Fat Thighs

When I’m not thinking about death, I’m thinking about my fat thighs. My brain bounces between the two subjects like a ping-pong ball. I hate these preoccupations but I feel helpless against the tyranny of my depression. Obviously, I am looking for a new medication.

Fat thighs have always been one of my deepest, most elemental dreads. Fat thighs are loaded with significance for me, all negative. They represent weakness of the worst sort, a moral and aesthetic crime. It means being Female, in the most self-loathing and sexist definition of the word. God knows how this started, but my father hated fat and he hated women, so we might not need Einstein to figure it out. Years ago, I would cringe at the line from Master Song by Leonard Cohen:

and your thighs are a ruin, you want too much
let’s say you came back some time too soon

Leonard Cohen may have been talking about Mary Magdalene but I still take it personally.

How many women hate their thighs? I know the number is vast and most of you didn’t know my father. If you hate your thighs, can you recall the genesis of the hatred?

When I sit down, I see my thighs spread outward like a sea of blubber. I whine and complain and apologize to my husband for my fat thighs. He has demonstrated again and again his reverence for my thighs, but I feel they are a blight verging on deformity.

Out in the Fact-based Community, my thighs are probably slimmer than average but that has no bearing on my problem.  Fat Thighs are a state of mind, a state of being, a Feminist Issue, and a way to externalize anxiety and shame.

Plus, I can’t go out wearing shorts, even though it’s been a trillion degrees all summer and my house has become an Indian sweat lodge.

Thoughts, advice, insults, anyone?

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26 Responses to Fat Thighs

  1. ellio says:

    I remember fretting about my chubby thighs since I was about 10. Then after about twelve years of hating them one day I spotted my belly in a mirror at a new angle. I realised my thighs were fine compared to that.
    It resolved the thigh issue in one swoop. Have never had such a moment of acceptance.
    Now I fret about my tummy instead.

  2. Hammie says:

    God no! I had lipo in my 20’s to get rid of saddle bags and never looked back. They are evenly fat, they feel nice to sit on, even kneeling, and they make jeans & body con dresses look nice. I get freaked out when I see women whose thighs don’t touch. I worry if they eat, if they exercise too obsessively and will end up with osteoporosis just because they wanted pencil legs.
    And in the dark, squishy is good. xx

  3. Hammie says:

    (my husband is of Spanish extraction)

  4. David Duff says:

    What was that old song . . . ?

    “Thighways the highway to happiness”, or something like that!

  5. Stacy says:

    Nope. Can’t offer any advice as I haven’t worn shorts in over 20 years and am tormented by Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog lyric,
    ‘I don’t know but I’ve been told,
    a big legged woman ain’t got no soul’
    My Dad said my legs looked like tree stumps.

  6. BethUK says:

    Did you ever see a picture of a model just sitting normally? Me either. All those artistic poses exist to convince us that real people who can sit down without the thigh-spread-thing happening actually exist. They lie. No one like that exists (with the possible exception of Olympians).

  7. Suspended says:

    Why do I find the socks and shoes in that picture so disturbing?

    I am a man. I only suffer body neuroses when I pick up a men’s health magazine. This happened once. It taught me to never pick one up again.

    I’m certain your thighs are just fine. If your husband likes them then, obviously, they are.

  8. tamara says:

    Quite… It’s so much easier to castigate yourself for physical issues than choices you’ve made in your life, i find! meanwhile, Laetitia Casta (spelling?) is great thinspo. Thanks so much for turning me on to her in the first place.

  9. annemarie says:

    I’m fat-phobic too. Because of this, I know I’ll always be thin. But I’ll still tell people it’s my metabolism.

  10. Bex says:

    You look skinny in pics! Somehow I doubt that you have fat thighs. It’s all in your head. (I don’ t mean you have a fat head).

  11. Andra says:


  12. Lynnski says:

    Well, there is that history of anorexia. Which, as you know, includes body dysmorphia or something that means a distorted view of your corporeal self.

    I am sorry you are having such terrible dreams and distorted feelings about your legs. They do hold you up, you know. A good thing. Maybe you are troubled by feeling grounded, when Max was not. Your legs = survivor’s guilt.

    Yours with care and atheist blessings.

  13. Cat says:

    I hate my thighs too. I don’t really remember how it started, but I do remember being about 10 and already thinking my thighs and ass were unacceptably fat (I have never been fat, but I have a latina body: small waist, wide hips). I don’t wear shorts as a principle, and out of courtesy to people with eyes. The thing that I find extremely weird and beyond comprehension is that every single man I have ever gotten naked with (and some with which I haven’t!) has enthusiastically expressed admiration for them, without knowing of my “trauma”. It’s a mystery to me, I just hope that my fear of getting fatter thighs/ass keeps me motivated enough to work out until I am too old to care.

  14. dana says:

    here, if it makes you feel any better: I’m 5’4″ and a size 12. I’m not sure what I weigh, but since I just at a bunch of old easter chocolate and am on my second glass of wine, I’m sure it’s going to be more tomorrow. Last year at this time I was a size 8. I seriously doubt I’m ever going to see that again, because I’m 43 and too exhausted to exercise that much again.

    Your poor, beautiful, young self, killed by your ex-husband. that’s what they do, isn’t it? mine is doing it, slowly. I’m letting him, because we have three young children, and I can’t bear to leave them.

    Please take care of yourself. We who cannot speak like you do need you.

  15. Desiree says:

    “Suspended” has the healthiest attitude to all body focus/health/fash mags that make us hate ourselves. He just put the mag down and never looked back. Nice one.

  16. Debbie says:

    I’d kill to be as thin as you and you do not have fat thighs. But I hear you … I wish I could have an eye tuck and the fact sucked out of my double chin and my friends tell me I’m crazy. I hate summer because I too, will not wear shorts in public. I’m white and fat and sweaty all summer long and I can’t wait for fall to fucken get here cause I look sooooo much better. I can cover my fat self up with sleeves and pants and turtle necks. *sigh* isn’t it terrible the crap we do to ourselves with all this self degradation …



  17. Desiree says:

    Hammie, I’m 44 and my thighs still don’t touch. I can’t help it. I was made that way. Even having four kids hasn’t helped. I’m sorry my thighs don’t touch, I just hope I won’t be crippled with osteoporosis one day. Don’t assume women with naturally thin legs fucking well have eating disorders or exercise too much.

  18. Taylor says:

    This is how I feel about my waist. I have a little bit of thigh fat, but I literally bloat after I eat anything, and I cannot lose weight off my waist. I will never have abs. I feel like EVERY girl has a thinner waist than I do and I hate having sex from certain positions because all I can think about is my stomach fat.

  19. Lisa says:

    The exact moment I realised I had thunder thighs was sitting on the floor in grade 6 next to my two friends. It was like goldilocks. One was too thin and bony, the middle one was ‘normal’, nicely shaped and didn’t squish, and then there were mine, jiggles and doubles in size when I sit. I also have stout lower body with cankles. I would be less self conscious of my legs if I didn’t have calves the size of my thighs.

    Sigh. Genetics.

  20. My favorite thing in the world regarding ‘chubby thighs’:

  21. Moolissa says:

    I’m sad you feel this way! My thighs are large, and keep getting larger. I guess I have more issues with my gut and back fat than I do with my thighs. It’s all so exhausting, isn’t it? Hating yourself? I don’t know what to say, Sister. I think your body looks trim, healthy, and pretty bad ass.

    You are one of my favorite people, Sister, yet whenever I hear people with trim, healthy, bad ass physiques bemoan their appearance, I get a case of the stabbies. I think, “Wow…if you are disgusting, then I might as well be lined up in front of a firing squad right now. Take me out. I’m a danger to humanity with my overgrown adipose cells.” There have been times when I’ve said this to friends who weigh at least 30% less than I do. Usually their response is, “OH NO! I don’t mean YOU! You’re so beautiful! Your thighs are perfect!! It’s just ME!”

    Yeah, right. UGH. It’s annoying!!!

    You are a fucking fox. I’m sorry that somehow it got into your head that your thighs had to be a certain circumference (sp?) in order to look pretty. And do men worry about their thighs? NO. This is a problem of patriarchal society and the “beauty” industry. They set an impossible standard as an ideal because it gives people something to reach for, something to keep throwing their money at. “THESE are beautiful thighs, thighs that will bring you fulfillment.” Even if you don’t shell out the $100 for their fancy, sea harvested, organic, molecularly re-engineered and biophazed cream (endorsed by a heavily photoshopped celebrity du jour), you walk away wanting what they’re selling: those thighs.

    Godammit, I’m mad. Love you, Sister. Happy to trade thigh circumference with you any day of the week. xx

  22. bbw-chan says:

    fat thighs, wide hips, big bottoms, big boobs… they all are attributes of female beauty to many male admirers. just be who and how you are, at any shape and weight.

  23. train says:

    Give me some fucking answers gooooooddddddd fuuuuuuu cc kkiiiiiiiiiiggggggg dammmmmmmmmmittttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Sister Wolf says:

    train – what are your questionsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss??

  25. Nikki says:

    Your reflection/perspective on thighs is exactly how I feel about mine. I feel thunder and earthquake as I sit. I get the thighs from my moms side. I wishes she would have got me started on the thigh master when I was 4. I so want to look normal in shorts. But I fret how I’ll look and cause disgusting looks. maybe I had nicer legs in my previous life thus I am doomed to have big thighs in the present life. Damn media.

  26. Odile Lee says:

    If you overdose on cheesecake, look up the Dukan Diet.
    It is not a diet, you can eat yourself sick. He’s wonderful:)Plus while you burn fat, you put on muscle. No starving.

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