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I first noticed my thighs chafing at the age of 14. I was wearing my sister’s borrowed denim mini skirt and it was the middle of the summer holidays – a time when young people can break free of the restraints of their polyester school uniforms and ignore as many school uniform rules as they please. Total freedom of expression! And I took that phrase as a challenge to be as rebellious as possible in the fashion stakes (this did not always end well).
But, it’s what I had yearned for over the months behind a desk that dug into the tops of my thighs and on a seat that my bum didn’t quite sit comfortably on. Except, my body seemed to want the opposite. That day my thighs chafed themselves together until I was crying for the safety of my school trousers. The unflattering navy shorts that bunched up in places where they did not when the other girls in my class wore them.
I longed for anything to stop the pain of the dreaded “chub rub”. This phrase is one I have only come across fairly recently, even though I have been a subdued sufferer since my teen years. While before my discomfort was hushed with the sharp whisper of ‘ baby powder!’ I can now walk into a high street shop and buy specially designed underwear made for protecting those awkward areas of pain. Having a term, dedicated to an inadvertent act of my body due to being plus size, is somehow liberating, comforting and reassuring in one lovely feeling. I think that feeling is ultimately “acceptance”. Someone finally noticed that because we are plus size it does not mean we feel we need to hide our bodies away.
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Because of this, being plus size has not stopped me from wearing skirts. Actually, I recently uncovered my legs and let them feel the full force of summer. Having always been heavier than my peers from a young age and therefore self-conscious in my youth, I’ve finally discovered the part of my brain that encourages me to really not give a shit, grab those anti-chafing shorts from my drawer and wear whatever I like.
I abandoned the plus size clothing offerings that I am expected to wear a long time ago, swearing to myself that just because I was bigger, that does not mean that I and my rubbing thighs won’t be taken seriously. My wardrobe now comprises of anything that may be considered “inappropriate” by the crowds of people who think “she should dress for her size”. I dress for myself and the 14 year old me who felt she had to run to the safety of the norm. Even more so, I dress for the group who feel that their thigh chafing and sweaty boobs still aren’t ready for the general public. And that’s okay. Confidence isn’t something that appears overnight and I had to grow into mine. So for now I’ll try my best to be one of the representatives of the plus size sisterhood as we are all in this together.
I embrace the phrase “thunder thighs”, I welcome each new stretch mark with open arms and I even think I’d miss my double chin if it disappeared one day. Many people may call these “flaws” and expect me to do everything I can to be rid. But is it so bad if I’ve accepted these things as just being part of me? After learning to understand the minefield that is my anatomy I somehow don’t even notice them as they just blend into the palette that is my body. They aren’t unusual or unseemly. They’re just who I am. And if I am happy, my body is happy, chafing thighs and all.
Here at SMB we highly recommend Chaffree which are in the featured photo.