For me, seeing people go against the grain and stick a middle finger up to society's archaic beauty standards always feels empowering. Unfortunately, much of the Western world still considers thinness the ideal for all. So whenever I stumble across plus size women in short shorts unapologetically breaking barriers, I want to high-five them all through cyberspace.
In this body-shaming world of ours, I cannot help but feel that it's brave when marginalized individuals smash so-called fashion and beauty rules. As author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote of protagonist Ifemelu in her best-selling book Americanah, "She thought nothing of slender legs shown off in miniskirts — it was safe and easy, after all, to display legs of which the world approved — but the fat woman's [wearing of a miniskirt] was about the quiet conviction that one shared only with oneself, a sense of rightness that others failed to see."
Just as there is nothing wrong with any human's body, there is nothing wrong with plus size figures. When Western culture stops measuring beauty in a singular way, we can hopefully learn to accept our supposed "flaws" and individuality. Until then, it feels so important that we champion the individuals willing to fight and chip away at the current state of one-track acceptability. So take a look at 16 plus size babes in short shorts to appreciate a different, but no less wonderful, type of beauty.
1. The Sophisticated Short Shorts
Tanesha Awasthi rocks an effortlessly elegant ensemble, pairing her black short shorts with a hi-lo hemmed top. "I don't wear shorts often, but when I do, I rock them with confidence," Awasthi tells me over email. It's clear to see that she has bags of self-love, and she looks amazing.
2. The Cutesy Button-Up Pair
Looking like a total sweetheart in a pair of button-up shorts, Ragini Nag Rao, the inimitable genius behind the wonderfully whimsical blog A Curious Fancy, tells me, "Short shorts are the comfiest things to lounge in on warm summer days. I especially love short denim shorts because they're such a classic and so easy to style!"
3. The Classic White Shorts
Chante' Burkett, the Editor-In-Chief of Everything Curvy and Chic, epitomizes summer in her white short shorts, sandals, and off-the-shoulder top. Chante' tells me, "Shorts are a staple in my closet during the warmer months. I just love showing off my legs." So pop on your favorite pair of short shorts and show off your lovely legs.
4. The New Take On Nautical
Plus size fashion blogger Jay Miranda paired a pretty pink top with some nautical-style short shorts. Miranda tells me, "There's certainly an inner voice telling many of us to feel bad about our legs — the dimples, bruises, scars, or sheer volume of our thighs. Wearing a cute pair of shorts is a way to push back against that voice. Then one day it's a non-issue. Go enjoy the breeze on your bare legs." Take Miranda's advice and stay cool this summer in a stylish pair of short shorts.
5. The Beach Shorts Shorts
Take note, everyone: This is how beachwear is done. Chastity Garner-Valentine of GarnerStyle looks like a total beach babe in a candy-colored bikini top and cute black shorts.
6. The Cute Romper
Hollie Burgess of Pretty Big Butterflies came to terms with the fact that haters are always gonna' hate, so she decided to quit caring about other people's opinions and wear what she feels like instead.
Hollie tells me, "I love wearing short shorts in the warmer months because it lets me feel free! Someone once said shorts don't suit me because of my chunky thighs. That played in the back of my head for ages while I wore dark leggings and overheated. Now I think, 'Why should I suffer because of someone else's opinion?' Shorts are there to be worn, so I'm wearing them."
7. Delightful In Denim
Denim short shorts and rompers can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. Naomi Griffiths of Diamonds & Pearls looks fantastic in her denim romper, paired with a white blazer and matching clutch purse. "There are so many rules plus size girls seem to think they need to follow. I was always conscious of the fact that it seemed us chunky girlies shouldn't wear shorts! Why the hell not, though? I LOVE my legs, so why shouldn't I show them off?" I couldn't agree more. No one should have "rules" imposed upon them regarding how to dress or live their lives.
8. The Retro-Style Shorts
Brianna McDonnell of The B Word wears short shorts to celebrate her amazing body. "Being six-foot tall, I love my legs! Wearing short shorts helps me celebrate my long legs and curves. I feel confident, even with cellulite, because life is too short to not wear what you love," she says. We should all take a leaf out of McDonnell's book and show through our sartorial choices that we love every molecule of our physical selves.
9. The Fabulous Florals
Editor-In-Chief of Stylish Curves Alissa Wilson explains to me, "I love wearing shorts because after learning to accept my body, I realized that I have great legs and now I like to show them off. Shorts allow me to embrace my body positively." A feminine, floral romper featuring short shorts is a wonderful way to show off your legs in the warmer months.
10. The Sunflower Short Shorts
Marie Southard Ospina, an Associate Fashion And Beauty Editor at Bustle and creator of Migg Mag, looks as pretty as a picture in these sunflower print co-ords comprised of a strappy top and short shorts.
Southard Ospina says, "Wearing short shorts as a plus size woman guarantees three things: 1) My cellulite and jiggly thighs will be on full display, 2) Passersby will potentially have to be confronted with their body-shaming tendencies when they clock me, and 3) I'll feel fabulous. I used to hide my legs come summer, petrified of offending anyone around me. But I love the way booty shorts look, and the freedom of letting my legs breathe. If ever anyone's offended or uncomfortable, that's their problem. Not mine."
11. The Smart Casual Short Shorts
CeCe Olisa of Plus Size Princess makes pulling off smart casual attire look like a piece of cake. She's paired a purple college tee with some dark tailored shorts and heels, totally nailing easy breezy but put-together vibes.
12. The Denim Cutoffs
Ciarra Brianne looks super chic in her denim short shorts, drape shirt, and fedora. "I love wearing short shorts because I now love my body. At one point in my life, I hated the way I looked, but I slowly came to terms with this and began loving my body as well as myself," she says. Hearing about Brianne's journey to loving herself is nothing short of inspiring. This awesome picture was snapped by photographer Robert Howell.
13. The Perfectly Preppy Pair
Combine your short shorts with a vibrant blouse and some knee-high socks for a pretty, preppy look. This outfit was created by up-and-coming designer Shannon Krohn, who is definitely one to watch.
14. The Crisp Shorts
These pristine white short shorts let the thought-provoking tee do all the talking, while simultaneously showing off Delaney Hailee's killer curves. Hailee tells me via social media, "I wear short shorts because I feel like your size shouldn't have to hold you back from the things you love in life. I wear them because I love the way I feel in them. It makes me feel good about myself. And at the end of the day, if something makes you feel beautiful and confident in yourself, keep doing it regardless of what others think!" IMO, this is some terrific advice on loving yourself.
15. The Citrus Shorts
Marie Denee, founder and "Editor In Chic" of The Curvy Fashionista, is pictured here rocking some zesty yellow co-ords, including a pair of short shorts. She tells me, "I love my legs. Having been a cheerleader from middle school through college, being shy about your legs was thrown out the window many moons ago! Now?! I still rock what I got and have fun while doing it!"
16. The Heavy Metal Shorts
Alysse Dalessandro of body positive, inclusive brand Ready To Stare looks blooming lovely in a pair of flowery short shorts accessorized with an epic layered chain belt. Dalessandro tells me,"I love wearing shorts because for a long time I felt like I couldn't wear them. Each time I wear shorts, I feel like I am making up for lost time. I am declaring that I won't spend another summer sweating in pants because my thighs touch all the way down to my knees. My body is made for shorts and anything else that I want to wear."
If you're anything like me, you'll be endlessly inspired by these stylish sirens in short shorts. My advice? Pop on your favorite pair and strut down the street like you just don't care. Because why in the world should you?
Images: Courtesy Interviewees