Tales from a 30 Year Old Feminist: Shorts

I’m not a shorts kind of person. The last time I slid into a pair of pants that hit me above the knee was after an ill-dated Nair episode. Turns out I’m horribly allergic and breakout in massive hives. I looked pretty boss in March, in the 9th grade, wearing faded denim shorts while covered in hives. #briningalltheboystotheyard

 
My daughter is getting ready to turn two and I have been thinking a lot about the kind of role model I want to be for her. That is a stupid thing to think about, since I doubt there has ever been a parent who wants to demonstrate a great way to be a scumbag, but these types of ideas come to you after you spawn. What do I want my kid to learn about life from me?

That is some heavy, heavy shit.

After years of being that chubby person who spends all summer sweaty, wearing skirts while fighting chub rub, or just generally being miserable, I decided to wear shorts. Why should I be uncomfortable and unhappy just because I think someone might be judging me and my weight? What kind of message does that send to my daughter? “Hey kiddo, why don’t you just worry what others might be thinking, and the slather someone ointment on that fat rash?” Nope, not what I am going for as a parent or as a female role model.

To be real, I’m a chubby girl. I top the scales at about 190 and am 5’9. I’ve run a half marathon and a 15k and a bunch of other things. I dance and tone and stretch and whatever else the government tells me to do. I am not Heidi Klum, at all.

Plus, those are men’s shorts I am wearing.

Yup. After weeks of trying on shorts at Target I discovered that I am too tall, and my thighs too big, for the average women’s shorts. I snuck into dressing rooms and three separate occasions, without my daughter, to find a pair of shorts. I didn’t want her to see mommy try and fail repetedly. No sense in showing her how unrealistic clothing standards are. Or how out of shape mommy is. I wanted her to see that wearing shorts is no biggie, just a thing that we do when it is hot. I didn’t want that loaded down with the baggage, with the ten different pairs in multiple sizes. In the welling up of tears. In the anger that not everyone is a size 6 and can, or wants, to show off their butt cheeks. Shopping to her is still an adventure of color and fabric and snacks. Crying in the dressing room and buying nothing should never ever be on her radar.

So instead of buying shorts, and thus admitting defeat, I found a pair of shorts in my husband’s drawer that he wanted to throw away. They were from a “White Trash” (just take the name at face value) party he went to in college.

I wore men’s shorts. That were part of a costume. And the theme was “White Trash.” Did I also mention that they are corduroy and frayed at the bottom? Yup, that happened.

Did I look amazing? Of course not. But even with my spotty shave job, lack of color, and cellulite on display, I hope I took one step forward for my kid. Mommy was comfortable. And maybe I took that first small step for me too.

I also ate a banana chocolate chip dessert waffle the same day I made my triumphant shorts debut. So there’s that…

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