When I was growing up, my mom didn’t let us wear shorts until June. No matter how unpredictable our PA weather could be, that was the rule. I actually didn’t mind it, because I hated shorts and spent most of my summer in jeans.
Even during the hottest months, I would be in jeans and ugly sweating. When I say ugly sweating, I don’t mean that you’re ugly, I mean that it’s like ugly crying- uncontrollable and a mess. I just wasn’t comfortable showing my thighs, so I’d sweat it out in misery. I was too busy wishing I had skinnier legs like my mom. She wore tiny shorts in all colors and fabrics, and her thighs didn’t rub like mine.
I thought there was something wrong with my legs. They rubbed and wrestled each other, and I felt so awkward by it. When I got older, I started wearing men’s cargo shorts. I would borrow my one buddy’s shorts all the time, because I was too embarrassed to ask my mom to buy me any. I was letting my legs breathe a little in those long, dad shorts, but I still wished my legs were different.
Learning to Love My Legs
Growing up, I never really labeled myself, but my mom and family always said I was built thick. I use to hate it, but now, I embrace it. I also realized that all of those “innocent” remarks came from people who don’t have even a fraction of the self-love that I do now. I hope they can learn to love themselves too, because you’ll never catch me ugly sweating summer in again.
I’m pretty sure I start sweating once the temperature is over 70 degrees. I’m not a fan of the heat, but I’m at least learning to love shorts. I’m learning to embrace my body and that I have every right to show some skin just like the next person.
I went through all the kinds and styles of shorts. I have had athletic shorts, board shorts, Bermuda cut shorts, and denim short-shorts. Growing up, my parents referred to denim shorts as short-shorts or “coochie cutters.” I still cringe at the phrase sometimes, but those standard short jean shorts are my favorite type to wear now that I have confidence.
More than a Gap
I was born in the very beginning of the 90s. When I was in my teenage years, being tan and having a thigh gap was considered “hot.” All the girls I knew would go tanning so their legs weren’t pale, and a lot of them wished or worked on that gap.
My one attempt at tanning was a fail. I had a girl friend tell me it would make my legs look slimmer and make it harder to see cellulite. I’m a very fair skinned lady, and I got teased and called Casper quite often. So, I tried to go tanning. Even after the lotion and only 6 minutes freaking out while being confined in that hell box, I emerged a lobster. It was terrible, and I never did it again.
As I got older, I started to realize that no matter how skinny I was becoming from having an on going battle with an eating disorder, my thighs weren’t going anywhere. It took me up until this past year to love my legs. I haven’t relapsed from my bulimia in a handful of years, but I still struggled with self-love. I still wore jeans in the heat. I still cried when I tried shorts on up until last summer.
Curvy & Fit
Last year, I got the news that I needed my hysterectomy. I’ve written about my reproductive health issues here, but when I got that news, I really wanted to work on the rest of my health and confidence.
I started working out for me, not for weight loss. I’ve had some stop and start issues, because there have been moments where I was working out to punish my curves, but now, I found my groove. I found a way to workout, enjoy it, and love my body. For the most part, I am curvy and fit.
Being healthier than I’ve ever been has shown me that it’s okay to be curvy. It’s more than okay. I’m beautiful and should be able to love and show my body off just as much as the next lady. So, my denim shorts make a lot of appearances now that the heat of the summer has started.
As much as I love wearing jeans, I refuse to ugly sweat because I don’t have an unrealistic, ideal body type. It made me realize that all bodies are beautiful, and a little wiggle and jiggle has never hurt anyone. I stopped caring about what everyone else wanted to see, and I learned to love myself and enjoyed seeing my body.
I have thick thighs, and you bet your ass I’m wearing short shorts. I have curves, and I will not be drenched or ugly sweat because someone “doesn’t want to see all that.” I want to see it, because it’s beautiful.
Don’t let others dictate the shape of your body and whether or not you deserve to wear cool summer clothes. Shorts aren’t allotted for only slim body types. They aren’t invite only, so I hope everyone learns to love their legs. I have the same advice for those who get teased for being “too skinny.” It’s not fair either way. It’s too hot, and you’re too gorgeous to be a sweaty mess. I don’t want to ugly sweat. I mean, I’m still not a fan of the heat, but I’d rather glisten than drip.
Repeat After Me
You deserve to wear what makes you happy.
Your legs are your stems. They are just as important as the flower they hold up, so let them breathe.
Your body is already a summer body, and you shouldn’t be made to feel otherwise.
You’re beautiful and worthy of self-love in any piece of clothing.
Love yourself, today and everyday.
Remember that when we bend, sit, and twist, we have a little extra. We all deserve to show off our bodies, because they house all that good junk that keeps us going. So, love your beautiful self.