I tend to write one of these posts every year, whether I’m trying to convince myself of something; or reaffirming something I should believe; or some soapbox I’m getting on because I think everyone should sit down, shut up, and listen to me. Because, you know, I think my opinion is that important. (I mean, like, obviously I think that; I have a blog.) But every year, I feel compelled to say it, and if I sound like a broken record, oh, well. So be it. Kelly Clarkson sounds like a broken record with every female empowerment post-break up song she puts out and nobody seems to have a big problem with it.
The thing is, every time it becomes too hot to deal with jeans anymore, the world seems to stage some sort of battle against legs. Against thighs. Against thighs touching. Against the firmness of thighs or lack thereof. And I get it, I do. I wouldn’t willingly wear a crop top shirt out in public because I’d rather not show how I, along with about 95% of human beings, don’t have “washboard abs” or whatever. People, we’ve invented washing machines for a reason; having a washboard really shouldn’t be that important. But for some reason, it’s also taboo to reveal the fact that we have legs, and that legs come in all sizes and look different and sometimes touch, when most pants and jeans and leggings reveal this, too. Those pieces of clothing just don’t show as much skin.
Here’s the deal: my thighs touch. They always have. They always will. When I was a size 2 and eating 600 calories a day, they touched. They touched all the way through my half marathon. My bone structure dictates that they will probably always touch, and I am okay with that. That doesn’t mean that they don’t chafe sometimes, but it’s not alright to call it chub rub. My legs aren’t chubby. And even if they were, how kind is it to say something with such a derogatory connotation? Would you say your best friend is chubby? Would you say they had thunder thighs? Would you tell your best friend that she really shouldn’t wear shorts? If you did, you’d probably know it was a bit bitchy to say so, no matter how “brutally honest” you were trying to be. The key word there is “brutal,” not “honest.”
Why, then, is it okay to talk to ourselves and about our own bodies that way?
You don’t have thunder thighs. Sorry. But you don’t. You have legs, and yes, part of that leg is called the thigh. It’s the region between your hip and your knee cap. Beyonce has thighs. Gisele has thighs. So does Melissa McCarthy and Michelle Obama and David Beckham, because dudes have legs too, and if you have a leg, you’ve got a thigh. That’s how anatomy freaking works.
I used to say I had drumstick legs, the way a chicken drumstick is thick and then tapers off. But the only people whose legs don’t taper at least a little? Those are babies, with their rubber band ankles and legs that are shorter than their bodies. My legs make up 68% of my body, from hip to toe. I’ve measured and done the math. And if I want to wear shorts, so be it. It’s futile to wish my legs were matchstick thin. It wouldn’t be wrong if they’d been built like that but it’s not wrong that 9 years of dancing and 5 years of running and having genetics that won’t make that happen naturally kind of put the kibosh on all those sample size plans. It’s not fair to those legs to call them names, drumstick or thunder or otherwise.
It’s also dumb to bemoan cellulite because you’re basically complaining about the way evolution has decided to store tissue. You really think you’re smarter than millions of years of evolution? Just because Cosmo tells us it’s a sin? Seriously?
Instead of focusing on the so-called flaws, let’s think of things in a positive light. I’ll go first.
Here is what my legs can do: Run a half marathon. Dead lift 100 pounds. Power through 20kg kettle bell swings. Dance. Look really good in heels and skirts and dresses and yes, shorts.
Here is what my legs can’t do: give even half a damn if you think they’re too big or shouldn’t be in shorts.
They can’t. They won’t.
Why should yours be able to care, either? That’s not what legs were meant to do.