Why I Avoided Wearing Pants
I have avoided wearing pants since graduate school. In grad school, I felt like I had legs for days, even though at 5′ 3/4″, I am a shortie. With a busy schedule of teaching fitness classes for USU undergrads and the local athletic club, I was in great shape! Coupled with my weekend cycling adventures with my roommate, personal daily workouts of cardio, swim, and weights and walking all over campus, I loved my athletic body and I was proud of my lean muscular legs! Fast forward a couple of decades to three kids and working from home my body and legs have taken on a new form. They are dimply, soft, flabby and are covered with stretch marks. So, for a long time, I decided jeans, pants, and leggings were not for me. I would only wear them when I had to and living in Southern California where shorts and maxi dresses rule the world I could get away with it for longer than I could living in Utah.
Reclaiming My Legs
My body is not the same as it was in the mid-20s, obviously, and it won’t be. I am okay with that…though I find myself daydreaming of leaner days! I have been working with a health coach for the last few months and it has helped tremendously. My eating patterns have been out of control. I needed to curb my sugar and carb addiction and wanted to lose this extra body fat. I wasn’t feeling good inside and it showed. I needed help to learn how to eat properly for my health and lifestyle. I am slowly losing that extra body fat around my hips and thighs and am grateful. Yes, I admit I wish this transformation would happen quickly, but to create a sustainable habit, slow progress is better in the long run.
So, recently I wore skinny jeans for an exciting clothing collaboration with Royalty for Me. It was my push to wear denim jeans, though I didn’t feel ready to rock them. I was both excited and apprehensive. Excited because I want to feel empowered and knew that showing my imperfect body wearing denim jeans on social media would help me embrace this head on. Apprehensive because I knew my body was still not in the shape I wanted, and I was worried about negative feedback. Everyone on Instagram seems so skinny! I have never been skinny in my life — fit yes, but never skinny.
After posting my skinny jeans post, I received a notification about a blog comment. I enjoy reading comments from my readers and interested to find out if I had inspired someone to try a new trend or if there was a new question to answer. My heart sank when I read it. It said, “Sorry, but you are too fat and short-legged for skinnies.”
This comment made me both sad and mad. Sad that other people can be so mean. I have never posted anything but body positivity on my platforms so I didn’t understand where this comment was coming from. Mad because assuming the comment came from a woman, she is fostering the mindset of competition over community and body shaming. I understand that I am not a size 4 or even a size 6, but I embrace my body. Let me clarify I am learning to embrace my body imperfections and all. It has given birth to three beautiful children and allows me to live a life that is full, blessed, and centered around giving to others.
So, I have had these photos of my mustard-yellow paper bag pants on hold since last fall because I felt insecure. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post them. They were taken the same day I wore my skinny jeans. I wondered if they made my legs or butt look fat. I also wondered if the same troll would come back and attack my bod once again. Well, I decided today I was not going to hold back any longer. I will not avoid wearing pants from now on. I won’t stop shining in fear of others’ negative comments. I will do what makes me happy and feel alive. I believe every woman, no matter what shape or size, can look and feel beautiful and confident in pants or any garment for that matter. I also believe that women need each other more now than ever. My hope is that we can change the environment by stepping out boldly and sharing our voices and unique beauty.
Will you join me on that?
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Photography by The King’s Rose
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