These are my thighs.
99.8% of the time, they are covered up by shorts when I am at the beach. I don’t really like wearing shorts at the beach—it’s just something I’ve done since having children—yet part of me feels like I am doing other beachgoers a favor by covering up. If I wear shorts, people are less likely to notice that my thighs resemble bilateral relief maps constructed of cellulite. If I wear shorts, they will never know about the silvery stretch marks that resemble the underbelly of a fish and that run from my upper thigh to just above my hips. The shorts do a pretty good job of covering the parts of me that society deems most unacceptable and offensive.
Today, emboldened by the fact that there were literally no other humans on the beach with me, I went short-less for a time. And, I got intimate and reacquainted with my thighs. Blinded by the stark whiteness of them, as compared to the rest of my limbs, I tried to ignore the way they touched when I sat in my chair. I tried to look casual and confident, but I was a little bit outside of my comfort zone. There is honestly no species on earth that is judged more harshly and critically than a woman in a swimsuit.
Since birth, I have always been a bit more Serena Williams than Heidi Klum where my thighs are concerned, and I have always been the polar opposite of thigh-gap, even at my fittest. I never thought that was a bad thing…until I guess I did. So today, I made a conscious effort to focus less on what my thighs LOOKED LIKE and more on what THEY DO.
These bad boys can dance for hours on end at a concert.
They effortlessly carry me up and down stairs all day long.
They walk the dog multiple times a day.
They carried the additional weight of two children.
They do yoga and squats.
They love to wrap themselves around my husband.
They kick a soccer ball like a pro.
They do yard work and gardening.
They help keep my knees healthy.
They bend and stretch while I walk along the beach and pick up sea glass.
My thighs are f*cking warriors, that’s what they are.
So today, my thighs and I signed a Peace Treaty of sorts. I showed them a little love, both literally and figuratively. They accepted my apology for not wanting to be seen with them all these years. And I promised to be more grateful for the thighs I actually have, not pine over the ones I want. We are still working out the long-term details of our new arrangement, but I started by letting them get a bit of sun today because everything really does look better with a tan…even cellulite and stretch marks.