If you look to New York Fashion Week for style advice, leggings are so hot right now. But, according to one writer who penned an op-ed for The New York Times, women over 30 should embrace this trend with caution.
Written by Honor Jones, the piece containing the controversial stance ran in The Times' February 17 edition. In essence, the op-ed argues that yoga pants and other types of leggings are "bad for women," or, more specifically add to a general (and sexist) sense of pressure women feel to "look hot" at all times.
Now, Jones argues, women aren't only expected to dress up for a date or for the office, but also at the gym. "You can’t go into a room of 15 fellow women contorting themselves into ridiculous positions at 7 in the morning without first donning skintight pants," she wrote, opining that trendy workout leggings aren't really more functional than an old pair of sweatpants.
She also noted that tight leggings "threaten to show every dimple and roll in every woman over 30." [Ed's note: in our experience, not every woman over 30 has dimples and rolls — and not every woman under 30 is built like Kendall Jenner.]
As if anticipating the backlash that would ensue, Jones also wrote, wryly: "It’s not good manners for women to tell other women how to dress; that’s the job of male fashion photographers. Women who criticize other women for dressing hot are seen as criticizing women themselves — a sad conflation if you think about it, rooted in the idea that who we are is how we look." But inevitably, there was backlash indeed.
Take a peek at some of the Twitter reactions to the op-ed heard 'round the world:
For the record, we understand what Jones was saying in her column, and agree with part of it. (Relax! We said part of it ... hear us out.) As we see it, if women are indeed feeling pressure to dole out $120 on yoga pants with mesh cut-outs when they'd rather just pull on some sweatpants, that's a sad state of affairs. Anyone who makes it out to a 7 a.m. yoga class should feel like a superhero — no matter how strong her Eagle pose is, or just how fly her legs look in whatever she chooses to wear.
But, of course, some (probably most) women choose to purchase tight, on-trend yoga gear because it feels good to themselves, and no one else. As Twitter users noted, clothing that's specifically designed for a yoga class has functionality that can help a yogi feel more streamlined in her poses. Plus, the mesh cut-outs might help yoga students stay cooler in a heated room. The argument could also be made that having stylish gym clothes on hand is extra incentive to make it out to the gym, and any incentive to stick to a healthy routine is fine by us.
Plus, we'd argue that the kind of pressure a gym member feels to dress a certain way comes down to that particular gym's environment. Jones noted that she got "funny looks" from some women when she walked into her own gym in sweatpants. If indeed the fitness studio in question has a judgmental, snooty vibe, perhaps Jones should consider changing her membership — and not her pants.
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