I’m about to dive into some uncharted territory and admit something not many people know: I can’t remember the last time I wore shorts out in public. It’s been at least two decades, if not longer. I’m assuming I wore them a lot in elementary school, but I’m almost positive I stopped wearing them sometime during middle school. Ah, middle school—the three years from my past that still make me cringe. It’s hard enough growing up, but middle school? It’s rough, man.
Just to give you some context—and to totally make myself vulnerable—my “friends” in middle school were horrible, terrible girls. They were mean girls to the core, and were just incredibly toxic. I pray that my daughters won’t be those girls when they grow up; I also pray that if they are those girls, they’ll be strong enough to overcome the bullying. My short-wearing days ended around the time that I was trying out for the school’s basketball team. Instead of cheering me on, my “friends” would chant, “Jiggle, Jessica, jiggle,” from the stadium stands. Needless to say, but I covered up any “jiggling” piece of me as much as possible from then on.
Which brings us back to today, twenty years later. I have a husband who loves me, loves my legs, and constantly begs me to wear shorts; I also have two little girls who look up to me, and I’m very aware of trying to implement a positive body image in our house. I now have wonderful and strong friends who are supportive instead of destructive, and I’m finally coming to terms with my own jiggly body. (It’s a work in progress—I’ll never fully be comfortable, but I can at least try to love my body most days.) I’ve carried and birthed two 9+ pound babies, I’ve ran two 1/2 marathons, I eat good, delicious homemade food, and I work out regularly. And yes, I have stretch marks, cellulite, and I jiggle.
But just like last summer when I got into the pool with my daughter, I decided to do something that would empower myself. We’ve had a few days of warm weather, and it made me realize that I really didn’t want to spend another summer only wearing jeans again. They’re so uncomfortable when its hot outside, and even though I wear skirts, too, I usually only wear maxi skirts since they cover more of my legs.
Well, over the weekend I said no more—no more hiding the jiggle just because of something that happened two decades ago. No more letting those middle-school voices dictate my life today and nag at me in the back of my mind. I had a couple of hours to shop by myself, so I went to a store where I had some gift cards to spend. They have a plus-size section with really comfortable clothes, and as much as I wished I could’ve shopped on the other side of the store, I decided to really dig into the section and find some clothes that fit me now. I want to be comfortable and cool this spring/summer.
You should’ve seen me in the dressing room. I left the shorts to the very last item to try on, and I almost threw in the towel and said forgetaboutit. But then I tried them on, because…why not? And low and behold, they fit. Not only that, but they were comfortable, and I think they actually looked good on me! They were long enough that they wouldn’t ride up and they don’t give me that absolutely dreadful thigh rub, and they’re short enough to actually feel really, really nice this summer.
I bought a pair in mint and khaki, and I’ve worn them every day since I bought them. Now I’m wondering why I’ve been so scared of shorts for so long. Seriously, how did I ever live without them?
We’re moving to California in a month, and I didn’t want to fret and feel depressed when I looked in my closet for something to wear to the beach. Now my only problem with wearing shorts is that I have to remember to shave my legs, and I really need a tan. These pasty white legs of mine haven’t seen the sun in a while, so they’re a little on the blinding side these days!
Wearing shorts may seem like a small and silly thing to fear, especially for so long, but I’m really, really happy I overcame this and decided to give them a try.