It has been years since I have worn shorts. YEARS! I can’t remember exactly when the last time I wore shorts was - maybe high school? They might have been cut off jean shorts. The tangled strings hanging innocently down my teenaged legs. I wore them because I didn’t worry if my body belonged in shorts. I wore them because I was hot. I wore them because cut off jean shorts were cool. I wore them without a second thought.
I cannot pinpoint the exact moment when I decided that I would no longer wear shorts. I can, however, tell you why I stopped wearing them.
I stopped wearing them because I felt too fat. I felt as though I didn’t have the kind of legs that belonged in shorts. In my mind, my thighs were too chubby. They jiggled too much. They rubbed to closely together. They didn’t deserve shorts.
I found ways to keep cool in the summer. I wore capris. I favoured skirts. I shopped for dresses.
I did what I could to hide those thick thighs.
Then I became the mother of a daughter.
As the seasons change and the temperature starts to creep up, our wardrobes naturally change from jeans and sweaters to shorts and tank tops.
One day, my daughter asked me why I don’t wear shorts.
Her question left me silent.
It’s been years since I decided to stop wearing shorts. Years that I never really wondered why. It was a simple, innocent question from a 4-year-old that made me question my decision.
Why don’t I wear shorts?
I didn’t have an answer that I was willing to share with my little girl.
I don’t ever want my daughter to hold herself back from anything because she’s not comfortable with the way she looks. I don’t want her to feel like she can’t play sports, go swimming, or wear shorts. The way she looks should never stop her for doing what she wants to do or from being what she wants to be.
My daughter is four. She hasn’t felt too big, too short, too chubby, or too ugly for anything. She has never felt as though she’s not good enough. The best way for me to prevent her from ever allowing her insecurities about the way she looks to hold her back is by modeling a positive body image myself.
For my daughter, I vow not be ashamed of body. I will jump in the swimming pool and wear a bathing suit without constantly wondering what others are thinking. I will smile in the photos that I will never stop taking of myself.
I will wear shorts.
I will not be defined by how I look. I will not worry about what someone else thinks about me. I will not let that influence what I wear or don’t wear.
This summer marks the first summer in many years that I am wearing shorts. I wear them with pride. I wear them without worry. I have my little girl to thank, for making me realize how silly my ban on shorts really was.
I am not ashamed of my body. There is nothing wrong with my legs. They are strong. They are perfect. They allow me to walk, run, play soccer, go for family bike rides and dance with my children when we just need to shake our sillies out.
They look beautiful in a cool pair of shorts.