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When Yoga Pants Intrude on the Human Eyeball’s Safe Space

yoga-pants-protest

Photo source: Boston Globe/Jim Davis

Here’s a shout-out in support of Alan Sorrentino.

In case you haven’t heard of Alan Sorrentino, he’s a Rhode Island man who ignited a firestorm of protest when he wrote a letter to the editor of his local paper. The letter criticized the widespread practice of women wearing tight yoga pants in public. To register their disapproval of Mr. Sorrentino’s opinion, a coterie of ladies decided to parade past his house wearing yoga pants. Because, of course, they are more than entitled to adorn their backsides with unflattering clothing, and heaven help anyone whose opinion differs from theirs.*

As an aid to those who don’t get out much, yoga pants are extremely tight-fitting pants that aren’t so much figure-flattering as figure-outlining. They leave little of the female anatomy to the imagination. In their proper place–i.e., a yoga studio–they are stretchy and comfortable and help instructors observe that poses are being done correctly, that the proper muscles are being engaged, etc., –similar to why ballet students wear leotards and tights. Except that leotards and tights have never caught on as a fashion trend for grown women, unless gracefully covered by a skirt or wrap when the wearer leaves the studio. Yoga pants, on the other hand, have been embraced as an everyday clothing choice by women everywhere–meaning that eyeballs everywhere have been  subject to some pretty blush-inducing views.

I wrote about yoga pants nearly two years ago, which would indicate that the trend isn’t fleeting. As they are the antithesis of Sparkling Vintage style, no regular reader of this blog should be surprised at which side of the debate garners my sympathies.

Good for you, Alan Sorrentino, for expressing your opinion. A few years ago, I expressed mine concerning the disconnection between young girls’ clothing choices and their desire not to be “objectified” by males. At that time I suggested that if they (or their parents) did not want men to view them as sexual creatures, perhaps they should not dress in a way that flaunted their sexual characteristics. I was subsequently accused of everything from being hopelessly old-fashioned (okay, guilty) and a wizened old prude who wants to restrict everyone’s Freedom to Be Themselves, to downright hating women and letting myself be manipulated as an unthinking tool of the patriarchy. A few people told me privately that they agreed with me, but they did not wish to say so publicly so as not to be similarly tarred and feathered.

So that’s why I’m standing up for Alan Sorrentino today. Kudos to you, Mr. Sorrentino, for having the courage to state your opinion. Thank you for expressing a wish to see both women AND men dress with dignity. The only place where we disagree is that you think women “over twenty” should not wear them in public, while I don’t think any woman should wear them in public, unless with a shirt long enough to cover the aforementioned area. My feelings about the matter have little to do with how much they flatter or frumpify a woman’s figure and everything to do with how they smash her grace, modesty, and dignity to smithereens.

Sparklers, what do you think of yoga pants worn in public?

*(As an aside, I find it puzzling that people have a “right” to wear whatever they want, but other people don’t have the “right” to object to the trend. What’s up with that? And when did the concept of “rights” degrade this far? This is what our forefathers and foremothers–or rather, our nongendered, inclusive forecaretakers–fought for?)

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