An Ode To The Skinny Arm And The Reason That It Exists


Hello, You.

You’ve been a thorn in my side for quite some time now. Where did you even come from? You definitely did not exist ten years ago, maybe not even five.

But it was like suddenly, you were there, and I could no longer remember a time where you did not exist.

What was it like when girls just stood next to each other and smiled – maybe leaned into one another, or put their arms around each other? Were they just not as concerned with how they were going to appear, because by the time they got their Kodak disposable camera developed at Walgreens, everyone was going to forget about Jessica’s party anyways? Were they too distracted by the giant metal braces in their mouths to worry about what their arms looked like?

Where were you then, Skinny Arm, you sly bastard? You’re all over the place now. You’re loud and we can’t ignore you, like Donald Trump or people who eat kale. You’re just always around. It’s like a competition to see who can end up looking the most like Gumby by contorting our bodies into bizarre and unnatural shapes, all the while making damn sure that our hands stay on our hips.

You just don’t make any sense to me. Why do you exist? Who decided that you were the best way to make people look good? How did you sneak your way into the system?

Was it because of the-girls-on-the-end? The ones who were always forced awkwardly onto the sides in group photos? They had no way to look like they were having fun, or that they had a purpose. They were just the bookends who weren’t aggressive enough to make sure they ended up in the middle of the photo in order to look thinner and more well-liked. So they stood on the end, where their hands hung limply at their sides.

And then you came about, and you gave them a reason to exist – you gave them a reason to look like they wanted to be on the ends. They could show off their arms by placing them on their hips and looking like it was all part of the plan. And from there, you never went away. You always manage to make an appearance, no matter how much I don’t want you to be there.

If I pose with my friend and she whips you out nonchalantly, I’m the one who looks like an idiot. If I stand there and refuse to Skinny Arm it while she does, I just look constipated and confused, while she stands there like Yes, this is what I was born to do!

This is all your fault, Skinny Arm. But it’s time to just accept it, it’s time to just accept that you’re here. You’re strange and unnecessary and kind of weird-looking if you think about it long enough. But it’s time to acknowledge that you’re probably going to be here for good. Because as long as Instagram and sorority formals exist, so will you.