bare legged at the moment.

teach her to see the reality of model pictures; ugly emaciation, stupid walks, sulky miserable faces. Also that Cheryl Tweedy is no role model for ANYONE.

LadyOfTheCanyon Wed 30-Nov-16 15:20:29

My whole family ( mostly women) suffer from the curse of the corned beef leg (as we have called it). There is literally nothing that can be done. Genetics, innit.

Self tan will get you half of the way there with the mottled look but exercise does very little (at least in our experience which goes back four generationsđŸ˜”) because you can't inherently change the shape of a cankle.

Unfortunately your daughter is at an age where she is feeling all of this very very keenly.. I'm sorry I don't have any practical help other than what other pp have said.

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