When the body-shaming trolls of the internet spewed their worst at Lady Gaga (despite the performance of a lifetime), it reminded me of another ongoing saga that just won’t seem to die. You know the one…
The yoga pants debate.
The arguments and snarky comments are plentiful. From never-ending, eye-rolling remarks to the tone-deaf comments of Kellyanne Conway, everyone seems to have an opinion on when and where yoga pants should be “allowed.” The opposition declares…
“Leggings aren’t pants!”
“They’re advertising what’s not for sale!”
“Yoga pants are meant for Y-O-G-A!”
And some are even so bold as to proclaim…
“She doesn’t have the body to pull off those pants!”
Being someone who wants to encourage more people to have opinions of substance and to stand by them with conviction, I salute all of the yoga-pant-nay-sayers out there. Good on you for being so passionate, and I must admit, you raise many valid points.
I too am a fan of women who dress with intention, care, and put their best foot forward. The act of dressing yourself, in whatever way you see fit, is indeed an art. If a woman chooses to do so, I admire her and she inspires me to try bits and pieces in my everyday life as well. But that’s just it: it’s a woman’s choice and no one else’s. If you’re upset by the ensemble atrocity that crossed your path this morning, may I politely point you in another direction? Perhaps to something that is worthy of your actual distress, like the refugee crisis or Betsy DeVos.
And yes, it’s true that yoga pants are a curve-hugging choice that may highlight certain assets. If certain curves are causing too many lusty thoughts that leave you feeling, errr, uncomfortable, is it really the leggings to blame? Research shows that men think about sex almost 19 times per day (while old wives tales say every seven seconds), so if it weren’t the leggings, I’m confident it would be something else. And for what it’s worth, what if she actually wants to show-off her assets (gasp!)?! Maybe she worked hard for them, or maybe, just maybe, she simply chose to be proud of the body she was given. Either way: it’s a woman’s choice and no one else’s. So if the self-confidence is too much to handle, allow me to politely ask you to point your eyesight elsewhere.
It’s also true that yoga pants are made of the perfect synthetic material that allows women to down dog, crow pose and savasana like nobody’s business. Yoga pants, or any stretchy-pants for that matter, are indeed a girl’s best friend when twisting and turning for that endorphin high. But here’s the thing about women these days: they’re not just twisting and turning when they’re working out. They’re bodies are in full, dynamic motion when they climb the career ladder, chase children, and speaking from my current experience, grow a human that is forcing me out of any pants that used to fit. Whatever she is doing in her life and how she chooses to dress to help support that path is her choice, and no one else’s.
But that brings me to the last argument. While I may be able to understand many of the points that yoga-pant-protesters have made, the one that I cannot, and will not, recognize is that of body shaming. No one, and I repeat, NO ONE, should impart their idealized and potentially unrealistic expectation on what a body “should” or “should not” look like in yoga pants — or any garment for that matter. Even those against yoga pants have a body that they may love or struggle with at any given moment in time. That relationship is yours and yours alone. While I’d encourage you to embrace it, I also recognize that doing so isn’t always the easiest. But to project your own perceptions or insecurities onto someone else isn’t raising anyone up. Instead, it’s pulling people down, like crabs in a bucket.
So if yoga pants aren’t your thing, that’s ok. You do you. But if yoga pants are her thing, let her do her thing. It’s her body, her path, her choice.
Or just embrace my favorite Amy Poehler quote, “Good for her! Not for me.”