By Radhika Bhirani
If Angelina Jolie can, so can you! The Hollywood star's daring, thigh-high slit stunt is not unachievable for average Indian girls, who are neither
too tall, nor too slim. All it takes is a decent height and a pair of toned legs, say designers and fitness experts.
The average height of Indian women is five feet to 5' 5". But that is no deterrent to experimenting with stylish cuts, says Anjalee of designer duo
Anjalee and Arjun Kapoor.
"High slits look good on long and toned legs. Tall ladies can easily carry such outfits, but even shorter ones can try it by wearing high heels,"
Anjalee told IANS.
Inspired by the Hollywood red carpet look, several Bollywood beauties like Bipasha Basu, Karisma Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Mallika Sherawat, Deepika Padukone and Malaika Arora Khan have flaunted their perfect pins at awards, parties, premieres and shoots.
But for the commoners, it may still be a big deal due to the overexposure of the skin, feels designer Pam Mehta.
"Thigh-high cuts are not usually seen often here (in India) because certain women feel overexposed by wearing a cut like that. Also, it looks decent if the woman is tall and has well-toned legs. If one has that, and the confidence to flaunt it, one could definitely explore this fashion statement," she said.
A good height is often nature's gift, or good childhood nutrition, but getting the perfectly toned pair of legs is in your own hands. You don't get it in a jiffy: it's an ongoing fitness process, experts caution.
"Average Indian women usually have a pear-shaped body. So they tend to gain weight around regions such as abdomen, hips and thighs. To tone that portion, one has to do exercises like leg extension, squats and specific floor exercises targeting that body part," Delhi-based personal trainer Aamit told IANS.
"Running and jogging lead to overall reduction in body flab, but not in specific areas. So one can't achieve toned thighs and calves in a matter
of a few days; the flab around that portion is stiff and won't go away that easily," he added.
Women's toned-leg obsession has been around longer than men's six-pack trend which is more spoken and written about, according to health club chain Fitness Firsts' Milin Mathew, who suggests there are easy and accessible ways that can help women get toned legs.
"Good old classics like squats and lunges (with different variations and adaptations) are still the front-runner for a good, well-toned lower body.
Easy exercises mean using one's own body weight or the things available in the home/ office," Mathew, senior group exercise manager, Fitness First, told IANS.
That includes a heady mix of squats, lunges, step-ups, and calf raises. But the achievability of the desired tone-up is "directly proportionate to the person's frequency of exercise, shape of the lower body at the point of starting the exercise, and the commitment," Mathew said.
"It is an ongoing process to get the toned legs, but once we achieve our goal then our exercise focus is to maintain what we have achieved by
changing the exercise routines and keeping the muscles challenged so that you do not hit a plateau," he added.
Running, too, helps.
"It compliments all exercises, since running involves and utilises the quadriceps (thighs), hamstrings (back of the thigh), outer and inner thighs, gluteus muscles (butt) and calf muscles. So a smart mix of strength/endurance exercises for the muscles with well-chalked out cardio
workout like running, jogging, or cycling is suggested," Mathew said.
What's also not to miss is a "smart food habit" and "sound sleep", but once your legs are toned enough, don't forget to moisturise them well
before you step out with that slit!