Yoga pants are not the enemy of women

As if it’s not tough enough being a woman these days, an op-ed piece published in the New York Times has taken aim at yoga pants – which has admittedly been a clothing staple for many women (some of whom may have no intentions of stepping into a gym or yoga studio).

The writer of the op-ed piece “Why Yoga Pants Are Bad for Women,” which posted online Feb. 17, 2018 was written by Honor Jones, senior staff editor at Opinion. A version of the piece appeared in NYT’s print edition on Feb. 18, 2018.

In the piece, Jones blasts women who wear yoga pants outside in extremely cold weather, and in gyms; takes a shot at the industry around women’s exercise; and exposes yoga pants as clothing that “threaten to show every dimple and roll in every woman over 30.” At the same time, Jones champions the comfort of sweatpants and wants to see sweatpants make a comeback as a popular pair of pants of choice.

If we must take up the issue of clothing choices yet again, as it is a topic that raises its head several times among each generation, what about the concept of freedom for adults to make lawful choices about their lives. I’m talking about various life choices ranging from where to live to what to wear? It’s all about personal choice, unless and until clothing becomes indecent exposure. That’s when local criminal laws, and maybe case precedent – if it comes to a civil court case, come into play.

They are some women who find yoga pants to be comfortable. They are some women who choose yoga pants to feel sexy, but not comfortable. And some women think yoga pants worn at the gym will make them look hot. I can’t argue that women who harbor those thoughts exist.

But each woman, at least in America, has a right to decide what clothes to wear and when to wear them, what make-up to wear, how to wear her hair, you get the point (I hope!). Goodness knows, there are so many parts of life in which we have limited or no choices. If a woman is abiding by laws which address indecent exposure, who am I to make those choices for her?

Jones does have a point about how great sweatpants can be. But why not allow people – men and women, boy and girls – to discover the satisfying comfort sweatpants have to offer? Why can’t it be a matter of individual choice instead of a revived fashion craze?

Furthermore, Jones’ timing seems strange when it comes to pondering about sweatpants. In the op-ed piece, Jones wrote: “At this moment of cultural crisis, when the injustices and indignities of female life have suddenly become news, an important question hit me: Whatever happened to sweatpants?”

Really? This is the question that comes Jones’ mind as injustices and indignities of female life are at the forefront of public discussion?

Here’s the bottom line about vilifying yoga pants and the women who wear them in the cold weather and at the gym: If you don’t like what you see another adult wearing – and what you’re seeing is not a crime (and I don’t mean a crime as determined by the so-called “fashion police”), just don’t look.

Yes, you have a right to comment on what you see and voice your opinion. Still, dogging out yoga pants, when so many women like those pants, just seems wrong. But then again, that’s your choice to say what you want. Isn’t that what America is about, at least in part: Freedom to make choices that don’t run in opposition to the laws of the land? I guess that doesn’t apply to the choice of whether to wear yoga pants when and where you want … no matter the weather.

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