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No More Shame, No More Pain or Let’s Talk About Our Thighs

Heads up guys, this one is just for the ladies.

I mean, it doesn’t have to be just for the ladies. It could totally be for dudes, too. It’s really just for people who have experienced wearing a dress in the summer, and here at MonsteRawr, we don’t judge. And, I suppose, it’s not necessarily for all the ladies; just ones in dresses.

Let me try this intro again.

Heads up people who have no desire to wear a dress this summer, this one is just for people who would like to wear a dress this summer.

Anyway. There’s something I want to talk about with you guys. Something important. We’re all walking around dealing with it in silence and shame, like we’re all members of some fucked up secret society that we’re too embarrassed to admit membership. And I’m sick of it. We shouldn’t have to suffer alone, so let’s just get it out in the open and be done with it.

Let’s talk about chub rub.

Chub rub is the cutesy-ootsy name some asshole came up with to describe the rash you get when your sweaty-ass thighs rub together as you walk.

(Side rant: In case you haven’t guessed, I hate that name more than I hate the concept of Spanx. (And I really hate the concept of Spanx.) Seriously, who came up with that? Chub rub. Yeah, sure, it rhymes, which makes it sound harmless and cute instead of puffy and painful. But ‘chub’? Just because I don’t have a motherfucking thigh-gap, my legs are relegated to chub? Fuck you, person I’ve never met, my thighs aren’t chubby! I can leg press my husband with those thighs! And besides, even if that wasn’t pure muscle and awesomeness wrapped around my femurs, don’t act like you’re doing me a favor by calling them ‘chubby’. ‘Chubby’ is a word you use when you’re trying to say ‘fat’ in a passive-aggressively nice way. Babies have chubby legs. If you’re going to insult my legs, just fucking insult them without trying to pretend like you’re sparing my feelings. Asshole.)

Chub rub. I prefer to call it a power rash. (Mostly because I haven’t yet come up with anything better. Work on that for me, would you?)

So yeah, chub rub or power rash or whatever you feel comfortable calling it, it sucks. Giant unwashed balls. And for a very long time, I thought I was the only one who had to deal with it. It started becoming an issue in college, and I remember asking a friend (who was also about my size) if her thighs ever rubbed together so bad she got a rash. She looked at me like I was wearing my underoos as a beret and answered with a very  confused, “Nooooo?” 

Which sealed my shame. At that moment, I assumed that my thigh-discomfort was a result on my extra-fat thighs, and my problem alone. I mean, everyone else was walking around in dresses and skirts without a problem, so I must be the only one with a rash. For years after that, I just didn’t wear anything with a skirt in the summer. I thought I was just too fat for dresses.

Four years ago, I wrote a post about beginning to accept parts of my body for what they were, instead of what I wished they were. In that post, I wrote that I’ve always hated my legs because they’re huge and my thighs rub together when I walk. The amazingly kick-ass woman that is Kristin of Camels & Chocolate commented on that post, “Girrrrrl, every woman’s inner thighs touch in a dress. Those who don’t are airbrushed.” And that was the first time I realized I wasn’t alone. That I wasn’t– couldn’t be–the only woman dealing with this problem.

For years, I let my shame and embarrassment of my body keep me from wearing what I wanted. For years, I let myself believe the lie that the ads and commercials had told me, that it’s normal to have space between your legs and anyone who doesn’t is a fat loser. If I had asked someone, anyone, even if that someone was Google, I would have found that this is a common problem that nearly everyone on the planet who enjoys not starving has to deal with, but I was too afraid of the shame. And that’s not okay.

So yeah, my thighs rub together when I walk. Yours probably do to. And that’s okay.

And so ladies dudes persons-in-skirts, what to do about it?

For a long time, I carried around a miniature bottle of baby powder in my purse and applied liberally to the inner thigh area. And that worked…okay. It was an effective, but not elegant solution. For one, if you’re doing a lot of walking and it’s particularly hot, you have to reapply frequently. Like, more frequently than is socially convenient. Frequently enough that people start to wonder if the reason you’ve had to stop at every bathroom at the St Louis Zoo is because you need your fix, not because it’s 92 fucking degrees outside and your inner thighs are starting to get tender.

But the other issue with baby powder is that the application process is messy. It’s nearly impossible to powder your thighs without spilling white powder everywhere, making it doubly difficult to convince people that you’re not harboring some kind of severe chemical dependency.  So not only was I having to make frequent stops in the restroom, I was then having to take several minutes to try and clean up spilled baby powder off a public bathroom floor by scuffing at it with my sandal until I thought it was gone. Which is annoying. And doesn’t really help with the lingering feelings of shame over this being an issue in the first place.

I’ve heard other women who just wear spandex shorts under all their dresses, but this just isn’t a solution that appeals to me. I mean, they’d have to be pretty fucking short in order to not show when you sit down in a short dress. And once you’ve invited tiny booty shorts to the party, this just sounds like one more thing that’s going to try disappear up my ass-crack. (When you have a booty as bodacious as mine, the struggle is real.) I spend enough of my life trying to find secluded corners of public places in which to delicately try and pretend that I’m not picking my wedgie, I don’t need to add 6″ of spandex to that equation. Besides, adding a pair of shorts to my outfit when it’s balls-hot outside just seems like it would make me even hotter and force me to marinate in even more of my own sweat. Ick.

I struggled with this issue for a long time. Then last year, I found the perfect solution:


Image courtesy of banelettes.com.

(From whom I am receiving no compensation. I’m just…really passionate about this issue.)

Bandelettes are lacy bands about…I don’t know, 5″ wide…with thin silicone strips on each edge. You wear them on your thighs and the silicone keeps them in place. And they keep your thighs from rubbing together! No joke, I’ve worn them to many a zoo, botanical garden, and other walking-intensive outings, and I haven’t gotten a single power rash since. You do have to get them positioned just right so that they line up with each other, but a quick walk around the house usually exposes any issues on that front. They stay exactly in place, they breath beautifully, and they’re incredibly comfortable.

*Super-inclusion disclosure: I don’t know how well the silicone will do with super long leg hair. I fear they might tug. I asked Kyle to give one a test drive, for the sake of science, and he threw a stapler at me. Clearly, Kyle hates science.

But the thing I love about them the most (other than the fact that my thighs no longer chafe) is the fact that they come in bold colors and are lacy; they’re sexy. They’re not utilitarian spandex in beige, some necessary undergarment meant to be hidden in shame. Bandelettes can peek out from my hemline with the demure coyness of an old Hollywood starlet. What is that she’s hiding under her dress? Is it garters? Some incredibly complicated lingerie? Who knows? It’s certainly not some shameful undergarment that fat girls have to wear to keep from getting a rash. I never have to worry about what happens if someone sees my Bandelettes, because they’re fun and flirty. Definitely nothing to be ashamed of.

So I beg you, ye wearers of dresses, get you to Amazon and get yourself a pair of Bandelettes. Or whatever your chosen solution is; there’s lots of other ways out there to combat  power rash. Bandelettes just happen to be my personal favorite, but you may have something that jives better with you. Just, whatever you do, don’t let the shame of your thighs rubbing together keep you from wearing what makes you feel amazing. Those thighs can do incredible things, I just know it, and just because they make contact doesn’t mean that they’re unworthy of being dressed in something that makes you feel fantastic. So let’s stop hiding and pretending like this shit doesn’t happen to all of us. 

To the beskirted masses I say: no more shame and no more pain! Because our thighs are nothing to be ashamed of.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Allie Wilson June 19, 2017, 3:39 pm

    YES! I’m feeling it! So much better than wearing those nude bicycle shorts disguised as undergarments.

    Also, you’re right,fuck the term ‘chub rub’.

    • Stephanie June 19, 2017, 4:28 pm

      Right?! It was really the design of them, the fact that they looked like something that was meant to be seen vs something to be embarrassed if it accidentally showed, that I found so refreshing and appealing. I now have pairs in black, white, and nude, but they’re all in lace!

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