Yoga pants almost broke the internet. In January, Veronica Partridge wrote a blog about why she chooses to no longer wear yoga pants, or leggings, and she was featured on Good Morning America. She had so many comments, many of them unnecessarily negative, that she had to close the comments on her blog and post a second entry defending her position. Then, there was this article: “Ten Things We Should Get Angry About Before Yoga Pants.” The author of that blog post also had to close her comment section. Finally, Al Blanton from Birmingham offered us all a man’s perspective on yoga pants. Apparently, yoga pants are a hot topic. The gist of the anti-yoga pant movement is that their form-fittedness is lacking modesty and may cause men to think impure thoughts.
I do not agree with Veronica Partridge’s position, but I admire her for her conviction. I respect her opinion, and her right to express it. I hate that she experienced so much negativity as a result of sharing something that she feels strongly about. We all really need to learn that its okay for people to have views different than our own. I respect her for defending her position, but I just cannot acquiesce to her point of view. I choose to wear yoga pants. Here are my thoughts on the yoga pant controversy:
Let’s start with the easiest part of this debate. Is this debate just a matter of semantics? Are we perhaps just arguing over tights vs. leggings vs. yoga pants? In my opinion, thin, clingy tights shouldn’t be worn as pants mainly because it’s just very unflattering. Most women who wear leggings, which for those not in the know are thicker than tights, wear a long sweater or dress with them that covers the a woman’s derrière. Yoga pants, especially good ones, are much thicker, more structured, and oh yeah, they serve a purpose! Want to know what I do in my yoga pants? Um…YOGA! Of course, I also wear them to my beloved barre workout classes. Sometimes I run into the grocery store after my workout still *gasp* in my yoga pants. Sometimes I even go to Starbucks in my yoga pants, and when I do, I shouldn’t have to worry about men lusting after me just because of my choice of pant-wear while I order my double, tall, no whip mocha.
Which brings me to my second point, why are women responsible for the actions and the thoughts of men? It seems to be perpetuating the theoretical rape culture. That may seem like a harsh accusation, but saying women shouldn’t wear yoga pants- which serve a functional purpose in my life- is akin to blaming victims of rape for dressing too provocatively. Just because a woman wears something that you deem inappropriate, whether it’s as simple as yoga pants or perhaps an outfit that’s too revealing for your taste, that doesn’t give you a right to ogle her, or worse. Your thoughts and your actions are your responsibility. Would it be helpful to teach our girls about modesty? Of course, but, as I’ve said before, we must also teach our boys that they are responsible for their own actions.
Finally, we, as women, as mothers, all seem to spend a lot of time judging each other. I don’t know about you, but between work, parenting, and my personal life I don’t have time to worry about who is or is not noticing my yoga pants, and if it is bothering him or her. Wear yoga pants. Don’t wear yoga pants. Doesn’t matter to me what your pant preference is, but I’d have to agree with the blogger that basically concluded that society has bigger fish to fry. I’d also add that the underlying issue doesn’t seem to be about pants at all, but about objectifying women. Perhaps we should address the root problem instead of a symptom, and in the meantime, I’ll keep wearing my functional, comfortable yoga pant while I do… you know… yoga, and whatever else I want.