Legs. I was not 'blessed' with long thin ones. At 37, I am, for the most part, over it, or at least, know I should be. These legs have carried me, my instruments, my CD's and suitcases for a long time now, they can dance and keep rhythm, they can kick a ball really far (though they haven't in a long time), they have had cats, dogs, babies, guitars and accordions comfortably seated on them, and they have been so sore and achey at times I am basically just grateful that they work. Some drunk guy in the bar the other night said, "why do you have such strong legs" and I immediately felt like I was being teased. I don't know if I was or not, but I felt a surge of body shame that I guess never went away from being teased when I was younger, and I didn't have a way or time to react as I was getting ready to get on stage. I said, "cause I've lived out of a suitcase for eight years," (which is bullshit, they were big before that.. they've always had this shape).. and then I got on stage. On mic, I introduced myself, and said, "sorry I'm not speaking Dutch tonight, my Dutch isn't good enough"... a few more words, and then I smirked at the guy and said.. "and if you have anything to say about my legs, you can keep it in Dutch." "They're beautiful" he called out. Well, that's not really the point, buddy, and that is most certainly not what you said to me, and "you'e got beautiful legs" would have made me uncomfortable too. Maybe as you see me prepping for a show, commenting on parts of my body isn't the best thing to say, especially if you want me to sing Irish Rover for you. Oh wait, it's my fault for wearing a skirt, isn't it..... The night was great, they all turned around and enjoyed the show in the end, or maybe just staring at my big strong legs all night, who knows. I'm sharing this because it's totally secondary that our bodies are the vehicle with which we have to share our music. I don't mean to share my physical self on stage, it just happens to be the package my music comes in. And if you don't agree, watch out, cause I can kick like motherf**er!
Orit Shimoni, AKA Little Birdie, is a traveling writer, teacher and musician.