“Brachiaphainophobia”: the irrational fear of showing one’s arms

by Jaclyn McCabe August 26, 2016 1 Comment

I'm working on something of my own about this phenomenon of hating your arms. For now, you might remember this oldie but goodie from The Voluptuous Vixen dressing rooms. It's still very relevant.

While we're on this topic check out @fabglance1 on Instagram #ShowYourArms





“Brachiaphainophobia”:  the irrational fear of showing one’s arms

How would you feel about your arms if you had never been given the message that they needed to be covered?  And where on earth did that message come from?  Because, I can promise you, it did not come from your arms.  I think if arms could speak with their own voice, they would be confident, strong, eager to help people, and proud of what they can do.  Actually, I always imagined the lower back as the body part that would be the most shy, completely horrified that it had been tattooed, be-thonged, and exposed by those insane low rises so popular a few years back, but I digress.

What is truly insidious about the dictum “don’t show your arms” is that carries a hidden message along with it, one that has nothing to do with fashion or style but everything to do with self-hate, the message that you should be ashamed of your body. Can you just imagine what your arms would say if some idiot walked up to you and said “be ashamed of your body’?  Your arms, your wonderful arms that have carried and protected your babies, your pets, your lover, and your life’s work, those arms would get up in that fool’s face and deliver the fiercest of beatdowns.  That’s how arms roll.

When we believe that we must hide away a part of ourselves, that impulse acts like style-kryptonite; it robs us of the joy of looking and feeling our best, it diminishes us.  But only if we let it.  So, take a risk, show your arms. See if it doesn’t feel infinitely more empowering, sexy, and even –gasp- fashionable, than hiding them away.

Oh, and if you want to show your lower back, that’s all good, too.

~Karen the Skirt


(photo by Brian Wagner)

Jaclyn McCabe
Jaclyn McCabe


1 Response


September 16, 2016

Your beautiful dresses helped get me past my Brachiaphainophobia! I certainly had it but didn’t realize it had a real name too!! The sleeveless dress I purchased at Jaci Blue made it all go away! Thank you for your support and understanding and having the most amazing dresses (with and without sleeves) to choose from!!! Harry Connick Jr. needs to get you on his show – I saw the clip from his interview with the owner of Fleurty Girl and it was so well done. You’rr amazing and so glad Kirsten and Cathy Copeland introduced us and got me there to shop!!!

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