I’m thinking of the curve of the hip in silhouette.
I’ve always envied a slim one. In men, I think it looks snaky and quite wonderful to be slim-hipped. Add a broad chest to that and call it a masterpiece. Yum.
This is actor Timothy Olyphant – America’s preeminent snaky-hipped slab of deliciousness. Presented solely in illustration of a superior pelvic structure, of course.
(But, I rush to point out – I ain’t going anywhere near that slim-hipped fellow. I could crush Seth Bullock/Raylan Givens like a Saltine, and would rather not go through the humiliation of calling the rescue squad in because I broke some pretty male.)
In women, the slim-hipped look is liable to fill me with black envy. I’m talking real this-speaks-badly-of-you-Pru jealousy. From the time in third grade when pretty Liz Gilmore brought in one of her father’s old button-downs to protect her school clothes on arts-and-crafts day and the shirt fell straight from her shoulders, I have looked at slim-hipped women and felt instinctively ashamed of myself.
I have to have specially-tailored shirts to get that look – shirts that balloon out at the waist. It takes a lot of careful engineering to get that lovely-column-of-graceful-beauty look.
But I’ve learned something RAWthah exciting, my petal:
I have retroverted hips.
This means that my femur heads stick into the pelvis in an unusual way.
I don’t mean to insult you by explaining something you already know, but this is something I did NOT know:
Your leg bone doesn’t come straight down out of the pelvis. (Even if that’s the way Walt Disney always drew it in cartoons.) The femur (that’s your thigh bone) (sorry if that was patronizing) has a part that juts out to the side, with a big ball at the end of it. And the ball is what sits in the hip socket, so there’s actually a sort of cross-brace at your hip that goes to the vertical of the thigh bone.
Weird, I know. Seems like a design flaw to me – but I guess there’s no better way to let the leg be able to move in THAT many directions.
For most people, that ball-and-socket effect means that the femur juts out of the hips at about eleven and one o’clock (assuming your pubic bone is 12:00). Some people might actually have their hips at ten and two o’clock; a few people have them pointing towards 12:00.
Mine go straight out to the side, at 9:00 and 3:00. That’s why I sit or lie with the sides of my feet flat on the ground.
It’s called being retroverted.
(There were, of course, other wonderful words for hips that ran more typically, and hips that were the opposite to mine, sending femurs out to the front of the body, but I lost them in the shuffle. I love a good word; I’ll have to ask Jenna the brilliant physical therapist at Body Dynamics in Falls Church, VA. She’s the one who diagnosed my retroversion.)
(I made up “retroversion,” but it sounds good, doesn’t it??!)
Now let me explain why this delights me.
If I contracted a dire wasting disease and lost every ounce of excess flesh on my body, my hips would be lean and bony – but those retroverted femur heads would STILL stick out to the side. That’s just the way I’m built. It’s not will power, it’s not a weakness of character, it’s anatomy. I can’t change it, no matter what.
So isn’t that cool??
It’s not MY fault my shirts won’t fall straight down like Liz Gilmour’s in third grade!
“Retroverted” sounds interesting, I think. A combo of “retro” (“oh, Pru – she’s so retro” would be a compliment, implying 1960s shag carpeting and large “The Prisoner” orbs for lamps) and “perverted” (“Oh, Pru, she’s so perverted – you know, she broke Timothy Olyphant the other day – a perfectly good slim-hipped guy” would ALSO be a sort of badge of honor).