This is a phobia that dates back to 5th grade when Tony White, of elementary school fame, pointed out, no shouted out, that “Whoa! Erinn has massive quads!” Everyone playing kickball that day stared at my thunder thighs as I went up to bat (or at least I imagined they did) and from there the words sunk in deep. Note: Tony White was not the most svelte person himself, but his big mouth made up for his lack of physique.
It seems strange to think that one person’s words can stick in my brain for going on 25 years, but whenever summer rolls around, that little voice in the back of my head starts whispering again until it’s a full blown shriek. And my insecurity gets the best of me. This summer is no exception. The voice maybe even a little louder these days since, my body has shifted and changed with time and baby. As a kid, at least my massive quads were toned and athletic. Hell, they even fit in on the soccer field or volleyball court. But like Achilles before me, my hatred of my legs is my soft unexposed weakness underneath my adult confidence armor.
So this summer, I decided that I cannot let the words of one big mouth 5th grader break me down. I know that my legs are not supermodel long or toned. I know that I have short, stumpy legs. And I know that I HAVE CELLULITE. But I don’t care.
I switched it up later in the day for a simple cream colored tank (perfect for summer and come in a few other colors!) and paired with my trusty birkenstocks, made it easy to swoop up K and head down to the lake.
For a quick shopping trip, I opted for this Splendid skort (I know…through back to the 90s!) because it gave a little something unexpected. I like the asymmetry of it too to create some visual interest. Also, SUPER soft and comfortable!
Usually I opt for a dress for date night (or date day, in this case) but these scalloped shorts are a nice alternative with heels.
I dressed up the shorts with this lace up shirt I’ve been dying to wear and added some statement earrings (old, but I like these Kendra Scott ones too) to make it a bit more date-worthy. These sandals(old, but I love these, and these too!) are super comfy for walking around the city after drinks.
I don’t care anymore for a number of reasons. I’m teaching a unit to my summer school class about media and how it influences identity for both boys and girls and I recognizing that I have fallen victim to the guilt placed on women about their bodies by the celebrity culture we live in (check out this girl’s blog about how celebrity pregnancies have ruined our perception of what is normal-soooo true!) I listened to myself telling my students how sad I am for young girls who feel insecure about their bodies because of what they see in the media and I realized…I am harboring the same insecurities these girls are. The 10 year old version of me still speaks loud and clear.
As a mother of a young son, I also recognize my own part in perpetuating the stereotype of insecure women. I don’t want to do this. I want my son to see me confident in my body and for him to grow up as a man that accepts women for more than just the exterior.
Ok, don’t get me wrong. I get that I am not shattering barriers or shifting the universe with my choice to wear shorts this summer, but I am once and for all shutting up that loud mouth kid on the playground that planted the seed of insecurity so many years ago.
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