I can tell you when it all started, when I was 13 I had this pair of size 11 Pac Sun (back then it was called Pacific Sunwear) dark denim shorts with a butterfly on each of the back pockets. The butterflies weren’t too colorful and didn’t stand out from the wash of the denim. Maybe just a few shades lighter than the dark denim. Well, I loved these shorts and couldn’t wait to wear them for the summer months and show them off!
Well, it was my last month of eighth grade at my elementary school before graduating and moving onto high school. By that time it was June at it was starting to get hot! We only had a few more weeks left and finally, according to school policy, we could wear shorts! But according to school policy, you couldn’t wear shorts that were shorter than the length of your fingertips at your sides. But for some reason they never enforce it on the other girls and these shorts were only off by a millimeter from my middle finger.
Now I confess, even though I lost weight in that past year. I did gain a few pounds back over the winter and I still had my chubby thighs. I will always have my thick thighs. I was born this way, and they will never go away. Even when I lose weight, and I have lost weight before, I never get rid of my thighs. Even at my lightest, I have always had chub rub. But it was 2000 and short-shorts were all the rage! You couldn’t even find a pair of shorts that was long enough to meet those requirements. Plus at that time, I didn’t know my torso is shorter than most people and it causes the short length look naturally shorter on me because I have to raise the waist up more in order to fit in the right spot. But, these shorts fit me still and I loved them. I wanted to wear them! They were only short by a millimeter and they weren’t enforcing the policy on the other girls who had on similar shorts. So I decided “why not?” and I wore my butterfly shorts to school.
So that morning I woke up, put on my shorts along with a cute surfer t-shirt that matches and proceeded to walk to school. As I walked up to the front entrance minutes before the first bell initializing the start of the day, I get stopped by the vice principal. She asked me to put my hands to my side. Now, I just got done walking to school and you know how shorts ride up in-between your inner thighs hiking the inseam up. I had no time to adjust! I put my hands down and my shorts were off only by a millimeter. She told me to go home and change in front of everyone who was staring at me, laughing.
She told me to go home and changed. She didn’t stop any of the other girls, just me. Why? Because I was the chubby one. I was the one who had the shorts that would hike up. I was the one with the thicker thighs. So I had to be the one put to the test. I was fat so I couldn’t wear what I wanted according to her. I had to wear something longer, not what was in style! At that age and time if you were slightly overweight it was hard to find clothes that fit, let alone ones that were cute. I didn’t have Torrid or The Deb Plus or any of these great plus size stores that held great fashion. If I wanted to find something my size, it had to me in the older women section. Even by society, I felt I was being told I was not allowed to wear what I wanted, but what was considered “appropriate” for people “my size”.
At home, I was crying. Upset I couldn’t find any shorts that fit me and I wanted to wear. I was 13! I wanted to wear something cute, not matronly. I was forced to put on pants and wear them for the rest of the year. Because of this, I never wore shorts throughout high school and college. It took me years to even buy my first pair. No matter what degree it was outside, I wore thick, heavy jeans to hide my legs. I didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment. Scared that I might be told my shorts were too short for me.
Even today, I still don’t like wearing shorts. It’s hard dealing with inseams riding up and adjusting every five minutes so no one stares at you differently. Every time I get my picture taken in shorts it never looks flattering, things are misplaced and nothing looks adjusted right. Today my self-conscience is still not up to par. Even as chubby and different body sizes are being more accepted, I feel that there is still this standard ingrained in society on what people can and cannot wear. Until we show that you can wear whatever you want as long as you rock it, it will never pass.
Love you all,
*In this shoot* Wearing shorts by Torrid, Perfect T by LuLaRoe, Shoes by Sperry, and Sunglasses were a gift