Anatomy Atlas Part 7 – Rib Cage

I thought that I am done with skeleton, I really did. I was wrong and I admit it. There is one more. The rib cage.

Rib Cage

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

However I cannot remember any interesting story about ribcage from my education. I have a personal story instead regarding deformities of the rib cage.

I had so-called Pectus carinatum, aka pigeon chest, as a child. The worst thing about it is not the physical deformity itself, which is now nearly invisible, but the way it fucked up my head. In addition to my other medical problems I had also suffered from shortness of breath due to constrained lungs. That meant that no matter how much I tried, I never had much stamina for running or swimming or any sport really.

This is where gym teachers come into picture. I find it astounding how all the athletic people I have ever met are convinced that accidents of birth played no role whatsoever and that they are the sole instigators of their strength and beauty and they take all the credit. So children who were not born physically beautiful and strong get ridiculed, body shamed and blamed – sometimes even by teachers whose should know better.

To this day I dislike being seen topless, the subconscious fear of ridicule is still there. And I hate PE teachers.


  1. jazzlet says

    Most people never do realise their own priviledge. I’m glad you grew out of it and presumably the breathlessnes too.

  2. voyager says

    I don’t like PE teachers either, for most of the same reasons. With me it was hip and spine issues that left me overweight and a bit crooked (hardly at all back then!) We had to wear these gym suits that were one piece rompers with elastic cuffs around the top of the thigh that made the butt balloon out and left your entire leg uncovered. I know I was fat shamed more than once because my legs jiggled and I clearly remember a gym teacher telling me that I was lazy because only lazy people get fat.

  3. says

    I got lucky in the PE department, and I’ve always been grateful for that. There were some serious asshole teachers in PE, but thankfully, I didn’t get stuck with them, and most of the really bad ones were men. I always felt so damn sorry for the boys saddled with those cruel men.

    My first year of high school, I went in for swim & dive team, and made both. Ms. Sunderland was a bit on the stern side, she expected hard work and a lot of it, but she was also kind and thoughtful. Swim and Dive teams kept me out of the rest of PE nonsense, so I never had to deal with what most people did. Ms. Sunderland dropped out of coaching when she got pregnant, but our next coach was also good, if not as loved by us all.

    Body shaming is a rotten ass thing to do, especially to kids, because those cuts run deep and last a lifetime. It’s made that much worse when it’s led and allowed by adults supposed to be in charge. I don’t know how I lucked out so much, but my PE circle was ferociously protective of everyone, and never allowed any body shaming.

    Body shaming is why I brought up the whole fairy tale thing earlier. It’s a more insidious form, but one which gets into kid’s heads, this insistence on there only being one ideal body type.

  4. Nightjar says

    I think I got lucky as well, I don’t really have any complaints about the PE teachers I had. They were all surprisingly kind and understanding, and I’m extremely grateful for that. It really is a shame that this is the exception and not the rule. Kids are cruel enough to each other without asshole teachers helping along.

  5. cherbear says

    i don’t blame you. I never met a male PE teacher I’ve liked. The one woman teacher I had was marvellous.

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