Monday, June 13, 2005


Upper arm dough. Bingo wings. What purpose do these bits of dimpled, unsightly flab serve? If there is a God, is it His way of punishing women for surviving beyond the age of 35?

I am becoming obsessed with my ever devolving upper arms. The rest of me is still more or less the same shape, if a bit frayed at the edges. I'm sure Big Arms are a defult setting on my mother's side of the family, and I remember a photograph of my grandmother in middle age in which her arms took up about 70% of the picture, so everything is conspiring against me. Despite doing that behind the head exercise with a bottle of water, and a variety of arm work with a couple of bottles of tomato ketchup, my upper arm circumference is still about 4 feet. The bits on top are even becoming slightly defined, but the undersides hang there stupidly like the last two fat dopey children to leave a party.

At this time of year, with so much ghastly flesh on show, I am also constantly noticing other women's upper arms. If they are older and seem to have skinny, elegant arms - why?

There aren't many women beyond their late 30's, in truth, who I can think of who don't have bingo wings. In the celeb world, there is Madonna, who, in one recent unflattering snap, wearing a singlet, seems to have opted for the Iggy Pop circa "Raw Power" look. Then there is Jerry Hall, whose genetic make up is mainly Texan thoroughbred hoss, so she doesn't count.

Around here, I occasionally see skinny armed women - hard faced Teddy Sheringham lookalikes (but with long straight blonde hair, of course). They seem to be "of a certain age", but I have to remind myself that this is South London, and they are probably chain smoking 28 year old grandmothers who have had a rough life and can probably hold their own in a fight outside a snooker hall, so it is best not to make eye contact with them.

Under the circumstances, the only option may be to take up rowing, possibly building up to a trans-Atlantic crossing.

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