Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Who Wears Short Shorts?

Image courtesy of Pong /
Okay, I caved in and went shopping for shorts at Old Navy. I’m not a big fan but they’re in fashion and it’s just too damn hot to wear jeans. I grabbed whatever was on sale and sauntered off to the fitting room. I’m a diehard try-before-you-buy kind of girl. It saves time and heart ache. Well, usually.

The problem began at my thighs: Lots of huffing, puffing, and stuffing. How could this be? I know I’m not in my best shape ever but things haven’t gotten that bad have they? WTF? If this is what I get for cutting back on sugar then why bother?

I finally got the shorts on, zipped, and buttoned and it felt like I was wearing denim Spanx. Deep breathing was not only ill advised, it was impossible. As I stared in the full-length mirror – hoping I was seeing the director’s cut of Oculus and not a brand new muffin top – I began chiding myself for all the happy hour hot wings and wine I’ve been enjoying. In frustration I looked at the tag as if that would change anything. But wonder of wonders it did.

It read: size zero.

What? I’m not a size zero. Not now. Not ever. For the record, you’re not a size zero if people can see you.

I’m also not a regular Old Navy shopper so I made the mistake of trusting that the size on the hanger matched the size of the item. It did not. The hanger said eight, the shorts said zero, and my therapist – who was on speaker phone – said, “I can see you at four.”

I wasn’t upset that I might’ve needed a bigger size. I was unnerved that I could be so out of touch with my body. When I believed I was bursting out of size eight I thought, How did I not know that I’ve put on THAT much weight? It turns out that I haven’t but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m very body conscious. What human being who works in the earth-based entertainment industry isn’t?

I heard a report recently that claimed the fastest growing demographic affected by eating disorders isn’t teenage girls but women over 30. That makes sense. Being constantly bombarded by unrealistic images of beauty takes a toll. It’s either get beat down or grow confident. I struggle with the former. I’m working on the latter.

I’ve been slim since childhood and all puberty really brought me was a face full of acne. It is only now that what I mistook for a few extra pounds to work off were actually my late-bloomer curves beginning to show themselves. And you know what? I like them.

For the record the eights weren’t the right size for me either. I settled on a six and told my therapist I’d see her another time. I realized all on my ownsome that I’d just put way too much energy into a piece of clothing that isn’t going to last past three washings anyway. I was shopping at Old Navy not Nordstrom’s. 

Life is too short to be stressed out over shorts.

See you at Happy Hour.

The Urban Erma, the longest running column on, was created and written by stand-up comedian Leighann LordListen to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio

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