Why do I look so bad in shorts?

Update: I bought new shorts! Details at the bottom of this post.

I have long joked to my friends that if reincarnation ends up being real, I hope I come back as a woman who looks good in shorts.

Right now, I definitely do not. I have always been afflicted with blessed with thighs. My legs are somewhat long but no matter how fit I am (or how fit I am not) at various points in my life, I have always had thighs.

As proof, here are two photos of me when I was fit as hell and still studying dance of various styles at least three days per week. All I see are thighs. Thighs like giant hams.





Those tights didn’t do me any favors either.

I recently googled my affliction, looksbadinshortsitis. Apparently I was far from the only one to do so, but get this: the top result was about MEN. Can women have anything just for us?

This is a rhetorical question, men. Don’t give me your mainsplaining comments.

Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 9.13.34 PM

So was the third. What’s that about?!

I remember feeling weird in shorts even in summers during high school. Short shorts looked good but I felt uncomfortable sitting down. To this day, I don’t understand anyone who thinks short shorts are versatile or comfortable or practical. If you are an adult wearing short shorts, I assume it’s because you know you look good in them and don’t care about how it feels. Short shorts are fine if all you plan to do is stand around. But I’m not living like that.

I think what makes shorts extra uncomfortable for me is that I have a long torso and a somewhat short rise. So many trends that I have wanted to wear through the years – crop tops, overalls and jumpsuits most memorably – look weird on me. My body feels like a grotesque optical illusion sometimes. Go shopping with me and prepare to say “it’s not terrible but something isn’t working” repeatedly.

Once in a while, I’ll wear longer shorts (like these), but I feel frumpy. More often, you’ll find me in cropped pants (like these).

But mostly I just wait around counting the days until Fall and hoping against hope for reincarnation.

I bought two new pairs of shorts via Athleta. Do I think I look great in them? No, not really. But they are less terrible on me than other shorts I have worn.

This pair is a nice casual option. 8.5″ is apparently a comfortable inseam length for me. These are a less stretchy and cheaper option.

These are a more athletic style. I love the length for working out. These are similar and cheaper.


3 thoughts on “Why do I look so bad in shorts?

  1. markbialczak

    Ah, well, Jen. Those particular photos, I blame the outfits, not the wearer of them. I figure that if you throw on some regular everyday not-to-the-knee comfortable shorts and you’re good to go. And don’t visit the mirror and dwell, my friend, just do it. We’re hitting 100 this weekend.


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