1. Not a stupid idea at all. One I would fully advocate. 2. I believe higher rise in the back is a relatively normal thing. I know it is for me. 3. Post pics is you're willing/able. For my money, a low rise is going to make you look bigger (and feel less comfortable) than a higher rise. I'm by no means big in the midsection, but higher rise pants definitely have a slimming effect in my estimation.