Short Shame and Fat Knees: A Not-So Love Story.
For two weeks I have been shopping for a pair of shorts. Just one pair of shorts that I can feel comfortable in for the summer. I see women much bigger than me sporting shorts all the time and I am envious. I don’t want to wear black leggings down to my ankles all summer! I want to feel cool and summery, especially when I’m in 100+ degree weather at the end of the month on my trip to California and Nevada.
I have tried on over 20 pairs of shorts in the last two weeks. I have shopped at Forever21, Torrid, Target, JC Penny and Nordstrom. I’ve tried for cheap and expensive. Denim, cotton, khaki and in one really low moment a pair of maternity shorts because I thought the stretchy waistband would help me find a pair that fit in both the waist and the thigh.
Every pair I’ve tried on has been too short, too tight or too weird to pass muster. I take pictures in the dressing room so I can show my shopping companions instead of having to bare my lumpy thighs to the store to come out of the dressing room. I’m sharing these pictures now because I have come to the realization that the problem is not with the shorts, or with my thighs but with how I view my body.
There is nothing wrong with any of those shorts. Yes, you can see the dimples in the backs of my thighs and the rolls under my kneecaps. (I maintain that kneecaps are the ugliest part of human anatomy no matter who you are.) But I see women walking around looking just like this and never think of them as gross or dressed inappropriately.
I don’t understand why I look at my body and go “NOPE” every time any more of my legs is exposed than a quarter inch above the knee.
I don’t know how to learn to accept that I have thick thighs. I don’t know how to be confident enough to strut out of the fitting room and to the register and buy those black short shots from American Eagle and wear them with pride.
I preach body acceptance to everyone I meet. Your parts are your parts, own it! Feel confident in who you are! In your skin, you size, your shape. You are a special snowflake who deserves love and attention and people to tell you that you’re a hot piece of ass! GET IT GIRL, I say.
And yet, I look at these pictures and feel tortured. I don’t mind the soft rolls on my belly. Or the taunt thickness of my calves. But this part of me: this space between my belly button and my knees, this is the part of me I can’t accept.
I used to torture my legs constantly when I was younger to try to get those lumps to go away. Nothing worked. I don’t go to the gym five times a week. I refuse to give up carbs or cheese. I’m trying, in my own way, to get comfortable with this part of me but I’m at a loss now.
That YouTube troll who told me my shape was diabetic keeps bouncing around in my head. I hear my junior high gym teacher who told me to put a towel around my waist walking from the locker room to the pool because I would embarrass myself in front of the thinner girls. My step mother used to pinch the fleshy parts of my thighs and tell me that no one would ever want me because I was shaped like a rotten pair.
I hate these thighs and I don’t know how to get over it.