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Michael Phelps at the 2008 Beijing Olympics - Wikimedia Commons

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This hub is about legs. Everybody has them (or at least most of us do). Legs are a curious part of the human anatomy. They are beloved for their marvelous utility and primally driven attraction. Legs are iconic items that have been idealized, pampered, cloistered and treated as great symbols of beauty, strength and sexuality. If you've got great legs, you've got a head start in the world. Legs can get you where you want to go in many ways. But what constitutes "great legs"? Here's a sociological look at legs; analyzing some of the many shapes, sizes, stigmas and subjectivities of our lower extremities.

Photo:Fred Duval/FilmMagic

A lot of people have become famous for their legs. Actress Betty Grable (above) always said- "There are two reasons why I am successful in show business and I am standing on both of them." Her shapely "million dollar legs" were actually insured by Lloyds of London.

Today, Svetlana Pankratova is cashing in on her gargantuan gams. The 36-year-old blonde's 51.9-inch legs, almost 4 feet four inches, have been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest legs of any woman in the world. In this photo, she's shown with Pingping, the world's shortest man. I guess length is important because Pingping isn't getting as much press.

Michael Phelps at the 2008 Beijing Olympics-Wikimedia commons

Some men do; however, have great legs and they've captured the attention of the world. Michael Phelps, the Olympic gold medal winner has strong, shapely but relatively short legs. This drawback actually gives the swimmer an advantage as it lowers his drag and speeds his performance. They say Michael's ankles can extend beyond the pointe of a ballet dancer, enabling him to flutter his feet as if they were "fins", for maximum thrust through the water.

I used to train with AAU swimmers and all the men shaved their legs to cut down on the drag. Although my surfing efforts haven't turned up anything on the internet, I would bet Phelps does the same.



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