A pair of booty shorts made me confront how I was mom-shaming my own body
I stopped wearing short shorts somewhere around my 30th birthday. I am not exactly sure why. I have always been a runner with tight leg muscles and even though I am average in height, I've always liked my strong and capable legs. Even so, somewhere along the line, I bought into the idea that women "over a certain age" (read: 30) shouldn't be wearing some articles of clothing. It's nonsense. But I bought it. And of course, something else happened just before I turned 30. I became a mom.
So much about motherhood changes us. Suddenly our own needs become a distant second to the needs of this tiny person who depends on us for everything. We love them so wholly that it is very easy to become swept up and consumed by it. Sometimes we forget we are women first. I've been at this game about a decade now and added two more babies to the mix. With a 9-1/2-year-old, an 8-year-old, and a 2-year-old, shopping and looking hot are not high on my priority list. So when True Religion offered to let me borrow a pair of shorts, I was OK with it. And then it turned out they were short shorts. To my late-30s mind, they were, dare I say it, booty shorts.
Immediately I decided they could never be worn. I am a 38-year-old mother of three children and I tend to wear long shorts. I don't have the dreaded "mom hair," but I am hardly a fashion maven. But then a funny thing happened. I posted it to my Facebook feed as a joke, expecting everyone to weigh in on how terrible they looked. But they didn't. Most people told me they were great and I should keep them. See below:
I didn't post the photo to get compliments. The truth is, I am not a mom who hates my body. I am proud of it for carrying three children. I run six miles every day and am a yoga teacher. I don't think I am fat or bemoan any body parts. But even so, I don't dress like this. I don't wear a bikini any more. I don't wear short skirts. I don't wear tube tops or crop tops or bustiers or any of the things I wore when I was in my 20s. And I realized it's not because my body has changed all that much. I weigh about the same. I wear the same size clothing as I did at 28 when I first got pregnant. It's because I don't think moms should dress that way.
What the what?!
All this time I have hated on people who shame moms for wearing bikinis and fought for moms who want to do whatever, say whatever and be whatever. But I was holding myself back. It's not that I want to wear skin-revealing clothing. I am largely past that phase in my life. But these shorts are comfortable and functional. They keep me cool and fit well. And yet, I was going to refuse to wear them because of some arbitrary "rules" I made up in my own mind? I don't dress for other people. I dress for myself. And myself was being a judgmental harpy.
So I wore them. Once. Then twice. I felt a little uncomfortable and kept tugging them down. But they really were cooler than my two longer pairs of jean shorts and quite frankly, they look better, too. I have some curves, but am not tall so shorter shorts are more flattering. There is no reason for me not to wear them.
I am going to keep on rocking this style and get my very own pair. If I feel good in them, who cares? Social media helped me recognize where I was holding myself back. And so I am grateful. Viva la booty shorts!