In defense of booty shorts

by ~jenniferlynn on February 20, 2015

in Body Image, CrossFit

It is no secret that Crossfit girls have a tendency to lean towards wearing booty shorts.  It may not happen right away, but just as with the blooming confidence to take off your shirt mid-WOD, it’s a seemingly inevitable outcome that seems to correlate with body confidence and self-empowerment that comes from the sport.

Crossfit booty shorts. I used to NEVER wear shorts, not even casually in the summer. But with Crossfit came increased confidence, and increased practical reasons to don the short shorts. So I will rock those booty shorts without guilt and hope more women can do the same! #crossfit #fitspiration #bootyshorts #confidence


I look back to when I started Crossfit two years ago, donned in what I felt was appropriate workout gear, t-shirt and some moisture-wicking pants. I previously had a bout of confidence a few months prior to wear booty shorts, but wasn’t quite ready to wear them anywhere other than my garage gym, so a t-shirt and loose-fitting pants seemed to be the most logical outfit to wear.

jennifer hudy front squat

As time went on, I realized I sweat a bit too much to be rocking the t-shirts and staining the pits of all my shirts was not a look I was going for. When I started to notice I was growing baby biceps, the last thing I wanted to do was to cover up those arms, so I branched out a bit and discovered the life of WODing tank tops (which later would become an uncontrollable addiction).

For my bottom half, I was still more than content sticking to pants or capris. Even then, it took me a bit of time before I traded in the traditional yoga-pant style for leggings, as the thought of something so close to my legs was just not something I was comfortable with. No matter how much the confidence grew with my arms and even though I was starting to trend towards more fitted pants, I still hated my legs. and thinking about putting on shorts to workout in surrounded by a bunch of other people was just so far off my radar.


Up until less than three years ago, I NEVER wore shorts in public, not to the beach, not to the gym, hardly even around the house if anyone else was around… It started at some point in grade school, where I would wear knee-high socks under my Catholic school uniform so that there was no skin showing between my shins and my knees; I would wear jeans all year-round and over many summers would have to repeatedly say, “I don’t own any shorts” when asked. I claim to never have had any body image issues as I was never trying to “fix” something that was wrong with me. I just didn’t like my legs so didn’t care to show them.

No one was seeing my legs. Ever.

The earliest picture I found of me wearing shorts in public was June, 2013. If memory serves me correctly, it was a million and one degrees, so it was a huge bold move for me to do it, but it was definitely for functional purposes and not for flattery. This is less than two years ago. It was a large event going on at my box and I knew with the heat and how much I’d sure to be sweating I had to make a decision.

It was time to own my body.


Everyone has insecurities and legs just happened to be mine. As the unseasonably hot Michigan summer went on, and the hot, sticky humid temperatures continued (a gym without air conditioning? What was THAT all about??), I became more comfortable in my workout attire and with the idea of wearing shorts since it was for practical purposes, not to show off.

And nobody cared.

Nobody judged that I was wearing shorts and nobody commented on my self-hated legs, and nobody probably even knew that I had been carrying around an irrational insecurity for the past twenty years! No one looked at them and saw the same thing that I did, just as I would have no idea if anyone else had similar thoughts in their own heads. If nobody else cared, why did I?

Why should I?

With even more confidence growing as my performance was increasing in the gym, becoming stronger, faster, and starting to see aesthetic results, what I covered up or didn’t cover up had nothing to do with what I was capable of doing. For my next Crossfit competition, I opted to try the shorts in public, outside of my comfort zone within the walls of my box where people knew me and had grown accustomed to my pasty legs.

I rocked those shorts without a second thought, and realized I was surrounded by plenty of other girls who did the same. When you are giving 110%, the last thing that you want to consider is some piece of clothing holding you back. The tight-fitting shirts and shorts prevent a bar from getting caught on extra fabric, and it’s much more breathable letting your legs be free!



Later that summer, the confidence expanded and the practicality of removing a sweat-soaked shirt was apparent. Sweat shirts = drag factor = no time for that.

Again, nobody cared.


We were just a hot sweaty mess of athletes, some comfortable to show more skin than others, some bearing short shorts or taking their shirts off for the first time. That’s the beauty of the Crossfit community. Unless you are outright being obnoxious about the whole thing, sometimes it is just more practical and internally liberating to just let go of any internal thoughts and insecurities and just be comfortable! Claire from Girls Gone WOD wrote a post on modesty in the box; but for most of us, the last thing we are thinking about while working out is what our clothing is doing.

Since then, the trend just continued and I often feel more comfortable in less. I’ve gained weight with Crossfit, had some body issues of my own, and then embraced it by doing a photo shoot for me, to prove to myself that my hard work has paid off, not having one bit of shame about the process.

I own my body, and I love what training has done for me, even though changing my physical appearance was not at all why I started.

I don’t share this back story because I feel I need to justify my reasons for choosing to wear what I do. I don’t feel that I need to make excuses for wanting to show off what I am proud of, nor do I feel that I need to defend myself in any way, but I want to encourage women to do what you feel is comfortable to you and not to let anyone’s thoughts or opinions deter you from what makes you happy. I have never had a goal to train specifically for aesthetics; it is just a pretty swell byproduct of the work that I put in. (Though Workout Nirvana just posted an amazing post on why even if you are training for aesthetics, you need to own that!)

Right now it is 5′ in Michigan and there is no way I am wearing short little shorts into the gym to workout for a couple of hours when the temps hardly reach 60′ with the heat blasting.

But come competition time? Short shorts.

Come summer time? Short shorts.

Unapologetic, confident, comfortable, short shorts.

If you liked this post.. you may love:

Even people without body image issues can still have body image issues

Being proud of your body is nothing to be ashamed about

Crossfit and Body Image: Embrace who you are becoming

Gaining Weight with Crossfit and Why it Doesn’t Matter

If you’re interested in any of the shorts, black ones are LatitudeGearRX (use code “weights30” for a discount), pink shorts are JekyllHyde Aero, and red ones are WODGear!

Stephanie February 20, 2015 at 7:46 am

I love your confidence, and love how you rock those booty shorts! I went through a similar evolution with shorts over the last couple of years — I used to hate wearing them in daily life and in workouts. Now, I do run in booty shorts when it’s hot out (that just started last summer), but I still lift in crops and tights. I actually remember the first time I went to the gym in a pair of spandex crops, thinking EVERYone was going to be staring at my legs (gasp!). Nope, not the case. Now I can’t imagine working out in anything else!
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Lindsay @ liftinginlilly February 20, 2015 at 8:11 am

Awesome post! I love it and totally relate!!!
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Twitter: Flash_Fran
February 20, 2015 at 9:26 am

Love, love, love this post! I am learning to own my body. You are an inspiration and you look amazing!
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Mabel @ Ma Bella Vita February 20, 2015 at 10:09 am

haha cool post! My opinion is: If you got’ it, Flaunt it! You certainly have the body for those booty shorts! And even if someone feels they don’t feel they have it, whatever makes us happy is what we should be doing. So, who cares what people say.

I’ve been hearing about cross fit about so many years. It looks so hard core. perhaps I’ll give it a try one day.
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~jenniferlynn February 20, 2015 at 10:25 am

Mabel- Crossfit is 100% what you make of it. I can tell you we have kids to people in their 70s at my gym. Some go one day a week, some go 6-7. Some lift 10# dumbbells, some are throwing 200#+ overhead. It’s all about moving your body and finding strength inside and out.

No one should be intimidated by it as it is designed for what YOU are capable of, regardless of what anyone else is doing!

Theresa February 20, 2015 at 10:16 am

Moving to a part of the world where lots of women work out covered from head to toe has given me a real appreciation for wearing whatever makes you comfortable. If that’s booty shorts, GO FOR IT. If that’s a skirt over your leggings and a baseball cap to cover your hair, GO FOR IT.

Whatever YOU need to be comfortable while working out is what YOU should be wearing.

Who ARE these crazy haters, anyway?
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~jenniferlynn February 20, 2015 at 10:26 am

That has to be quite a different environment! And in that case, maybe not the most appropriate to wear them.. right? I can’t imagine!

But yes,, find YOUR comfort and go with that!

Twitter: fantabulouslisa
February 20, 2015 at 10:23 am

fantastic post!!!! I’m inspired! Every summer my goal is to wod without a shirt, but I never get brave enough to do it. Next time I’m just going to get comfortable 🙂

Oh and I think I’ll try on more booty shorts. I’ve done it in past and the rear view always makes me go “Nope!” I always feel safer in speeds which also happen to be unapologetically short 🙂
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~jenniferlynn February 20, 2015 at 10:27 am

Your speed shorts are so short anyway, who cares if the fabric is a little closer? lol
You have AWESOME legs and they def show your hard work, so show them off!

And you’re in a hot state– totally justified to take your shirt off, woman!

Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana February 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

When you look back years from now, what does your future self say? “I wish you hadn’t been yourself, grown personally, and embraced your beauty and strength?” Doubtful. You’re being true to YOU. It’s time to let go of people who don’t get you, Jen. Let ’em go and don’t even slow down as you pass em by. Thanks for the shoutout… As your readers can hopefully see, shaming around OWNING IT is real and just as hurtful as other types of shaming. XO
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Twitter: LarissaDaltonS
February 20, 2015 at 10:58 am

Love it. #NoShame Rock those shorts and sports bra and cute summer dresses (winter wishes) and bikinis and whatever else feels right.
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Deryn @ Running on Real Food February 20, 2015 at 11:21 am

Awesome stuff, as usual! I haven’t gone full-booty short but I do like my very short, short shorts, they’re just the best and most comfortable for training. Gotta love those strong CrossFit, hard-workin’ lifting’ legs!
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Jennifer February 20, 2015 at 11:37 am

I do hate my legs, but I’m over it when I workout. I perform better when I’m comfortable, so my leg insecurities take a back seat to comfort. Here’s my thing with booty shorts: chafing. How on earth do you run in those things? During the summer I wear spandex shorts, but they have to be no shorter than 2″ above the knee or they ride and chafe and the whole time I’m working out, I’m pulling them out of my butt and other regions.

It’s probably just my build, but I don’t think booty shorts are in my future. Unless I wear them over a pair of capris.
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Meredith February 20, 2015 at 12:02 pm

mine was taking my tank off and working out in a sports bra. such fear, because I’d always been annoyed about my stomach pooch, and not to say that it still doesn’t bother me but dang it its hot and ain’t no body got time for restrictive clothing during a wod. I also still find that wearing totally inappropriate real-world clothes to crossfit is totally appropriate. Like if we run an errand after class and my butt is hanging out its a problem but crossfitters didn’t think it was a problem? people in target why you stare?
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~jenniferlynn February 20, 2015 at 12:06 pm

HAHA Yes!!! I definitely have thought less about what I wear in public.. like oh, yes, baring my booty probably isn’t acceptable in a restaurant.. and what are those mothers staring at me for?? 😉

Stacy @ Sweating Tulipz February 20, 2015 at 12:21 pm

You go girl in your short shorts! You look bootiful! lol! You should be confident, you look great!

I have always been extremely self conscious of my very muscular, very long legs. I have always gotten compliments on them when out, but was always too self conscious to wear shorts when working out…plus I sweat so much that I need some material to catch the sweat! I started becoming more confident about my legs, and then my injury to my left leg left me with NO symmetry in my legs. I continued to wear shorts in public, because I was proud just to be walking. One day at a 4th of July party, a guy came over to me and asked me if I got stung by a bee on my Right Quad because it was so much more muscular than the Left. I was humiliated and immediately left. There went that confidence. I am back to being allowed to do non-weight bearing strength training in my left leg and I am sure I will never get that symmetry back all the way, it is so far behind and so much weaker, but I am learning to love it because I will be able to walk..still not sure of the shorts, but working on it. Thank you for this post and being so upbeat!
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~jenniferlynn February 20, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Thanks for the comment, Stacy! What a battle you’ve gone through!

That’s pretty lame for someone to comment, but definitely can see how that could affect your confidence. But on the other hand, maybe you’ll have to answer questions to curious folks, but it’s still your body and like you said, you were proud just to be able to walk.. so own that!

Jen @ Chase the Red Grape February 20, 2015 at 12:29 pm

When it gets hot and sweaty during a WOD, I wish I was wearing booty shorts! But with being 6ft 1, finding booty shorts for my height is impossible! The average female CrossFit booty shorts are shorter than my underwear! Ha!
Maybe one day I will find a slightly longer pair and my pasty legs can be on display to all!! 🙂
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~jenniferlynn February 20, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Haha! I never knew you were so tall!!! Dang! 🙂

I suppose even conservative shorts end up being booty shorts 😉

Jeanie February 24, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Check out the Run Buns at! The ladies that own it are very tall and the shorts are AMAZING. You may find your new addiction 😉

Chris February 20, 2015 at 1:59 pm

From a dude… I’m surprisingly comfortable taking my shirt off at my box. Strange, because there are a lot of guys more fit than me with “better” bodies than me and they don’t usually take their shirts off. However, at like a company pool party where it’s a bunch of engineers and I have one of the “better” bodies, I don’t feel comfortable taking my shirt off.

I guess it goes back to the community aspect of CrossFit and I just really feel comfortable with all the people I wod with. Or maybe it’s just that in that fitness environment, it’s all good. Or maybe it’s purely that I get too dang hot working out and my skin needs to breathe??

I see no problem in males or females showing off their earned bodies in tasteful ways. Booty shorts do not equate to strippers in my opinion, nor does shirtlessness. Well, unless the female is totally topless. Then we might need to find a pole… =)
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Bethany lee
Twitter: bethanyjolee
February 20, 2015 at 2:55 pm

Love this Jen!!!!!! Yes!!!
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~jenniferlynn February 20, 2015 at 2:59 pm

xoxo 🙂

Lauren February 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Way to go-you rock those booty shorts! I’m still a bit self-conscious. My end goal is to be able to just run in a sports bra one day!

Mary Long
Twitter: inmyheadspace
February 20, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Great post Jen! Isn’t it funny how when your body confidence grows, your clothes shrink? LOL Rock those booty shorts! You look fabulous.
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Aimee February 21, 2015 at 12:41 pm

I love your perspective on this. I’m a runner, not a cross fitter, but I’ve encountered very similar things with my workout attire. When I was in high school the though of booty shorts terrified me. Now that I’m a 34 year old mom of 4 I wear them unapologetically. (Although not right now, when the windchill is -40F. At the moment I’m bundled up like the kid from A Christmas Story when I run, lol!)
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Krista February 21, 2015 at 11:40 pm

Loving this post 🙂
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Jennifer February 22, 2015 at 3:07 am

1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NIV)

9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

MCM Mama Runs February 22, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Good for you. I choose longer shorts mostly because OMG the chafing when I run, but I totally agree that comfort and function top appearance when working out.
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Shelly February 23, 2015 at 11:49 am

I can definitely relate to this post, however, I still refuse to wear shorts at CrossFit or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve been insecure about my legs for as long as I can remember and while working out/CrossFit has helped, I have yet to get to that place of comfortability. Some day, perhaps. In the mean time, I am perfectly content in my capris and quite frankly I love seeing other women sport the short shorts, yourself included. 😉
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~jenniferlynn February 23, 2015 at 11:52 am

Girl you are SO strong and come off so confident in your posts; OWN THAT without letting insecurities get in the way!!

Michelle G February 26, 2015 at 7:04 pm

I did crossfit for 2 years and was ashamed of my thighs too… then, after seeing a coach my size wearing short shorts, i did it. No one died.

I don’t have perfect legs : im 5 feet not even 1, i have fat, i have cellulite, but i also have well developed quads and hamstrings.

Ive stop crossfit 8 months ago and now, I train in a “normal” gym. You think you’re courageous ? Think about wearing short shorts there ! You’ll realized that in the “normal” gym universe, women wear long pants, leggings or crop pants. Short shorts ? Well, i have seen few girls wearing them : cardio bunnies with skinny legs. Or that cute girl with full make up on, following her bf everywhere. No seriously, there are few girls from the powerlifting team wearing them too.

Someday, I’m feeling alone with my “Camille LB” thighs, but I squat and deadlift like a crazy b 🙂

Christy March 8, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Girl- those legs are hot! The gain in self confidence is my favorite part about CrossFit, and your story is amazing. We’d love to see you in one of our Snatch & Run tanks. email us at if you’re interested. 🙂 -Christy

Chelsea March 12, 2015 at 11:03 am

Nice! Great post. I think this summer may be my first foray into wearing shorts at CrossFit. Like you, I refused to wear shorts for most of my life. Last summer I bought a pair of jean shorts for non-workout stuff, but I didn’t feel confident enough to wear shorts during a workout…too much jiggle. I think I’m over that now 😉 I’m pretty sure I will get teased, but it will be for how luminescent my un-tanned legs are…ha!
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Freya March 14, 2015 at 4:31 am

Thank-you for this! I have only just bought my first pair of workout pants that go above the knee! I often care about what I’m wearing or how I look when I do a particular movement.. But I’m slowly coming to learn that hey this is my body and nothing I do (healthily) will give me some model-like figure. Some days I look at my legs and think – thank god for these stocky legs! Means I can move more weight and do more activities easier than some – so why not show them off?! (I also like to think that my ancestors were probably tough weather people who did the tough jobs nobody else wanted to do haha – I don’t know if that’s weird or not??)

So I will be thinking of this post when I rock my first pair of not super-short but short for me shorts! Thanks!!

~jenniferlynn March 14, 2015 at 4:46 pm

Haha yes!! And short for you is a big deal! Own it, Freya!

Jackie March 14, 2015 at 4:44 pm

I love this story. It’s my story all over again! A 46 year old in shorts ……. Never! Now it’s always and I love it xxxx. Thank you for sharing

~jenniferlynn March 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm

That’s awesome; I hope I rock the same confidence in years to come!! Thanks for reading!

Would love to know how you stumbled upon my site!

Heather Mason @NuttyNutrition March 27, 2015 at 11:25 am

woo! Good for you! I love the title of this post. Everyone should wear what makes them feel comfortable when working out. Whether that’s a giant sweatshirt or booty shorts.
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~jenniferlynn March 27, 2015 at 11:29 am

Thanks, Heather! 🙂

Mai June 26, 2015 at 11:32 pm

OOOO. I have to jump in! I’m 48 y/o …. with OUTSTANDING legs (my legs are the equivalent of a woman with big breasts – everyone notices them – LOL). I am a weight lifter (75% of the time) and run the other 25%. I spend about 90 min to 2 hours a day in the gym working out. I used to run in LONG pants because I am so built in the legs .. I’m a mesomorph through and through.

I wear bootie shorts now when I work out because the humidity in Florida is downright nasty outside. And in the gym doing squats in shorts that ride up my tree trunk thighs just doesn’t work!! I am past the point of caring a rats butt (uh, no pun intended) if my cheeks peek out … or if I even get camel toe. I’ll fix myself AFTER I’ve done my squats and burpees – until then, enjoy the show. Better yet, quit staring at me and judging me and pick up a @#$@% barbell and lift something!! LOVE THIS and the PHOTOS!! I’m not alone! xxoo

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