Why It’s OK to be Fat & Wear Shorts

Little fat dancer

Me, as a 3 year old showgirl

I have been fat every day of my life since I was born. I’m not just talking a few pounds overweight. I’m talking – I gained a pound in the hospital when I was born – fat. For real. And I’ve always been ok with being fat. I’ve never allowed the fact that my body has more fat than the average bear (or person) stop me from doing what I’ve wanted to do. I’ve traveled all around the world. I’ve performed in front of people. I’m a trial lawyer, for the love. I’m very confident in front of people and confident in myself and my abilities. I own my badassery. Fat & all. Except…I do not wear shorts.

I can’t remember the last time I wore shorts in public. Rolled up jeans – yes. Dresses with panty hose – yes. (I know. I’m old school in court.) Yoga capri pants – yes. But no shorts. I was probably 14 years old the last time I wore real shorts out in public. And that is absolutely ridiculous.

This all hit me in the dressing room on a Tuesday evening while I was trying on spring dresses for work. Dressing rooms are generally bad places. Bad lighting. Bad mirrors. You’re enclosed in a little box room with clothes that don’t fit. It’s not usually the spot where you expect to have an eye-opening experience. Or maybe it is.

I stood there looking at a pair of shorts I grabbed off the rack right before walking into the dressing room. I loved the pattern. And I always wanted to wear cute shorts. But I did not have the body for wearing shorts. So I thought I’d try them on and remind myself why fat people shouldn’t wear such things.

And there it hit me. What in the hell was this crap I was thinking? Who decided that I didn’t have the body for shorts? Yes. I have fat legs and hips. But does that mean I can’t wear shorts?

Thinking back, I think it was more about how I thought I would appear to other people than what I thought I’d look like. And that is a trap of epic proportions. Anytime you focus on what other people think instead of what you think – you are a slave to their opinions. And that is a life that I refuse to live. (See In the Danger Zone) Ultimately, no matter how confident I am in other areas of my life, I have been allowing my fat to determine my confidence, or lack thereof, in some of my choices. And that’s not ok. As long as I like it and feel good in what I’m wearing, then I’m going to wear it. And you should too!

Here’s why:

1. It’s YOUR body.

What you put on your body is your business. What you do with your body is your business. Whether you wear skirts or shorts or crop tops is your business. You are in charge of your body. Period. It doesn’t matter if you have a short body or tall body or fat body or skinny body. It’s yours. My fat legs carry me wherever I need to go. My jiggly arms reach and do whatever I need them to. There are some people who don’t have that privilege. Appreciate your body. Love your body. Honor your body. Werk your body.

2. Other people’s opinions don’t matter.

If someone doesn’t like what you wear, it’s their problem. Anyone that tries to make you feel bad about yourself is not a friend. Good people support each other and encourage each other to be confident and fabulous. If someone reacts negatively to the fact that you are wearing shorts or whatever it is that you want to wear, then the only thing that needs to be removed is that person from your head space and maybe your life. Byeeeeeeeee!

3. Make yourself happy.

You cannot please everyone. If you try, you’ll make yourself insane. The only person you have any shot of making happy is yourself. So do that. Wear what makes you happy. Wear what makes you switch (also known as walking with a purpose and a “damn I’m awesome” air). Wear what makes you smile. Life is hard enough without sweating your behind off.


Confidence is like a muscle that has to be stretched and worked out. The more you work it, the stronger it becomes. Grow your confidence. I am. Life is too short. Summer is too hot.

I’ve always wanted to wear shorts but had convinced myself that I was unworthy of doing so. I didn’t even realize my own insecurity until it hit me in the mirror of a dressing room. I was wrong.

I’m rocking my shorts this summer. How about you?

Why you can be fat and wear shorts


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101 comments

  1. Kal says:

    To be honest I’ve never understood why other “fat” people don’t wear shorts. I have been overweight for a very long time and IT GETS HOT. I cannot stand being too warm, it turns me into a total dick. Ok more of one. I know that I’m in the minority on the whole shorts thing though.

    You don’t need my approval to wear what makes you happy but either way you look damn cute.

  2. Shelby says:

    Girl YES to all of this. I struggle with reminding myself everyday ” others opinions of me are none of my business”. As long as you’re happy and feel good, that’s all that matters! 💕

  3. Darci says:

    You look adorb in those shorts! You know, as I get older and put on more weight, I wonder more about what people will think when I wear shorts, but I must not care too much because I’m rocking some shorts right now. Haha! This really was a great post 🙂

  4. Emily says:

    I absolutely love this post! You go girl! As long as you feel good in your skin and practice healthy habits that’s all that matters. And those shorts look so cute on you. And you’re right, dressing room lighting absolutely sucks!!! Keep being you xo

  5. Dannie says:

    Yas! This is such an important post. Who cares what other people think?! It’s your both and you rock it how you want to. Not enough people get that. So thanks for using your platform to remind everyone to wear what they want and everyone else can STFU.

    xoxo,
    Dannie
    http://www.stilefotocibo.com

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks, Dannie! Our bodies are incredible – big, small, whatever. I’m happy to encourage others to love themselves and their bodies just as they are! Thanks for stopping by! <3

    • Sarah says:

      Sian – You don’t owe anything to anyone else when it pertains to you and your body. You are perfectly and wonderfully made! <3, S

  6. Clare Speer says:

    Good for you – I’m a very “large” woman and I wear shorts… and even… bathing suits in the summer – I live in Florida so it is a must! Be good to yourself – you are learning to love yourself! Good for you!

  7. Iman says:

    I have the opposite problem I have always been underweight. I did not wear my first pair of shorts until I was 19 and I still will not wear a bathing suit. Good for you for taking the leap I was so happy when I did, I now love shorts.

  8. Michael Noker says:

    Those shorts are absolutely adorable and you rock them.

    I am also a member of the does-not-wear-shorts club, but it’s not so much an issue with my body (I’m an acceptable level of tiny for a mid-20s blonde gay boy) as it is weirdly uncomfortable. I feel super exposed and weird when my legs are bare.

    Except that I moved to the middle of the desert, where it’s going to start being 90+ degrees all day every day within a month or two, so I’m going to have to rethink this.

  9. Leah Miller says:

    I think you look super cute in those shorts! And they are a gorgeous pattern too! I have to admit I am not a huge fan of shorts, I have yet to find a pair that suits me, and I am addicted to my jeans, but I would totally wear these!

  10. Miss Corinne Collett says:

    The shorts look great on you. I think you should wear whatever you want as long as you feel happy and comfortable.

    When I went to Florida, I packed shorts because of the weather. I usually only wear skirts and dresses. Wearing them made me so self conscious that I went and bought a load of dresses for the rest of the holiday! I should have known better. I’m just not good with shorts or jeans, even if I’m at a low weight.

    I think it’s just down to what you are comfortable with and not to give a damn what anyone else or society tells you or expects of you.

    Keep rocking the shorts.

    Corinne x

  11. Brenda says:

    Great post and idea to relate confidence and choices back to shorts. Love the confidence is a muscle that has to be worked – that is one of my “weaker” muscles. This post is so beneficial for people struggling with other’s opinion so great for putting it out there. Can’t wait to read what you are writing and doing in those shorts this summer!!

  12. jodie filogomo says:

    It’s not only shape but age that this relates to!! My mom constantly criticizes herself that she has these “veins’ on her legs—-and I keep reminding her that her legs are fabulous! Great reminder to us all!!
    I’m assuming you bought those shorts—they’re fabulous! jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

  13. nathalie says:

    i was really inspirated by your blog. I also struggle with my body.. i think my upper legs are too big that my legs are too white.. but by readying this i feel better and i will wear that short with my white legs. Thank you Sarah, you look very good in that short

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you so much, Nathalie. I’m so glad you commented! Wear your shorts and feel fabulous! You deserve it! 💕💕💕

  14. Marie Wikle says:

    I have the same shape. I wear shorts – down to my knees like you and most other ladies.

    I love them. and several skirts that are the same.

    if we are all lucky – we will all get very very wrinklie one day. 🙂 so yeah… rock those shorts girly!!

    thanks for the smile.

    @spreadingJOY
    marie

  15. Jerwel Adrian says:

    Well, this is a good read, especially that it inspires people to love their body more whatever size and shape they have. It also helped me to increase my self-esteem on wearing short despite having a large constitution.

  16. Amanda says:

    Hugs, hugs, and more hugs and then some tears! You have made my day and I hope to one day have the confidence that you have. Own those shorts because they look fantastic on you! I also love that pattern!

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you so much, Amanda! I’ve learned you’ve got to use your confidence to make it grow. Give yours a stretch! I want to hear about it! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  17. Shann says:

    I think those shorts look great on you! I honestly can’t remember the last time I wore shorts either. Maybe I’ll pull out a pair this summer and see how it feels.

  18. Melissa says:

    I love this! I avoid shorts a lot too because of self esteem issues. But I think body positivity and self-love is so important. Thank you for this post!

  19. Alie says:

    What you said has given me the confidence to wear my first pair of shorts since elementary school.. thank you for sharing your confidence and inspiring me to do that same!

  20. Sami says:

    This was fabulous! It totally is about rocking you and what makes you happy. You look fab in those shorts (and they ARE super cute)!

  21. Kirstie Ganobsik says:

    Fabulous pattern and they look great on you! I didn’t wear shorts for years either – I have an old leg injury I hated and tend to carry my weight in my thighs. Your comment “‘life is short, summer is hot” hit home with me because that’s exactly what I thought before getting up enough confidence to put them back on. Hope you’re feeling as cool as you look in them!

  22. Dana says:

    I love the quote about confidence being a muscle. Will be using it and attributing it to you!

    And, as you said, what I think about the shorts doesn’t really matter (and I agree), but I will still give my vote of support to wear and enjoy whatever makes you feel great.

  23. Elaine Alguire says:

    You go girl! Work those shorts, you look great in them! I tend to think I have horrible legs but then I remember that they are just like my mom’s and I always thought hers were beautiful and so how could I not think MINE are?

    Thank you for inspiring others. Kudos to you!!

  24. Nikki Crump says:

    You look fantastic in your shorts. I haven’t wore real shorts in about 5 years. I’ll wear bermuda shorts, but not shorts shorts. This post gave me a boost of confidence because you are right!

  25. Angela J. Ford says:

    Girl, you are rockin’ those shorts. I enjoyed your post, speaking to confidence, and also the fun puns I found throughout this. Clearly, you know who you are and you aren’t afraid to flaunt it! Keep on being amazing.

  26. brittany says:

    Love this post! You are beautiful by the way, I love your confidence. There is nothing better than knowing you can rock the hell out of some shorts. Who cares what others think as long as YOU are happy! Great work.

  27. lindahobden says:

    No reason why you shouldn’t wear shorts. It gets hot in summer so it’s no use sweating in a pair of jeans. You should wear what you feel comfortable in – I like to wear knee length denim shorts. You look nice in the patterned knee length shorts. Rock those shorts this summer! 😊

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