Sigh… I am working on a rather epic piece about awesome women with tattoos and candy hair, which I was going to post for you today, but something else has caught my attention and really got my dander up, so I need to talk about that first.
This article went around my tweet stream this morning when I first woke up. It’s title is “Leggings Are Not Pants and Other Values for Your Kids” – and that’s like waving a red flag at a bull to me.
Ok, yep, there are some great values in the piece to pass on to your kids, on the issues of same sex marriage (even if it is called “gay marriage” in this piece, which is problematic in itself), refugees, drink driving, environmental issues and sun smarts. Sure, those are fantastic things to teach your kids. But claiming you’re a feminist and sitting your 5 year old down for “the talk” about how leggings are not pants?
For fuck’s sake, are we still doing this?
Look, I know, I should have learned by now not to expect better from Mia Freedman, but I keep hoping that she’s listening, that people around her are helping her open her mind. I know it’s supposed to be a joke, ha ha, leggings are not pants is as important as the other issues, how funny.
Only it’s not funny. It’s body policing. It’s classist, ableist, judgemental bullshit wrapped up in a fluff piece for a highly visible online women’s magazine.
I’ve talked before about how what other people wear is nobody’s business but their own. Yeah I know, sometimes we have to work around that a bit, when it’s in the workplace, someone else’s home or event, or for safety reasons. That’s part of negotiating being a decent human being. But when it comes to getting all snarky about what other random people are wearing as they go about their lives, it’s none of our damn business.
So what if someone is wearing pajama pants at the grocery store, or has leggings on with a short top, or wears thongs to the office. That’s their choice and their business. How does it affect us as people around them? If it offends ones eyes, don’t look. Look at someone else. Nobody says you have to wear the same things as them, and do you know what? They’re not wearing those pj’s or leggings for YOU. They’re wearing them because they want to or need to.
However, that’s not the really offensive part.
What is ignored that people wear leggings (or a lot of other things really) for a whole lot more reasons than how they look. Let’s think about it.
Leggings are cheap. You can pick them up from Best & Less for $10, less if they’re on sale. If you have a very limited clothing budget, then leggings are going to be good value for money.
Leggings are often seen as “tarty” or “cheap”. This is about slut shaming, policing women’s sexuality and how they clothe their own bodies.
Leggings are one of the few items of clothing that can ALWAYS be found to fit all sized bodies. If you have a limited range of clothing options because of your size, leggings may be the only option you have.
Leggings are stretchy and have lots of give to fit any body shape. Short or long legs, high or low waisted, thick or thin legs, no matter what the shape or size of your legs, thighs, knees, feet, ankles etc – most people can get leggings to fit them.
Leggings are far more accommodating to weight changes. Leggings are forgiving when someone has lost or gained weight and can be worn easier if they’re not quite the correct size.
Leggings are soft, stretchy fabric. They’re gentle against skin (particularly if it is tender or sore) and generally breathe pretty well.
Leggings have no buttons, zippers, hooks, clasps, ties or any other fiddly bits. They can be pulled on by someone with reduced mobility, arthritis, reduced motor skills or low energy, and don’t have to be fastened or adjusted once on. Pull ’em up, pull ’em down.
Leggings also allow other people to dress someone with relative ease. If someone needs assistance dressing, leggings can be a good no-fuss option.
Leggings are flexible to bodies. If someone is in a wheelchair, on crutches or a scooter, or has a body shape outside the norm, or perhaps wears incontinence pants or other medical aids, leggings may fit those things better than pants made of heavier, more structured fabrics and designs.
These are just a few reasons that we cannot just put down blanket rules on other people’s clothing choices without thinking about the implications of this kind of judgement. When we see someone in our day who is wearing something that we don’t approve of, we have no idea why they are wearing them, and it’s not any of our business anyway. And to call oneself a feminist while engaging in this kind of judgemental wardrobe snark is just bullshit.
Look, I will admit, there was a time that I used to buy into this sort of stuff too. Mostly because I hated my own body and it was a twisted form of self policing, but we’ve been talking about this stuff for a long time and I get it now. Ages ago I was challenged by some awesome people about my thinking about the whole leggings as pants (and a lot of other things about judging the clothes other people wear) and I came to realise that it was so pointless and kind of douchey of me to be doing it. Not only did I cut the people around me some slack about what they wear, but I became a whole lot more adventurous and bold in what I wear.
So now I am a proud leggings as pants wearing radical fat feminist.
I am *specifically* looking for leggings when I do my Boxing Day clothes-spree, because after so much of this exact crap I finally realised that actually, I *do* like the floaty-tunic-with-leggings-and-heels look and dammit, I shall *rock* that look!
What baffles me is how even some people who *get* fat acceptance and body policing etc etc etc will still try to argue that there are some Magical Fashion Rules which exist completely independently of Evil Beauty Standards. Some kind of Platonic Fashion Ideal or something. Mind you, whenever I’ve encountered this the people in question have started using words like “trashy” and “lazy” so we’re straight back to classism and ableism again!
Yup, it’s all a big tangle of classism, sizeism, ableism and general narrow-mindedness.
While we’re talking awesome leggings, my vote goes to We Love Colors. That’s where I got the pinky-red ones in the photo above.
I’ve had many recs for We Love Colors, for stockings as well (another plus in favour of leggings: hella easier to find and wear comfortably than gorram stockings).
They’re totally awesome Ms Stephanie Catherine – really well made.
Leggings are also fucking warm. In the winter I wear leggings on cold days. They are warmer than jeans, hell some days I wear them under jeans. People need to stop treating bodies as public property…the end.
Absolutely Fat Waitress – spot on.
Wow, your timing of this post is impeccable! One of my FB friends just posted a picture on her wall of a woman she photographed (without knowledge or consent), ridiculing her clothing and questioning her attractiveness. I couldn’t help but call her on her inappropriate and unkind behaviour, but my (now ex-FB friend, due to other similar incidents) still seems very proud of herself. Pisses me off soooooooo much! Who do people who do this sort of thing think they are??
Katie nothing boils my blood more than that kind of bullshit. I won’t accept it from anyone in my life, it doesn’t matter who they are. To me it’s the douchiest thing to take a photo of someone without their permission and post it online to snark/ridicule them. I’ve been the victim of that and I can tell you, it’s really hurtful.
Good on you for standing up to it.
Yep, me too, and I told her that, but she was didn’t seem to give a damn. Ah well, onwards and upwards…
It amuses me that of the recent spate of decent (in fact sometimes quite awesome) articles on Mama Mia, not a ONE of them was written by Ms Freedman. Obviously she should stick to editing.
I used to be a leggings as pants hater. I used to judge people (albeit in my head) based on their clothing ALL THE TIME. Then, thank Maud, I grew up and got over it. Nowdays I even wear leggings. Admittedly they are all black (haven’t seen any in colours) but they are comfy and stretchy and I don’t give a shit what anyone else things. Admittedly I wear them under dresses or long tunic tops only because that is what I am comfortable with for myself. More power to anyone who wants to wear them another way.
I am still working on not being judgemental of people who wear sheer tights as pants though. And of not being judgemental of the chick who turned up at our aunt’s funeral looking like a… well…someone that *I* deemed as not dressed ‘appropriately’ for a funeral. I stood there (at the funeral) continually telling myself that what mattered was that this woman was at the funeral, not what she was actually wearing (and I am used to people wearing track pants and jeans and very casual clothes to funerals, her outfit wasn’t casual, it was in another style realm altogether).
Anyway, what I am trying to say is I am not as judgy as I once was but I still fall into it from time to time.
I used to be a hater, too. I still admit to having a line of legging opacity:length of top that I think is appropriate for, for example, work. But I ALSO admit that if someone’s outfit doesn’t meet my line, that is totally fine and none of my business. I don’t have to like it, but I also am not allowed to judge other’s appearances or fashion.
I admit to still judging sometimes. It’s hard to get out of the habit, and you know, sometimes it’s FUN to judge, which is worse and sneakier. But the less I judge others the better I feel about myself. And there are one or two people that I still love but spend limited time around. My old boss is a great example. She is fabulous, except that every time I meet up with here out in public she spends at least half the time snarking about other people’s bodies and fashion. Why is she even LOOKING at whether that woman is wearing a bra, or if you can see her panty line? Jeez. I always leave feeling miserable and like there is one right way to be, and I am doing it all wrong.
My point is… I am outing myself as a recovering hater who is embracing the power of stepping out of fashion ‘rules’, whether by wearing things myself or by only ever making positive remarks about other’s clothing choices.
The thing I think is important Craftastrophies is that we all realise that what other people wear is, at least most times, none of our damn business. Ok, someone is dressed in a way that we don’t approve of at work… are we their boss? Are their clothes unsafe for the workplace? Do we have to stand in front of them looking directly at them all day as part of our job description? If the answers are no, then why does it matter?
Same goes for anything else. Is it in our home? Is it somewhere there is a safety issue? Is it an event that we are hosting? They’re some of the few reasons I think people could have the right to object.
A good example for me are thongs (flip flops or jandals for those of you outside of Australia). I hate thongs with a passion. You will never see me in them. And I don’t like them in the workplace. But unless we’re on a building site or around machinery where I have a WH&S responsibility, or someone is under my direct supervision, then I have no right to object to them or cast judgement. That’s between the wearer and the people who it does directly affect.
Nobody is saying anything at all about anyone having to like what other people are wearing, we just all have to cut the judgemental assumptions and mind our own business.
Bri we all fall into it from time to time. We’re human after all, and our entire culture does it repeatedly, every day, all the time.
The difference is that we recognise it for the bullshit that it is now. We think about our assumptions and judgements. We ask ourselves the important questions. And we own it when we catch ourselves doing it.
This enters the realm of etiquette. Basic etiquette lays down the rule that it is bad manners to wear an outfit that screams, “LOOK AT ME! LOOKIT LOOKIT!!!” at a function where someone else is supposed to be the star. Thus the rule about not wearing anything that looks like a wedding dress to a wedding unless you are the bride,* not wearing jangly or super-sparkly jewelry to a religious event unless you are the officiant–and not wearing an outfit that will get all eyes on you when you’re at somebody else’s funeral. If the guy loved to go clubbing and everybody is supposed to show up in clubwear in his honor, dress up as if you were going clubbing. Otherwise, not so much.
*There isn’t a “groomish” tux to go with a “bridal” dress, but the general rule of not snatching attention from the groom also applies.
on the issues of same sex marriage (even if it is called “gay marriage” in this piece, which is problematic in itself)
Okay, I officially love you for this. It’s a very small thing, but the constant emphasis on gay marriage vs straight marriage makes me feel like a unicorn.
Let’s be unicorns together Rachel!
I dont wear leggings as pants but i do wear them as tights under dresses or a skirt. i do occassionally wish people eho wore leggings as pants would realise they are ofren a bit see through around the bum area and they may he showing off more than they intended. otherwise not that bothered.
The article isn’t really about leggings er se and i agree with her that trying figure out which of your beliefs or opinions you should pass on to your children can be hard.
Have you considered that they *do* know their leggings are a little see-through and either don’t mind or don’t have other options (or overslept and grabbed the first outfit to hand and are far too preoccupied getting everything they need to get done, done, notthatI’mspeakingfrompersonalexperience)?
I always feel there’s a distinct difference between letting someone know they’ve got cat hair all over their butt – almost certainly not a conscious fashion choice – and letting someone know they’ve failed another person’s subjective idea of fashion.
(I also think it’s important to note that a heckuva lot of the “celebrities wearing leggings as pants!!!” photos that adorn our media are taken with ridiculous strobe flashes that make anything see-through.)
I wondered this once, when I saw a really quite chic looking woman out with her beau and you could quite clearly see parts of her underwear on the peachiest part of her bottom – and I’m thinking “does she know?” and “did she do it as a kind of flirt to her fella?” and even “those are really pretty underpants” and then “how long have I been staring at this woman’s butt?”
I remember similar arguments about whether it was OK to show bra straps when wearing vest tops and it’s also true that those tops are cheaper/seen as trashier. The clothing snark just moves around the body every coupla years…
So what if they’re see through? How do you know they aren’t intentionally wearing them that way? It’s one thing to let someone know they’ve got their tag sticking out or have leaves stuck to them… but unless you know for sure that’s not how they intended to wear them, then it’s not anybody’s business but theirs.
The article may not be about leggings, but it relies on a hefty amount of snark to make it’s point and that snark hurts people, so I’m calling her out on it.
I think if you know someone reasonably well, you can politely point out to them that you can see their underwear. I really hate having people see my bra strap or my panty line, and I would be grateful if someone discreetly pointed it out to me. But I think pointing something out politely is very different from judgmental snarking and even then, you’re just making them aware of it. If they say, “Yeah, I know,” then it’s none of your business.
I think there can be a difference in intent but you can’t control how a person reacts to that.
And at the same time, I don’t think there’s an obvious, magical difference between those statements and “politely” saying things like “Excuse me, I just wanted to let you know you’re wearing sandals with socks” or “Beg your pardon, but are you aware that you’re showing a lot of cleavage?” The act of pointing a thing out inherently implies there’s something wrong (vs. “Oh wow, you’re wearing a rose-pink fedora, awesome!”) so the person you’re addressing is more likely than not going to assume you’re judging them.
And I know personally I’ve experienced going out in an outfit I love, and having someone “politely” tell me they can see my bra strap or the waistband of my knickers or that I’m not wearing a singlet or whatever has really fucking hurt and turned that outfit I loved into a big shiny symbol of what an ugly, unconforming, there-to-be-judged-and-found-wanting-by-others fattie I was.
… Okay, interesting time to say this, but you are just such a clever, thoughtful, sexy lady and you really inspire me.
It feels like every time I read anything you’ve written, I add another little note to the way I think about things and people, and it makes me a little bit better as a person, if that makes sense. I get all these new considerations and ideas to add to the way I approach the world.
One thing I got from that article though, was that it awoke my itching defensiveness about the whole ‘smoking is bad’ thing. And sure, smoking is not healthy, and discouraging kids from smoking is (in my opinion) a very good idea, just like encouraging them to eat well and take care of themselves in other areas of health. But honestly, the amount of passive aggressive (and just outright aggressive) bitching I have seen some of my family go through because other people believe their smoking is a matter of public forum and something to be judged and used as a mark against their good nature, as well as something that can be thoughtlessly mocked… I don’t know, maybe it’s just that I’m sensitive to the issue. ‘Smoking is bad’ being described as an overall value rubs me the wrong way.
On an unrelated but relevant note, now I want leggings. Heh.
Thanks for pointing that out. There’s a difference between telling your kids not to smoke, and that it can make you horribly sick and kill you, and giving them the impression that it’s appropriate to judge people who do smoke.
It’s much like the clothing thing. Just like you don’t know whether the person wearing an outfit you don’t approve of is wearing the only clean thing they had because they were too busy taking care of a sick kid to do laundry, you don’t know when a smoker started, or why, or how many times they’ve tried to quit.
Smoking is a tough one because it does negatively affect the people around you, not just yourself. I believe that you’ve got the right to smoke if you wish/need to. But not to put others in that environment.
But you’re right, Mia was way off base with that one too.
I really want to be supportive of leggings as pants, they are so easy, so convenient, the perfect piece of clothing. That said, too often I have been the person standing behind someone wearing a shear pair of leggings that leave nothing to the imagination. Can we just get some thicker fabric please. Other than that I don’t care who wears them. No different than yoga pants really. But telling a five year old that they are inappropriate seems like a ploy to grab readership. I am just happy if my kids wear clothes most of the time lol.
Also, I am not sure why it’s bad to call it gay marriage?!? I am up in Canada and we use them interchangeably and when I asked some of my friends who are gay, lesbian or transsexual they didn’t know either.
“Gay marriage” is just plain inaccurate. It’s not just for gay people – it’s for anyone who wants to marry someone of the same legal gender.
I am bisexual (well, pansexual really). If I married a woman (which I am pretty unlikely to do, as I personally have no desire to ever get married) then that would not be a gay marriage, because I am not gay.
My understanding is that “gay” implicitly leaves out bisexual and trans people. It probably depends on the individual whether that bothers them or whether they figure that “gay” is a reasonable world that applies to them too.
How about you look away? What someone else wears on their arse (or doesn’t wear for that matter) really isn’t any of your business. I’ve said it in the comments above – unless you’re their boss, or it’s your house or party or whatever, or there is a safety reason, why does it matter? Because it offends your eyes? That’s your problem, not the wearer of the sheer or revealing clothes.
And “gay marriage” totally erases lesbians, bisexual or trans* people, even pansexual and asexual people. Anyone who does not identify as gay. Gay marriage is not the correct term, same sex marriage is. It’s about being able to marry someone of the same legal gender, not just two gay people marrying each other.
I love your hot pink. Where I live is heading for winter at the moment and everyone is bundled up… in grey, black or brown. I don’t know if this is fashion snarking or not, but I will admit that I look around and go “Colour! Someone please add some colour!”
Thanks Alexie. I too love colour all year round. I wonder sometimes that all those muted, dark colours don’t add to people’s winter blues. Chuck some more colour in there!
But not everyone wants to, so let’s us be the colourful ones to encourage as many as possible.
And the thing that really gets me about the ‘fashion police’… there are, and never have been, any hard and fast rules regarding fashion – so stop pretending there are! Self-proclaimed fashion ‘experts’ will revile a look that everyone wanted last week and praise to the hilt something that everyone thought was ugly yesterday. The ‘standards’ are so changeable as to not be there at all. So why judge?
Well said Tanz33. My sentiments exactly.
Perhaps you should just stop reading Mia Freedman’s drivel, like I have. To me it’s in the same ‘don’t do it to yourself’ bucket as reading the fairfax online news reader comments.
That’s just the thing Ayla – if it was just a matter of not reading it, it wouldn’t be a problem. But as I said in my SECOND paragraph up there, it was all over my Twitter this morning.
But I also believe that we have a duty to speak up when a high profile person is engaging in classism, sexism, sizeism and more. That high profile person needs to be called out on it, because it is bigotry, simple as that.
I wear what I want – I always say “if you don’t like it, don’t look!”
I followed the link expecting something really obnoxious, but actually I agree with the author. You have to teach kids things. Is it okay to let them wear just their underwear in public? No. You teach them to put clothes on. It’s reasonable to say that leggings are a type of underwear, like tights, and should only be showing below the hips. Not everyone agrees, but there’s nothing wrong with having societal guidelines for dress and minimum modesty. If someone wants to break those rules, let them do it consciously, when they’re older. People could walk around nude for all I care, but kids usually like to fit in, and it’s kind to let them know when they’re wearing something that might not go over well with other people.
“Modesty” is a social construct and nobody has to appease anyone else’s “modesty”. If Mia was simply instilling a sense of social appropriateness in her child, she wouldn’t be using the bullshit body snark of “leggings are not pants” to do it. It’s just another example of someone casting their attitudes of what is acceptable “fashion” and what is not.
Wow, where have I been? I wear leggings as pants all the time (provided that they aren’t see-through and that they adequately cover my ass.) I wore leggings as pants even as a kid. Wasn’t that common at one point?
Anyway, doesn’t it depend on the type of leggings you buy? If you buy see-through leggings, then no, kids probably should not be wearing them as pants. But if they’re not? Then who cares?
As for helping kids fit in, sorry, but I think that’s a hideous idea. Again, if they are wearing something see-through, then sure, do something about it. But the last thing we should be doing is teaching them that it is their job to dress to please other people. When I was little, my parents tried to get me to wear what was popular with my age group. All that did was convince me that even my parents thought I was ugly. The fact of the matter is that, you NEVER know how someone will react to something, and if kids really want to make fun of you, they will find an excuse. So I can’t see any real value to telling kids to dress in ways that will “go over well” with other people.
Again, we’re not really talking about the subject of what kids wear. We’re talking about making snarky judgements on a highly public online magazine that “leggings are not pants” and teaching kids (and the general public, via her public online magazine) that it’s ok to sneer at other people for what they wear.
I don’t get what the whole anti-sheer/see-through thing is about. Fair enough, you don’t want to wear it yourself, but how is it hurting anyone if someone else does?
My parents never made an effort to buy me fashionable clothes or get me nice haircuts as a kid, and I really wish they had. Looking “weird” contributed to me being bullied. As soon as I was old enough to buy my own clothes, I started dressing to fit in. Sometimes fitting in superficially can give you the freedom to be as weird as you want to in other ways.
I’ve been thinking about this post all afternoon.
I come from the perspective of someone living in a foreign country, who has made lots of cultural blunders, some of them around clothes. I once went to the pub after I’d been to the gym, and I was wearing my tracksuit. I wasn’t sweaty and I was fully clothed, but the frostiness I got was so unpleasant, I quickly left. It was explained to me that by turning up in gym clothes, I was treating a public place like my private lounge room and that offended people.
I also learned quickly not to go out in rumpled clothes, like I often did at home on a Saturday, because I was signalling that I didn’t care enough about the neighbourhood to use an iron. They felt that me being messy was saying that they weren’t people worth making an effort for.
I’m not sure where I stand on all this. The view where I live is that if you live here, you’re part of a community and you need to respect other people’s sensibilities. That’s a completely different ethic to the English speaking world, where we believe that what the individual wants is a higher priority. Maybe, as always, the answer lies between the two.
I think that’s your choice to live in such a culture Alexie. But I don’t live in such a culture and choose not to for those very reasons. I live in a culture that is supposed to pride itself on personal freedoms, open expression and equality. And that’s why I have a problem with Mia Freedman’s attitude about “what not to wear”.
This is a point I’ve heard from people who often take issue with what other people are wearing. I find it really problematic in most circumstances–I mean, sometimes for safety reasons or due to a work code there are things one is compelled to wear/not wear, but I really don’t think those rules should be considered to extend into public at large. The problem with cultures/values like this is that it makes everything about the observer. If they don’t like what someone is wearing, they take personal offense to it. I think that’s ridiculous–unless the garment has blatantly offensive language on it, it’s silly to think that someone is trying to make a statement with what they wear about the relationship between themselves and society at large. Usually, someone wears something because they like the way it looks on them and because it is comfortable on them. People who talk about showing respect or disrespect in public with clothes is assuming that other people should conform to their sensibilities, and I just think that’s ridiculous and totally unnecessary. It’s like, mind your own business, stop making this all about you.
I’m sorry that happened to you, and it’s totally your choice. Some “fashionable” things are really cool, and there’s nothing wrong with liking them. Sometimes, you don’t want to make a statement, you just want to get through your day and blend in. You do what you have to do.
Personally, I think a nice compromise is to let kid wear what they want (within reason, as in not being naked in public) and if they want advice, I give it. Or in situations where appearance really matters, like at a formal event, give them guidelines and let them choose from within those guidelines. For example, I hated formal wear as a kid, but it helped that I could choose pants vs. skirts, choose what colors I wanted, etc. JMO
But that’s your choice Dee. Not everyone wants to look like a carbon copy of everyone else, and we shouldn’t have to feel that we’ve got to conform to others to avoid bullying. It is the bullies responsibility to change THEIR behaviour, not the victims.
Sure, choose to dress conservatively, that’s great. But don’t cast judgement those of us who choose otherwise.
What an awesome outfit you’re wearing in that photo!
I’ve always been a bit self-conscious about wearing any clothes (not just leggings) that highlight my butt. As I continue to work through my own body image issues, a post like this goes a long way to helping me unlearn the body hatred that I’ve absorbed for all of my life. After reading this, I may just gift myself with a pair of leggings for Christmas!
So, thank you.
Thank YOU Gillian.
I understand your feelings of self-consciousness about the things you wear – I still struggle with them myself. Of course, attitudes like Mia’s don’t help with that self doubt – they directly contribute to it.
You go out there and rock whatever you choose and I’ll be your cheer squad anytime.
I think it is kinda ok to tell kids not to wear leggins as pants.. at least when they are outside
leggins show quite a lot and if I had a daughter I would not want her walking around in a way pedophiles would appreciate. A grown up can make the decission to wear anything they like, but a parent should try to make sure a kid is properly dressed
WTF?? So now leggings are not pants because they attract paedophiles? That is a seriously screwed up attitude to have Jade-Chan.
Paedophiles are attracted to children, whether they wear leggings or burlap sacks from neck to knee. Paedophilia is about a sexual attraction to children, not a sexual attraction to leggings or any other item of clothing.
There is NOTHING sexual about leggings unless the wearer chooses to make them so – and that doesn’t excuse anyone harming the wearer because they do so either.
Completely agreed. Saying a child is “dressed in a way a pedophile might appreciate” is bog-standard victim blaming. Children, like adults, are assaulted because someone else chooses to assault them, not because they acted/dressed a certain way.
I agree that there are situations in which it IS important to listen to custom, like in the workplace, in a foreign country, etc. However, telling a child not to wear something *just* because other children will make fun of them just doesn’t sound wise to me. All children are different, but I never used to give a rat’s ass that children made fun of me. I cared when I felt my parents didn’t accept me.
Some leggings are only meant to be underwear because they are too tight or sheer, but others are perfectly acceptable as pants and I feel that they are fair game to wear in public.
JoannaDW I actually don’t believe in anything being decreed as underwear or outerwear. Dress how you feel is appropriate for you. Anything is fair game to wear in public, so long as one chooses so deliberately.
leggings and oversize t-shirts are affordable maternity wear–i wore them during pregnancy
Thanks MaggieMay, that’s another one that I forgot – maternity wear!
okay- i wrote out this whole reply about the difference between leggings and tights (which are generally like pantyhose and sheer/see through and meant to be worn like underwear- as in under your clothes), but then I went and looked at the article and saw that she actually was talking about leggings- which, yes, actually are pants. They’re made to be pants. That’s how they work. I feel an immense need to go and buy some leggings now…
Doesn’t matter if they are intended to be pants or not. If you wear them as pants, then they’re pants!
So well said! I hadn’t even considered the mobility issue, but I love that you did. Out really all about personal freedom. No one should be against that.
I wear leggings all the time and I could never really explain why.
Thank you for articulating this. All so true.
The pink leggings with those shoes are beyond cool.
Are you fucking kidding me? We are slut-shaming FIVE YEAR OLDS NOW?!
My kis is three. Sometimes she wears leggings as pants. Often, actually, because they are comfy. She can move in them. They don’t dig in to her. They don’t restrict her physical play like some skirts, dresses, jeans do. I do have a rule that tights (the kind with the white gusset) need a skirt or something over them because they are, effectively, underwear. But this is not because her body is offensive or appealing to pedophiles (oh my god fucking really?!) but because it’s a custom/convention, like wearing shirts the right way round and not inside out etc. Mind you, I let her do the latter of she really wants to.
As for teaching children how to ‘fit in’. Well, they learn that themselves. They don’t need parents to tell them to submit to bullies. They need parents to tell them they are wonderful and individual.
I know it’s not a kids fault that there are pedophiles, and maybe I’m being overprotective, but it would really worry me
With all due respect, I fail to see how my comment was, in any way, “slut-shaming” to five-year-olds. I DEFENDED children wearing leggings as pants. I don’t care if children wear form-fitting clothes and I generally feel that what other people wear is none of my business. I believe I made that abundantly clear in my comment.
If you are referring to my remarks about see-through clothes, that was not intended to be a statement about sexual expression. I in no way judged anyone *as a person* for how they dress. I merely referenced the fact that see-through clothes or having undergarments exposed are not considered appropriate in many public settings. Living with those restrictions is part of life, for everyone, not just women and girls. Most middle and high school dress codes I know of, for example, don’t allow see-through clothes or exposed undergarments.
If my motivation for opposing see-through clothes in children were about molding them into perfect, fashionable ladies, then I could understand the outrage. But for me, it is all about practicality. I don’t want phone calls from my kid’s school about how she was kicked out of class because her shirt exposes her bra. I don’t want her turned away at the door because she didn’t follow the dress code of some nightclub. What she wears is her choice, but having some basic guidelines about dress in select situations is a practicality thing.
the fact that see-through clothes or having undergarments exposed are not considered appropriate in many public settings.
You know what else is often considered “inappropriate in many public settings”? Being a fat person. Especially a happy, clearly-appreciating-her-own-appearance fat person, like the photo of sleepydumpling in the post above.
If there’s a reason why underwear/transparency is considered “inappropriate” that doesn’t have its roots in policing sexuality, particularly women’s, I’d be interested to hear it.
Does everyone hear that sound? It’s the sound of MsStephanieCatherine hitting the nail squarely on the head.
My apologies JoannaDW, I wasn’t able to get online yesterday, but Spilt Milk did let me know that she wasn’t referring to your post, adding your name was an “oops”!
You know what else is often considered “inappropriate in many public settings”? Being a fat person. Especially a happy, clearly-appreciating-her-own-appearance fat person, like the photo of sleepydumpling in the post above.
I think that Fat Heffalump looks cute in her outfit above, too. But I disagree that thinking people should cover their bums when they’re wearing leggings is in any way comparable to thinking that everyone should have the same body type. It’s EASY to wear a long shirt, skirt or dress with leggings. It’s inexpensive. For most people, it’s not at all uncomfortable. It’s actually a lot less onerous than the expectation that people should shower regularly. It’s more similar to the expectation that women should wear something over their bras. No, it’s not reasonable to expect someone to starve themselves to meet your appearance standards. Expecting people not to go out in their underwear? A lot more reasonable.
Dee, you’re still acting like you have the right to tell other people what *they* may feel comfortable wearing because *you* don’t like it. (And as far as your all-caps EASY, please see what sleepydumpling wrote re: classism and ableism, and consider that many people don’t have the time, spoons, funds or inclination to spend in order for YOU not to have to stop policing them.)
You specifically mention “covering their bums” and “wearing something over their bras”. I find that interesting, given that, to repeat myself: “If there’s a reason why underwear/transparency is considered “inappropriate” that doesn’t have its roots in policing sexuality, particularly women’s, I’d be interested to hear it.”
Men are also expected not to wear their underwear in public. That saggy-jeans-with-undies-showing look that some young men wear is annoying to some people (especially older people) in the same way that seeing people’s bums and/or panties through their leggings is. Does that have to do with policing sexuality?
Anyway, I’m obviously disagreeing with the dominant opinion here, so I’ll leave it at that. It’s not necessary for everyone to have the same perspective on every issue. In fact, that would be boring. 🙂
MSSTEPHANIECATHERINE, you are reading a lot into what I’ve been saying.
First, I think it’s legitimate to consider legging underwear. However, I never said that I shared that opinion. I actually have nothing against them if they’re fully opaque. Otherwise, I’m just embarrassed for the person, because I tend to assume that the transparency is not intentional.
Secondly, I have my doubts about the disability argument. Have you guys ever been disabled? Well, I’ve had a hip replaced, and I have. Because leggings are skin tight, they’re not easy to get on or off if you’re disabled. Because they’re usually made out of fabrics that don’t breathe, wearing them when you’re stuck in the same position for long periods of time can cause infections. When I was disabled, I found that the easiest and most comfortable clothes to wear were loose cotton trousers and skirts.
Dee wrote: Secondly, I have my doubts about the disability argument. Have you guys ever been disabled? Well, I’ve had a hip replaced, and I have. Because leggings are skin tight, they’re not easy to get on or off if you’re disabled. Because they’re usually made out of fabrics that don’t breathe, wearing them when you’re stuck in the same position for long periods of time can cause infections. When I was disabled, I found that the easiest and most comfortable clothes to wear were loose cotton trousers and skirts.
Im not sure what sort of leggings you are referring to but the leggings I wear are not skin tight and they are made of fabric that is a cotton elastine blend and they breathe just fine – the fabric is not unlike tshirt material.
@Dee: so it’s still all about *you*, and how people should not wear clothes *you* don’t want to look at. And it’s still about “bums” and “underwear”, and yes, judging men for wearing visible underwear is still about policing people based on sexuality and especially class.
I think you might also want to reconsider the racial and class aspects of judging the particular low-slung-pants-and-visible-underwear style of dress some young men wear – it’s very interesting how people pick on that style, predominantly worn by young lower-socioeconomic-class men of colour, yet I never see signs outside stores saying “NO SANDALS WITH SOCKS” or “NO BIG SHOULDER PADS”.
“Slut shaming?” WTF? I think you need to reread my post.
Slut shaming is the same thing as victim blaming – suggesting that the victim is at fault by what they wear.
So don’t dress your child in leggings if it worries you. But don’t judge other parents who choose to let their children dress in leggings as pants because they are easy for a child to dress themselves, comfortable to run around it, easy to pack a spare, quick to pull down for toileting, and just generally cheap and versatile wear.
I used to be part of the ‘leggings are not pants’ brigade, but now I have seen the light, thanks Kath.
I clearly posted my OPINION 😉
noonee said you have to agree with me
I did not dudge anyone, just explain why I think it’s ok/better to tell little girls to put something over their leggins
judge, not dudge
You might have posted your opinion Jade-Chan, that doesn’t mean you can say things like that without being called on your victim blaming.
Just because someone has an opinion doesn’t mean it’s right.
@JoannaDW – I think the commenter got the name wrong, she didn’t mean your comment.
While I think Mia Freedman’s approach was not very well thought out and should definitely have been worded better I can kind of understand it, even though I don’t agree with the way she put it.
In my opinion young children do need some guidelines set about what they wear in public. Not hard and fast rules, and certainly not worded in such a way as to be body-policing (“leggings are not pants”) etc – but guidelines that allow the child to make choices, while also allowing the parent to have a say in terms of appropriateness for different situations.
I remember going through a phase as a young child where I didn’t want to wear anything on my upper half, for any reason, ever. My mother allowed this inside the house but made it very clear to me that I would have to wear a shirt in public because it was not appropriate to walk around outside half naked. I hated it at the time but as an adult I completely understand her perspective. I think for some parents the leggings issue may be along similar lines and when a child is that young I think parental input and opinion has to count for something as long as it is presented to the child in as neutral a manner as possible. My mum never shamed me about my naked chest or made me feel like it was dirty or anything. it’s all in the way you say it, and making sure that your intentions are not tied up with body shaming or your own complexes about your own appearance. Maybe easier said than done? But if it can be done, it should be allowed.
Again, see my comment above about this not being about what people tell their kids. I personally don’t care what people tell their kids.
This post and my entire point is about Mia Freedman (and anyone else for that matter) placing judgement on what other people wear.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to misunderstand you, and I do agree with the main point of your post, namely that what other people wear isn’t anyone else’s business. I have to wonder when this begins to extend to children, though, since that was kinda the focus of the original article. Like at what age or maturity level is it appropriate to start letting go of the guidelines/rules we give to our kids regarding dress and let them take over their sartorial decisions? I just find that aspect of this issue interesting…it’s not as clear cut (in my opinion, of course) for children as it is for adults, for whom clothing their bodies is well and truly their own damn business and nobody elses.
Wow, I wish I had read this before chatting with you on twitter tonight. Thanks for it. I recognize what I’m doing now as body policing myself and others and will make a bigger effort to not do it. Your points on classism especially hit me hard, as I tend to judge people who wear pajama pants or jogging pants out and about. Thanks again for opening my eyes and helping me to become a more radical, accepting fat feminist. Maybe someday I’ll grow out of of my jeans and t-shirt ways, my ‘safe’ clothes, and be brave like you.
I’m glad you understand what I have been trying to say Jen in Canada.
Beautifully said! Thank you for taking this one. I just saw an article that suggested the stretchy clothes actually encourage us to be fat because they are too comfortable. Legging are suddenly the new clothing devil! You did such an awesome job of taking this apart 🙂
Wow…I don’t understand that at all…shouldn’t it be the other way around? We are fat because our tight restricting jeans and blazers limit movement or something? I just find that astounding…all the exercise wear I’ve ever owned has been made of soft stretchy fabric…leggings actually ENCOURAGE movement…I will never believe the stupidity that comes out of the media sometimes…you can’t win!
*in case anyone is wondering I do not subscribe to either viewpoint re:clothes and fatness and I think anyone who suggests such a thing should bugger right off. just in case it isn’t clear…I’m very tired/nonarticulate right now
I love the pic of you, So vibrant and happy. Fashion is not my forte and stick to things that are comfy but being that Perth is so frickn hot, naked is still way overdressed. So have not really worn leggings and didn’t know they came in such beautiful colours. Black isn’t a good idea with cats which is probably why I haven’t bothered. That aside thanks for covering some quite insightful distinctions. Imagine if we all judged less and accepted and embraced difference more. Will be now looking out for coloured leggings
Kerry it’s a narrow window of time each year that I can wear leggings too – Brissie is hot and humid! You’ve got it right when you say “Imagine if we all judged less and accepted and embraced difference more.”
And thanks for the compliment!
You’re pretty dern cute in that photo! I wear leggings every day and consider then part of my staple undergarment dressing. I get the bra, knickers and leggings on, then ask myself-“Right what am I going to wear today?”
I work in “plus size” fashion. Sales and design/production. There’s always someone spouting off on what a big gal shouldn’t wear. Pfffft!
Isn’t that so annoying Bexkee? One only has to read the Facebook pages of plus-size fashion to see just how many people are putting rules on what fat women should and shouldn’t wear!
It is interesting because personally I would call what you are wearing in the pic ‘footless tights’ rather than leggings. To me leggings are a thicker material, sort of like thin tshirt material. Tights are a high denier type of pantyhose. Pantyhose are low denier full legged and footed and come up over the butt and crotch area. Stockings require a garter belt to keep them up.
I find it fascinating how these items of clothing have different names in different places!
Actually they are leggings Bri. They are thick, even heavier than t-shirt material. If you have a look at We Love Colors website, they sell leggings to 3X (which these are) in all their colours. I have about 6 pairs of their leggings, they’re that awesome in quality. So awesome that they fit my legs properly, giving a lovely next-to-skin shape, rather than the lumps and bumps that other brand leggings have.
I have plenty of WLC tights too – and believe me, those in the picture above are not anything tights-like at all.
Oooh thankyou for pointing that out to me! I am exited now because I didnt realise WLC sold actually leggings. I thought they were all tights!
Finally a decent and well spoken response to the almighty leggings as pants issue!
I have never understood what all the fuss is about, and have never actually minded them worn as pants or anything else for that matter. It has always struck me as ‘yet another stick some women use to beat other women up with’, you know, a substitute perhaps for something much deeper, more insidious and destructive than mere fashion advice.
Now for myself, I have never been able to wear leggings because I hate the sensation of the band around my waist (I can just about tolerate tights if the band is loose or flat). But I appreciate that I am in a minority, and would actually love to be able to tolerate them. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone, anywhere look terrible whilst wearing leggings, but then I rarely care what anyone else is wearing (unless I adore it), and don’t quite understand why anyone wastes energy policing other folks sartorial choices. I wonder what makes them so uncomfortable, why they possess such a pressing need to criticise?
I like that description Lapin “yet another stick some women use to beat other women up with”.
Love it! I have a huge number of pairs of leggings in awesome patterns and colors that I wear every day, and I’ve also told multiple sharers of that crap on Facebook that the writer of that piece can just kiss my spandex. I’m going to make a “No Fashion Police” button and a “No Body Police” button to put on my backpack.
Tané Tachyon I would LOVE to find print/patterned leggings in my size. Any idea of somewhere that stocks print leggings in a 3X? That ships internationally?
Does Chubby Cartwheels ship internationally? Couldn’t find out from the site but if not, I’m sure she’d be willing to arrange something. 🙂 The stuff she makes is soooo cute!
Wow, great article, As a man, I hadn’t really thought of the utility of leggings, but you make a strong case for them. I 100% agree with the broader idea too–a lot of fashion commentary about what is flattering or appropriate for certain occasions is oppressive, and such language is not only small-minded and insensitive but unproductive and backwards.
I was reading on a men’s jeans fitting blog the other day. It had a lot of good information, but I was disappointed in the summary it gave high rise jeans. It had little more to say than “men with short torsos need to be careful about wearing them because they make one’s torso look shorter”. As a man with a short torso who likes high waisted pants, I wear them not because they look good (although I think I look fine in them, thanks), but because they fit closer to my natural waist, which helps them to stay up when I’m out and about. When reading comments about clothes, I prefer hearing about fitting considerations rather than people’s opinions of how things will look on people of different builds, etc.
As you said, when you see someone wearing something that is “unflattering” to them, you have no idea why they’re wearing what they are. Maybe they are trying out the clothes and will eventually come to prefer other things, but it could also very well be that they wear those things because they love the way they fit and help them to be a vibrant person. In other words, they know what they’re doing–and not you, regardless of your opinions on fashion.
You described exactly what people are doing when they make these supposedly lighthearted comments–they’re marginalizing people with special or relatively uncommon needs and discouraging them from taking their rightful, productive place in society in order to minimize their visibility or effectiveness.
If people don’t care enough to even consider that idea, then that’s on them, but I think it’s a pretty callous attitude to have. Granted, there are some exceptions with slogans and certain language on shirts, but otherwise, people should strive to wear what is comfortable and makes them feel good about themselves. I’d find it hard to think of someone who criticizes another person over such a trivial thing as empathetic and open-minded.
Welcome Bluesphere! High five to a fellow proud Harry HighPants! I too am short waisted and wearing anything down on my hips means that they’ll be puddling around my ankles before long. (And a little aside… I personally prefer Harry HighPants to Larry LowPants, but neither is better than the other, just my personal preference.)
And yes, you’re hitting the nail on the head when you say that with a few exceptions, people should strive to wear what is comfortable and makes them feel good about themselves. Absolutely!
You and I do not have the same taste in clothes, certainly. That pic of you does look like someone who makes conscious fashion choices and likes to put together a “look” with a level of thought, and from that smile, you’re wearing what makes you feel great — not that my opinion matters, but I do approve. That mindset is to my taste, even though you’re right. According to the point of what you wrote, it’s your tastes/needs/pocketbook that drive your clothing choices, not mine!
My own fashion choices are driven by some of the same issues that you discuss. I’m heavy, I’m not often flush with money, and I have arthritis. I wear a salwar kameez a great deal of the time for comfort value. Now, I can sew, and I can draft simple sewing patterns (salwar suits can be quite simple) so size isn’t an issue.
It’s a pain in the butt that as a female, it seems like one cannot leave the house without considering what “message” one is sending with one’s clothing and appearance. It’d be nice to be able to be just a person…
Wouldn’t it be lovely Noel? None of us are telling others they have to dress in the same way we do (however the anti-leggings brigade ARE doing just that), we just want people to cut the assumptions and judgement about others based on what they wear.
It shouldn’t be this difficult, really!
I think it’s ok to dislike what someone wears, it’s a testament to the fact that every one’s style is different. There is however a difference between saying in your mind “hmm i dont like those neon green leggings” and “i’d better tell my children’s children never to wear leggings” or “ahaha what an ugly dumbass” or “I’d better take a picture and get my internet friends to laugh with me at this girl” …People take this clothe policing to the extreme! Its one thing to think I dont like that outfit and another entirely to project bad thoughts on the person wearing it. If you have a fashion opinion then have it, dont put leggings on, don’t wear pajama pants in public, don’t go out the house with your hair wrapped (one of my pet peeves). I think its even ok to wonder about people who do do those things but that is as far as it should go…… thinking they are wrong for it, dont have the right to it, or are some how less valuable because of it, is complete and total malarkey. We should check ourselves the minute our opinion about another’s clothes becomes a negative judgement about their character
Of course it’s OK to dislike what someone wears Fat Fem Pinup. We all have different tastes and styles, and that’s a good thing. But you’re spot on about the projecting negativity on the person wearing them. I like the sentence “We should check ourselves the minute our opinion about another’s clothes becomes a negative judgement about their character.” Spot on!
How adorable is that picture? Very!
Thank you Jean Jambas!
I think those leggings look super cute on you. Which, I understand, isn’t the point of your article, but I had to throw it out there. I never thought of ableism as a hinerence to getting dressed. Thanks for the increased awareness! ❤
My pleasure Jamie and thank you for the compliment.
I’ve had the exact. same. talk. with my kids. I am judging the clothing, not the body underneath the clothing. That is my right and responsibility as a parent. I will continue to make sure my little girls wear a skirt or long t-shirt over their leggings. Just like you are in the picture above! (And I think you look fabulous! And if you wore those leggings with a tube top I would not think you look fabulous! But that would be all about fashion and have NOTHING to do with what’s under the fashion.)
Having fashion preferences does not automatically equate to body hatred.
Fashion preferences for yourself or your kids is not the same as saying, particularly as a highly visible person on a mainstream online magazine, “Leggings are not pants.” as if it’s some law of the universe, THAT is what shames people for wearing them by default. If someone wants to wear leggings WITHOUT a long top or dress, no matter what size or shape they are, they don’t need to be judged indecent or inappropropriate by the “leggings are not pants” brigade.
I don’t give a fuck whether someone thinks I look fabulous or not, what matters is that
what I am wearing. If someone else digs it, great, nice bonus! But if I wanted to wear a tube top, or a crop top, or even just a bra/bikini top with my leggings – I would do it and anyone who doesn’t approve can kiss my fabulous, fat, lycra-legging clad arse.
That is my whole point. You ARE judging the body underneath it by decreeing what looks fabulous and what doesn’t. You don’t get to decide if someone else looks fabulous –
Thanks Kath! Love your post, your fashion sense, and your attitude. Looking good in the pic too. 🙂
Thank you Girevka!
I love those coloured leggings. I’ve always worn black leggings in winter with a short dress over the top, to keep my legs warm. I find they fit my body a lot better than the limited range of plus size tights available in Australia and last longer than tights from overseas that are often expensive since I tend to shred them in a couple of wears. I’d love to wear colours but they just haven’t been available.
My work tried to ban leggings from our dress code a couple of years ago-they were unsuccessful (luckily) since it would eliminate about 1/2 my wardrobe.
I’m off to We love Tights to buy some of the footless ones now that I’ve seen what they look like irl. Thanks for the post Kath.
Until We Love Colors released their range of plus-size leggings, I couldn’t find any other colour but black or khaki leggings anywhere. Now I have over 50 colours to choose from!
And I’m glad your workplace were unsuccessful Melhoneybee!
I concur. Why the hate on leggings? I have so many pairs, both plain and funky, that I love to pieces. They’re infinitely warmer and more comfortable than pantyhose so I wear them under skirts when I go out frequently and also as “long johns” under my jeans if it’s below-zero weather. On days when I’m just running errands, I constantly wear just a pair of leggings and a baggy band hoodie. (Oh my the SHAME!) So I get more bang for my buck with all their different uses.
But you know what Benjamin Franklin said, little things affect little minds. I love to doll up when I hit shows, go out with my friends, etc. but if I’m just leaving my home office for an hour to deposit checks and buy mac and cheese and TP at Target, who the fuck says I have to resemble a model?! The less clothing I have to change/wash, the better!
It occurs to me that the original article was written by a woman who was basically teaching her daughter her own values around modesty and proper dress. The woman was not telling the little girl to judge others who made different choices, although I have to say that discussing that with her daughter at the same time would have been a good idea and including that discussion in the article would have made it a lot more insightful. “We do not consider leggings to be pants in this family” would have indeed been a better choice than the more universal “leggings are not pants.”
Nevertheless, there is a lot of judging going on here in the name of tolerance. What if the woman had been Muslim and was teaching her daughter that to respect God and her culture, she should wear a headscarf? What if she’d been a religious Christian or Jew who’d been teaching her daughter to cover her arms and legs in public? Those traditions are much more clearly “slut-shaming” than someone thinking that leggings should be classified as underwear rather than trousers. And, like the “leggings are not pants” thing, the daughter would (hopefully) be able to make her own choice about those rules when she got older.
And before someone jumps on me, no I’m not a religious fundamentalist. I’m actually an atheist. However, I do think that people should be able to raise their children with their values, as long as those values don’t trample the rights of others. Classifying leggings as underwear in your particular family? It doesn’t violate anyone’s rights.
Actually, judging someone else’s outfit doesn’t violate their rights either. Posting their picture online to be laughed at violates their rights and is a disgusting thing to do. Saying something to them would be incredibly rude and completely uncalled for. But just thinking to yourself “that outfit doesn’t look good?” Advising your own kids on how to dress? Perfectly fine and normal as far as I’m concerned.
Dee, knock it off now. Your attitude is offensive and I’m frankly sick of your arguing with everyone who challenges you all over my blog.
You’re determined to cast negative judgement over anyone who doesn’t fit your narrow view of what is “acceptable” and frankly, you have NO right to that “opinion”. Stop behaving like you’re entitle to dictate what other people do with their own bodies and lives.
Any further arguing from you will be removed and you will be blocked. I’ve had enough. Go pollute your own blog with this rubbish, not mine.
Leggings are not pants. Neither are they skirts, nor shorts, kilts or culottes. They are leggings. An article of clothing designed to cover the legs. It’s in the name of them, fer cryin’ out loud.
As for “they show off too much” I give you ‘skinny jeans’. :p
Side note: I’ve been dis-satisfied with my failure to find tights (opaque pantyhose) that fit, are comfortable and hold up to more than a handful of wearings. I may have to investigate some leggings after reading some of the comments here.
I don’t want to make assumptions, Amber, but there may be a bit of trans-Pacific confusion here – in Aussie (where sleepydumpling is) and NZ (where I am) pants = trousers = leg coverings, not pants = panties/briefs = underwear. Though of course this gets confusing since some people *are* arguing leggings = underwear.
Amber, no derailing the actual discussion with semantics please.
Clothes are what you make them and how you wear them. The issue at hand is the amount of personal judgement that Mia Freedman (and others like her) put on people due to their appearance.
Your response to Freedman’s article really made me think. Freedman has form on fat hatred as far as I am concerned, so that can taint other things that she writes. At first I thought you were overreacting, as her article was more about values being passed along to her daughter, and her right to impose them. Then I re-read your blog, and thought, wait….these are the values that are being passed along. Leggings = lazy. Comfort = lazy. Practicality = lazy. And who wears leggings a lot? Hmmmm.
You provided a link to her article, you acknowledged the general thrust which was indeed about values, and simply explored where such a simple thing about telling a young girl what clothing was or was not ‘appropriate’ to wear could take people. Not an overreaction at all – just following a tangent that her article had opened up, and exploring it. I had never thought about leggings about being lazy, or non lazy, or simply the domain of the ‘obese’ (how delightful). I simply thought of them as an item of clothing. Your list of how they are practical, even a necessity was a real eye opener. Of course I wear them because it allows variety in my clothing/supplements my wardrobe at very little cost, and I already have a hard time buying pants as I invariably need to tailor them. I have to get bigger sizes because of my bum, and then bring the waists in because I carry my weight in my hips/thighs.
People never cease in finding ways to ‘other’ other people. We are all in it together folks – just do your best to do your best, every day, and live and let live. You will find the world a more peaceful place.
I’m glad I got the message through to you Pieface.
My response: http://notyourteachablemoment.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/not-your-fashion-statement/
as someone with candy hai (rpink hair darling! pink!!) and tattoos who also rocks the leggings, i definitely approve of this post. keep on with your gorgeous self!!
Wow,learnt summat new today,I always thought leggings were pants,I wear them all the time ,in our town loads of women wear them as pants.I love my leggings love the ones you`ve got on nice bright colour !! I too have pink hair and tatts oh and I`m a fatso too 🙂
Rock the leggings, my dear. I totally get what you are saying. I’m a radical Christian, bonnet-wearing Plain Quaker who dresses to express a testimony and a goal – stop cotton slavery – and I get similar shit from strangers who think I’ve just forgotten to take my meds that day. (No prozac? Grab a bonnet. Makes perfect sense.) My hope for you is that you never lose your courage and keep speaking Truth; you are too damn at it.
My favorite recent comment? “Is that a costume or are you for real?”
Oh yeah, baby, I’m for REAL.
And you are too. Kudos.
That was intended to be “you are too damn good at it.”
Now I want leggings!! 😀