As the number of overweight women in the United States skyrockets, an increasing number of those women are making short shorts their garment of choice.
"I really like the look," said Mandy Barnes of Nashville, Tennessee. "They're very unconfining, and I love the feel of the breeze all the way up my thighs and into my crotch area. It's so nice to get that cooling effect."
Cindy Lovelace of Birmingham, Alabama, took a similar view. "It gets so humid here in the south, and my inner thighs tend to get super sweaty, even in regular shorts. But with short shorts, I have much more skin exposed to the air. It makes life a lot more pleasant for me and the people around me."
And the short shorts trend among plus-sized women certainly hasn't gone unnoticed by the fashion industry. "Our market for short shorts has expanded considerably - in every sense," said Belinda Collinsworth of denim fashion company It's In The Jeans. "It used to be taboo for overweight people to wear certain items, like bikinis and short shorts. The great thing is that, now that virtually everyone is overweight, everyone is wearing everything. It's a much freer fashion market."
Cindy Lovelace doesn't think the trend toward ever-shorter shorts shows any signs of slowing. "I only wish they'd start making them a little lower-waisted," she said. "It would be nice to get a little air down my backside, just to help it breathe. Hopefully they'll crack that code soon."