How To Wear Shorts and Love Your Legs

Written by Tara Duncan

I didn’t wear shorts for more than 15 years.

Let’s be real. I’m a big girl. I’ve got thick, cellulite-covered legs. I’ve got a belly. I’ve got stretch marks, rolls, I’m the whole damn bakery at this point.

I’ve been sucking in my stomach since I was 7 or 8. I can remember practicing with my first best friend. I’ve spent so long doing it, it actually hurts to let go. That’s now 26 years of sucking in my stomach.

I’ve had and hated my thick legs my whole life. They were my least favorite part of my body. I was 11 when I realized I had cellulite. I didn’t look like the other girls my age. I’d won a scholarship to Space Camp at Kennedy Space Center and while I remember the experience and having a great time, this photo hasn’t left my mind for 22 years.

As an adult, I’ve been everywhere from 143 lbs. battling an illness, all the way to 294 lbs. leaving the hospital after I had the c-section that gave me my beautiful daughter. As I write this, I’m sitting damn near close to that high weight.

So back to the shorts.

I got real brave after losing a bunch of weight, I was maybe 175 lbs. at the time. and despite the fact that I still had more cellulite dimples than I could count, I figured what the hell. I was on a family vacation in Hawaii, I’d never see those people again, let’s wear shorts in public.

I spent the entire time we were out pulling them down, checking storefronts and mirrors and obsessing over what I must look like to other people, if they were looking at me, judging me. Every now and then, I'd think, ‘If they don't like it, they don't have to look at me.'

And then I'd check the next storefront window as if my thighs had magically decided to smooth out sometime in the last 50 feet.
This is all pretty embarrassing to admit, I mean, why the hell I honestly thought every single person that walked by me cared enough to look at me and judge me, I have no idea. But I also would bet a lot of money I don't have that every single woman ever has felt this way at least once.

It wasn’t for a few more years that shorts became more of a staple in my wardrobe.
The difference between now and then is that although I’m not thrilled with my body the way it is, I no longer care about the number other than what it means for me competitively as a powerlifter.

And I was gonna have to deal with shorts in some way, shape or form because of singlets.

They don't leave a whole hell of a lot to the imagination and they include a serious lack of pants, as they're fashioned into shorts. SUPER.

I maniacally ordered three different ones, paraded myself around the house every single day trying to decide which I looked less hideous in (because let's face it, we were not only dealing with the dimply thighs but the c-section shelf. This was four months after my c-section. I like to torture myself, apparently.)

However, I refused to wear one to the gym. The first time I ever wore my singlet outside of my hallway runway was meet day.

I went 9 for 9, had a great day, and no one seemed totally offended by my pasty dimply legs. And I liked the way my legs felt free and I didn’t feel like anything was in the way when I squatted, it was great.

So I got really brave... and wore shorts to the gym. Once again, nothing terrible happened.
After about 6 weeks of wearing shorts to squat, I got super brave and wore them to the grocery store.

And you know what?

Nothing bad happened! I lived! No one ran away screaming! I only made one lady look at me weird, probably because I asked her to take my picture in a grocery store to document the occasion which is kind of weird, so I can’t blame her.

That was about 3 years ago.... and I’ve been the potato rocking shorts ever since. I still don’t wear them out and about much unless I’m going to or from the gym, but’s that’s really just because of chub rub.

The point is... it doesn’t matter how big or small you are. I’ve had feedback from a lot of women saying they wished they could have the confidence to wear shorts. Baby girl, you can. It’s from within you.

Just try it. And the good news is, the GWPL shorts are actually great for this because you can choose what inseam you prefer and they don’t roll like many other brands.

So you’re comfortable, they look cute and honestly... It’s so empowering once you realize that there’s no reason you can’t. Start by wearing them while you train. You’re working just as hard as anybody else. If someone doesn’t like it they don’t need to look at you, (and I may or may not have actually said this to people... hint, I have) that’s their problem, not even a little bit yours.

You can be aware of perhaps wanting to change things about your body while accepting it and being kind to in the process. They aren’t exclusive thoughts. And the weird part is, once I forced myself to wear the shorts and the confidence started building, my thick legs are no longer my least favorite body part. I still see the dimples and cellulite because I’m not in denial of reality, but I also see powerful muscles and the vessels that will help carry me to the world-record squats I will one day have. (See, there I go, speaking things into existence.)

I’ve even gotten compliments on them, which totally blew my mind.

So let them thick thighs free! Start believing you’re worthy. Because the things you put out in the universe are the things that happen. You start thinking that way for little bits at a time, suddenly, those turn into longer bits, and then one day, BAM! You've got confidence.

And you deserve that, we all do. Because it doesn't matter how many dimples you have on your thighs, your ass, or your fat calves. It doesn't matter if you have a couple of extra pounds or a few extra rolls. Or like me, come prepared with the whole damn bakery.

It matters who you are inside, how you carry yourself, and how you treat those around you.

In the end, it’s not even about the shorts. It’s about everything you gain from the mindset change.

And your newfound positivity, confidence, and self-love will have you winning the game.

Follow Tara on Instagram


  • Tammy: June 05, 2023

    Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve been struggling with this myself. I bought several pairs of the GWPL shorts and you’ve just given me reasons so go for it. I’ll be at the gym in shorts next week. Thank you 😊

  • Corinna : August 01, 2022

    For me, it’s part weight & chub rub, part that I got my dads hairy dna. 😳

  • Heather Perry: May 29, 2020

    THANK YOU! for sharing!! *My legs are probably my least favorite part of my body— (and as I get older, I’ve leaned more towards leggings, pants, jeans and dresses/skirts- avoiding shorts altogether, feeling like they expose my legs so much— I have JUST DECIDED in the past couple of weeks to embrace my legs and WEAR THE DAMN SHORTS when I want to!!…. maybe training at home has helped this- wearing more of whatever I FEEL LIKE wearing at all times… when it’s hot outside— wearing shorts FEELS COOLER, BETTER, and I’m working on embracing continuing to wear shorts more— ANY time I want. Thanks for this encouraging reminder!!!

  • Angela: May 25, 2020

    Oh can I relate! It’s funny how I can love how strong my legs are and be so embarrassed by my legs and butt at the same time. Powerlifting helped me find that confidence in myself and my body, and I wasn’t ashamed anymore. Then I herniated a disc 2.5 years ago and I’ve been in constant pain and trying to heal ever since. Powerlifting has kind of taken a back seat as I struggle to heal, and that struggle seems to have sucked all that self-confidence right out of me. While I still do wear shorts sometimes, shame and embarrassment has crept back in and I cringe at my reflection in mirrors or windows.

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing

GWPL - Gift Card

Regular Price
from $ 25.00
Sale Price
from $ 25.00
Regular Price
Unit Price
Translation missing: en.general.accessibility.unit_price_separator 


Explain the benefits of subscribing

More posts

Quickly Breaking Down Training Volume

by Gage Reid of Nova Strength In the following article I'll be covering training volume, Minimum Effective Dose (MED), Max...