Stupid Little Things is all about the random cheapies, odd tricks, and miscellaneous things that make my day.
I spent a lot of my adolescent years feeling constantly frustrated by the trappings of traditional femininity that were forced on me. Friends and family didn't suggest that I highlight my hair, pierce my ears, or wear skirts because it would help me express myself, but rather because they wanted me to fit a certain mold. As I got older and learned more about socialization and gender politics, I got even more angry when I had to do ridiculous things like ask for permission to wear pants under my graduation gown. (The standard for girls was a white dress--I didn't own one.) I didn't like that. And so, for many years, I hated dresses.
Then I got a little older, and for the most part, my family came to accept that I am who I am. (They also got tired of me ranting about feminism and politics at the dinner table, but that's another story.) Suddenly, I didn't feel like I was being forced to wear a dress. Instead, I could wear a dress because I wanted to...slash, because I don't always want to wear pants, slash, because a dress makes it look like I tried hard when in reality I rolled my butt out of bed 30 minutes late.
But I soon discovered a minor problem with wearing dresses: if you have any sort of weight on your thighs, they'll likely rub together, and that can be pretty painful after an hour or so of walking. So when my boyfriend came back from Norway, newly in love with long hikes and armed with a product that would prevent the dreaded Thigh Chafe, I made sure to steal it from him. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present...Body Glide.
Body Glide is a glycerin-based balm with an incredibly smooth, silky texture and a clear finish. You can rub it on to problem areas before you set out for your long walk or your marathon run, and the balm will give you a sort of "cushion" that prevents chafing. I've used it not only on my inner thighs, but also under my armpits to prevent bra burn on hot days.
While Body Glide is very effective, it's also got a rather basic, fragrance-free formula. I've yet to experience any breakouts or irritation from continued use. It's also super-cheap: a tube costs around $10 on Amazon. Lastly, this tube is about the size of a deck of cards, making it relatively travel-friendly; I always keep it in my purse when I wear a dress or in a pocket if I'm taking a long walk.
I know it seems kind of like a silly product to love. When I visited in a friend in New York, I offered the stick to my traveling companion before we began an 8 hour trek around the city, and he just shrugged. When he finished the night with some pretty nasty thigh burn, he changed his tune and tried some Body Glide the next day. By the end of that trip, he was a convert; last I checked, he was still using it for dance and stage performances.
It's truly a stupid little thing, but it's a stupid little thing that works.