Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Good Ole' Thunder Thighs, Me.

Short shorts for Boombands Em.
Dodgy Colours? Why, it's a photo from my Blackberry...

*Little trigger warning on this post. It deals with some body issues. As well as my hot Short Shorts*

So we know, by now - I've pretty much accepted all of my body and love it very well.

Like everyone though, I do have "fat" days and "ugly" days and "what's with my arms or feet or hip or bum days". If I'm really honest, the part of my body I probably liked the least for most of my life were my thighs. Yup. They've always been quite big and for a time, my nickname during childhood was the bitterly fat shaming: "THUNDER THIGHS". God, I hated that name. I actually think that through my teens and into my twenties, I may have used jeans as a safe way to cover my thighs for all time... Sure, my thighs were big, but my (always) dark denim choices made me feel I could put a little wall around them.

I was lucky enough to grow up with a swimming pool at home, and as I've mentioned - I come from a family where we were taught we were "okay" - so I never really had body issues at home. But I did have body issues growing up - just like anybody else... I remember getting a wetsuit rash between my legs when I was about eight and one of the girls at my primary school telling me my (8 year old) leg fat should have protected me. I went to an all girl's high school (which can be a serious breeding ground for insecurities) and I distinctly remember looking about one day when I was thirteen and thinking, not so much my body - but my THIGHS were the biggest. This became especially bad when someone pointed it out to me. Good Ole' Thunder Thighs, me.

Boombands Em at the beach in Glenelg.
I only started enjoying the Beach once I became an adult.

Through youth and into my twenties I would decline invitations to the beach for fear of having to reveal my thighs. I don't know when it changed - but certainly, in the last few years, I've come to accept and then also like my thighs. I am a heavy hour glass in shape and I think I see the solid nature of my thighs kind of complementary to the thickness of my shoulders, breasts, hips and bum. I didn't have a pivitol "screw this" moment and strut through the sand dunes with my legs on show - but I did just come to the realisation that it doesn't matter. I think it was my second last year in Sydney (2007) and my friend Zoe insisted I accompany her to the beach. Zoe is one of my closest friends and so I went with her and once we arrived she just stripped off to her bathers and looked at me and was like, "What side do you wanna lay on? My left or right?" Zoe's known me for a long time and knows me very well, I mean she was present for my "wild cat" mode during my 20s - so I don't think she'd ever have thought, "Em may feel self conscious right now"... And so, in that moment, I wasn't. She made it perfectly normal for me to strip to my bathers, lay on a towel and relax. It's amazing how Zoe's belief in my absolute confidence actually then inspired my confidence. That was the year I moved out of jeans and into dresses too.

These days, my thighs and I happily swim at the gym without feeling worried what people think. Last year, with work colleagues - I lay by the pool in Malta in my swimsuit, unworried and with my thighs happily on show.

I admit, I'm not quite in a place where I might wear a Paris Hilton style "Vagina Skirt" and strut down the High Street with my bare legs... But since arriving in London and seeing plus size women in shorter/tighter clothing than I wore in Australia (I wore a lot of long, flowing cotton dresses), I now feel much more confident with a shorter, tighter look. Five years ago - even with leggings, I would NEVER have worn a short skirt or pair of mid-length shorts. But now I will. In fact, my favourite outfit at the moment is a singlet top, with tiny shorts and leggings. My thighs aren't bare - but I've learned to love them more. Learning to accept and like my thighs also means I'm okay to wear dresses which sit above my knee... I took a while getting to that stage! But as I say, I can finally wear entirely bare legs to the pool or to the beach now...

Short shorts for Boombands Em.
This week, there was a little comfort test for me though. Claire gave me a pair of size 20 ASOS Curve shorts. Now, when I put the shorts on, they fit pretty well except for a slight nipping in the crotch area. The only thing about them though? They felt REALLY short, in fact, they felt even SHORTER than my black denim "Butt" shorts... Now, admittedly, these new shorts may have sat at about the same place, but because of their colour, I did feel like they might draw attention to my legs... But still, I put them on with usual leggings and left the house. Okay. I have accepted by now, that people DO look at me when I wear my shorts and leggings... but for the first time in ages, I was much more conscious of people looking at me. The shorts were a test for me. I wore them, they were tiny (basically disappearing into my hip/thigh fold when I sat down) and I wore them all day. The nipping through the crotch probably didn't help me feel comfortable, but I persevered... I like these shorts. I actually love that they're so colourful and have a chic, unfinished feel...

I got home from work, having faced workmates, the tube, the high street and a few blatant stares. I walked in and saw Darcy. He hadn't seen me before I left the house so didn't know about my short shorts worry. The first thing he did was compliment me...

"Honey, you look cute in those shorts".

WOW. I had done it. That morning, I'd left the house without any affirmation, with only a smidge of self belief and genuine worry about my thighs in the shortness of the shorts. Through the day, I had managed to find me usual and genuine, "I look fucking rad" feeling - but it HAD taken time... I took these mirror photos for you all, to get your opinions, but also to write this post. For the record, I KNOW my legs aren't bare - but I still felt worried heading out into the public and I had to "get brave" in order to do so. At the end of my day I came home feeling good and confident. THAT's an achievement. To top it off, AFTER finding confidence, the person I love then affirmed my choice. I don't know if that sounds naff - that him complimenting me, capped my confidence for the day - but it did. I had found my confidence on my own, but someone I like, complimenting me, had helped it to solidify. It reminded me of my day at the beach with Zoe. The shorts will now hit high rotation on my regular roster.

Short shorts for Boombands Em.

So, my lovely reader... When was the last time you complimented someone you love?

Is that a strange question? Maybe... But hell, it can have a bloody good effect.


  1. Such a great read, I truly know what you mean by this feeling when someone just not at all thinks about if you may be concerned about a situation or not. I also have this feeling with my best friend, too. And I think it is even more inspirational than someone telling me I look beautiful, because being treaten like this, means that he really does not care at all about me size and that my size isn't a topic for him at all.

    I think you look awesome in you shorts, I love you hourglass figur and you can totaly rock this!

  2. I think you look absolutely amazing in the swimming costume and in the shorts. It was really interesting to read this post, and I completely related to it.

    I've always been really self conscious of certain parts of my body. I won't go out of the house baring my legs or upper arms, even though I want to, as I think I'll be judged. After a week of leg-baring in New York last summer, I'm trying to find the confidence as it felt so liberating and nobody cared. So, I'm starting on my blog.

    My best friend has always been super skinny and has never once judged my size and I don't think she'd even think about a situation being uncomfortable for me, either. I don't think these thoughts go through the heads of people who care about us. We're our own worst critics! I think genuine compliments can be a huge confidence boost, and I compliment people regularly and mean it!

  3. I love this post! It chimed with me in so many ways, and not to mention you DO look super cute in those shorts.

    Rai xx

  4. You look great in the shorts and the swimsuit, i admire you for wearing them you just ooze confidence in the photos, im off on holiday soon and i hate the whole swimsuit reveal, i dont wear shorts i just cant find a pair to suit me or cover me i feel huge,

  5. I have those shorts fdrom ASOS Curve in a 24. Bit loose on the waist but still have not wore them. I love them and want to but feel.... unsure. Think I will wear them ovr the weekend with leggings and boots.

    Caroline xx

  6. i had to post (first time) the shorts look amazing on you- they just look gorgeous the way you styled them - you also look so beautiful in your swimsuit photo (where did you get it?) x

  7. Thunder Thighs - my arse!!! Can't see any thunder thighs here I'm afraid!

    You look great (as always). I wear shorts as my legs are ok (apart from stretch marks) but funnily enough, I'm not confident enough to wear them WITH leggings, only without!

    I loved the city chic shorts you started wearing, and I think this look really suits you. You're very lucky that you body is so well balanced and your proprotions are lovely, so almost everything works for you x

  8. SUCH a wonderful post. I was talking to Bethany and Claire recently about how I'm so worried people won't be my friend when I'm travelling as I'm not your typical size 8 backpacker. So many silly thoughts like "Oh God they're not going to want to be seen on a beach with a fat girl in a bathing suit are they?" Which I fully admit is a ridiculous line of thinking - so posts like this really do help a lot! :) xxxxx

  9. The term "thunder thighs" always makes me cringe. I hate highschool.

  10. Such a great post! I think you rock those shorts. I have a couple pairs of shorts, but I never wear them, i'm not a lover of pants in general, so I find shorts annoying.

  11. Em, I think your blog is one of my happy places! It's always so positive! You look amazing in those shorts Mrs!


  12. I love your blog! You are an inspiration! Thank you thank you for being fearless and showing the world that real is beautiful!


Hi there! Thank you for leaving your post. Due to some blatantly obvious spammers I have had to turned comment moderation back on with word captcha for older posts. Hopefully the spammers will bugger off and I can take some of the settings back to normal quickly! Thank you and smooches! Em. x