While it seems like leggings have become a gym and studio norm apparel, there is a woman who has made it her mission to change that – one pair of yoga leggings at a time.
In a New York Times opinion article entitled “Why Yoga Pants Are Bad for Women”, Honor Jones spent the whole piece lambasting the popular and versatile atheleisure wear, calling them “sporty doilies”, as well as the people who wear them. Needless to say, there are a lot of women who are very annoyed at Jones, and rightfully so.
Although Jones claims to have 3 pairs of yoga pants, she still states that she doesn’t understand why women contort themselves into yoga poses in these “skintight pants” while she promotes her ever-trusty sweatpants and made a sweeping statement that women wear yoga pants simply because “they’re sexy” and to “look hot at the gym”. Jones obviously has not gone for consistent yoga classes to understand why yoga leggings are a go-to workout gear for us practitioners.
They’re not just comfortable, they’re also stretchy and allow us to go into poses that may look rather compromising if we’re wearing shorts or may be cumbersome if the access cloth gets in the way. And her claim that sweatpants are “towels with waistbands” may work for her but for those who have ever gone into a hot yoga studio or perspire a lot, the last thing one needs is a pair of heavy sweatpants weighing you down while you go into any pose. That’s why most yoga leggings have incredible wicking and that’s why they’re also great for running or going for spin classes. Thus, yoga leggings are functional, comfortable and yay if they make us feel sexy and hot at the gym!
It also seems that she’s blasting the fitness fashion industry for churning out and marketing expensive activewear to women since women outnumber men in terms of fitness expenditure, and in her opinion, this sends a wrong message to women that yoga pants are “more necessity than extravagance”. She also claims that “when yoga pants are the first thing grown women put on every morning, we can’t help absorbing the message that staying fit is our No.1 purpose in life.” That is a lot of power behind a pair of stretchy, skin tight pants.
“Women can, of course, be fit and liberated. We may be able to conquer the world wearing spandex. But wouldn’t it be easier to do so in pants that don’t threaten to show every dimple and roll in every woman over 30?” Ok…so that means that only if you’re under 30 and perfect, then you are allowed to wear yoga leggings. Jones goes on to say that only deep-sea divers and Olympic speedskaters need skintight pants, so pardon if you’re not an athlete…you’re not allowed to squeeze into anything remotely skintight according to her.
Ladies of all shapes and sizes, including Miss Top of the World (Plus Size) 2016, rocking some leggings during Wellness Day Out 2017
It is somewhat ironic that Jones wrote that “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.” as her whole article was criticising women and that women who wear yoga leggings gain some sort of identity because of wearing said activewear.
The online rebuttal clearly shows what other women think of Honor Jones’ opinion on yoga pants:
NYT: Why can’t women over 30 conquer the world?
Women over 30: Sexual harassment, rape culture, the GOP, white privilege, white feminism, gun violence, pay disparity, cutting SNAP, lack of abortion access…
NYT: EXACTLY! Yoga pants. https://t.co/45p5BIL7Ij
— Nina Bargiel (@slackmistress) February 18, 2018
Dear NYT, unlike all the ridiculous armor supposedly ‘designed for women,’ yoga pants allow for freedom of movement, such as when you need to roundhouse kick a moron. https://t.co/B0CWRCq7CS
— Kirsten Thompson (@katannthompson) February 18, 2018
oh my god I’m so late to this NYT yoga pants hoopla, but: “What is it about yoga in particular that seems to require this?”
allow me to describe for you the unique horror of doing lizard pose in a pair of cotton pants with a finite amount of stretch
— Kat Rosenfield (@katrosenfield) February 18, 2018
I see someone has posted yet another op-ed on the perils of wearing yoga pants after 30.
Lemme clear this up for everyone:
Wear yoga pants if you want to. If somebody doesn’t like your over-30 dimpled rolls… tell them not to look. Dress for you, not for anyone else
— Kodi Kat (@puma_legal) February 18, 2018
Besides the form and comfort of leggings, what is most disappointing is how Jones body shamed anyone who chooses to wear leggings. We have made so much progress in recent years to recognise all body types and to be more body positive, which Jones’ declaration that “Yoga Pants Are Bad for Women” is helluva wrong.
Ladies (and maybe even some gentlemen), go ahead and wear your leggings and whatever clothing you please!
Photo credits: Lorna Jane, Pixabay, Twitter and The Wellness Insider