Thank Us Later: Body Glide Saves Your Thighs From Bursting Into Flames
I don’t have a thigh gap. I’ve never had a thigh gap. Maybe I had one when I was a baby, because technically, I was smaller but photographic evidence suggests otherwise. The fact is that I’ve never really been skinny, and I am now okay with that. My body is what my body is — squishy in places, curvy in others — and it’s a reality that I’ve come to accept.
My thighs touch when I walk, when I’m sitting down, when I’m simply standing at the sink brushing my teeth. When I decide to move from one point to another, my thighs rub against each other, as if they were desperately trying to start a fire. This horrible friction creates heat rash, which manifests in a mottled mess, like so many ingrown hairs, tender and hot to the touch. Once it’s there, it’s there. Like, there in a “wear-pants-even-though-it’s-100-degrees-out” way. It fades, you put on a dress, walk to the grocery store and the cycle starts over. It plagues me every summer. There are few things worse than the searing burn of your inner thighs as you’re walking home on a summer night, taking breaks in alleys and around the corner of buildings to pause and unstick your thighs. It’s a nightmare.
I’ve tried many solutions, some provided to me by the internet. I’ve clapped great handfuls of baby powder on my thighs before leaving the house. I’ve worn little bike shorts. I once wore these weird lace garters called Bandalettes, that promised to stay on my legs all day, but really, I lived in fear that they’d wiggle their way down, making me have to kick them awkwardly under my desk or across the floor. I have stood in front of the Monistat Chafing Gel at the CVS, but never purchased it. I am comfortable buying tampons, condoms, lube and a bag of those Cadbury chocolate Easter eggs in the same trip, but something about admitting to the cashier that my legs are so big that they cause discomfort when I walk breaches a personal boundary. So, when I discovered Body Glide while falling down a late night Google rabbit hole, I was hooked.
Body Glide is an anti-chafing balm, intended for those who live an active lifestyle, though I don’t think aimless wanderings to day drink or to the beach are the kind of thing that they had in mind. Whatever. You could use it for really any situation where your tender flesh is rubbing against something with the intent of causing you grievous injury. For runners, Body Glide makes it so that your nipples don’t bleed as they rub against your Dri-wick anti-sweat performance pinny. For women who have legs that touch each other when they walk, it prevents heat rash that, in some lights, looks like an STD. I don’t know what’s in it. The website claims that it’s a blend of natural ingredients, and even though I can’t pronounce most of them, I don’t care. Body Glide is a fucking miracle.
The application is embarrassing, something that should be done behind closed doors, while alone. You rub the stick on your inner thighs, pretty vigorously, and then go about your day. As if possessed by witchcraft, your thighs are no longer in pain. You won’t trust it at first. Take a walk. Take a long walk. Walk to the other end of your fair city, in a dress and when you sit down on a park bench with an iced tea and the sun on your face, marvel at the fact that your inner thighs are not on fire.
It changed my summer. Days that would’ve previously ended in me at home, legs akimbo in front of the AC, resting a bag of frozen peas on my tender thighs were now an exercise in joy and freedom. The sweat doesn’t stop. But the hellfire created by your skin rubbing against itself as you bop down the street in a sundress and sandals does.
The greatest reward of spring is being able to wear one item of clothing and calling it a day. Body Glide anti-chafing balm lets it happen for those of us who reside in the no-thigh-gap-zone. It is a revelation.