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Monday, February 25, 2013

confessions from the land of yoga pants

Perhaps you've read this article about men, women, and yoga pants or any of the responses to it floating about the interwebs the last few days. It's created a lil kerfluffle, as you might ascertain from the fact that the original has over 350 comments posted if nothing else.  Well. I have things to say. But if you haven't read anything about this and you do not wish to tax your brain and/or hand clicking on my link, let me first summarize the gist of the original.  Dude cannot stop himself from looking at attractive chicks in yoga pants, dude feels at least mildly ashamed of this, dude thinks women cannot possibly be wearing yoga pants only for comfort as they claim but must instead be wearing them to make dudes like him look.

First, a confession.  I don't know if I've mentioned this on here before, but between recuperating from my surgery and then being laid off, I haven't worked at a "real" job since the beginning of October. This has led to, um, kinda giving up on dressing like an actual grownup person most of the time.  I had dinner with my former co-workers last month and one of the first things I asked a colleague who'd also been made redundant was, "Hey, Chrissie, have you totally stopped wearing real pants yet?"  Oh, we laughed. Yup, yoga pants err'day.  Fifteen or twenty or twenty five years of getting up every morning and forcing oneself into some iteration of acceptable business casual means when the blissful day comes that a girl doesn't have to, can you blame her for wanting to jettison the pants with zippers? Really?  Article Writing Dude may not believe it, but yoga pants are indeed the most comfortable garment the human race has of yet invented.

Second, yet another confession.  Despite the fact that I objectively know they are tight, form-fitting spandex, I don't feel particularly alluring in yoga pants.  I think I look good, nice, presentable, whatever, but not "oh mama."  In fact, I recently had a...let's call it a date...yeah, date...with an ex at which I showed up in yoga pants ('cause see above: real pants boycott) and I felt compelled to apologize that I hadn't made any effort to look shmexy.  Shmexy to me is dressy tight jeans, boots with a heel, a shirt or sweater that shows a smidge of cleavage.  That's what I'd wear when I purposely want someone to look, whether a specific someone or a general someone.  Yoga pants are what I wear to lift heavy shit or stretch or do housework or run to the store or give a massage or otherwise want to be able to move in comfort and forget about my clothes altogether while also looking presentable and, y'know, just fine.

Now, to my point, my rebuttal.  Article Writing Dude says that women MUST be wearing yoga pants to be looked at since if they only wanted comfort, they'd wear baggy sweats instead.  Oh, AWG, you are making one of the crucial mistakes that oh so many men make when they think they're understanding anything about why a woman does anything. (I've had this actual argument discussion with male friends in real life, male friends who are neither morons nor any more chauvinistic than the average bear.) Men seem to think that anything a woman does is related to guys. When it comes to what we wear, gentlemen, that is a very, very false assumption. Most women dress for themselves first and other women second, with men a distant third (unless of course they are specifically trying to seduce a certain someone, please a beloved partner, or just pull at da club.) So, in the case of yoga pants, I wear them for myself because they allow me to be comfortable while not feeling unattractive or sloppy; I don't hardly ever wear pj pants or baggy sweats for myself because, while comfortable, they do make me feel sloppy. Secondarily, I don't wear those pj pants or baggy sweats in public because of other women: I'm aware that looking like a complete slob instead of at least a little cute is the kind of thing that can draw negative judgment. I'd be embarrassed to run into a client, an acquaintance, a non-immediate relative while wearing baggy ass sweats in a way I wouldn't be if I were wearing yoga pants and cute sneakers.  Nothing to do with wanting menfolk to look at my crotch or my ass, thanks. Sorry, guys. It's NOT all about you all the time.

That has nothing to do with anything. Other than it's hilarious. And true.

Perhaps I should think about looking shmexy more often. Or start wearing pj pants to WalMart.  Apparently success (in loooovvvvve) requires one of those two strategies.



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  2. Yoga pants are the perfect pant except that they do get lint or in my case cat fur. Around the house I wear the shiny lycra tights straight from the 80's that you can not be seen in public in. Please fashion gods give me lint free yoga pants!

  3. Ha! From what I've been told, men are born with a pair of those Archie McPhee xray vision glasses ( advertised in the back of comic books). Yoga pants or a potato sack. . . it's all the same to them. I have a question about the lumberjack squat. Are you doing the same weight that you would do for a front squat? I had had the novel experience of having my knees cave in. Yep, poor gluteal activation.

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  6. Sometimes I am so glad the whole being-a-lesbian thing has left me completely clueless about how wardrobe decisions are interpreted by the masses.

    A whole level of self-consciousness that I get to be exempt from!

    My scruffy wardrobe probably alienates folks of all persuasions, but I remain cheerfully oblivious.

    The idea that guys are thinking that most women are wearing yoga pants to be provocative in some way is... wow. I am so glad to be clueless.

  7. Cindy, I have heather gray yoga pants from GapFit that don't pick up lint at all. Genius!

    Anon, lumberjack squats? Don't do those.

    Crabby, I had the pleasure the other day to observe an internet conversation re whether a woman wearing a baseball hat in the gym signified that she was married/otherwise taken. Followed by the question of whether a woman in a scully in the gym also meant she was taken, the answer to which was (paraphrasing): "Son, a woman wearing a scully cap in the gym means she's not interested in guys, so it's irrelevant to you whether she's taken or not."

    Apparently there's all these secret codes to which I am not privy. :-D

  8. As someone well versed in wearing baggy sweats and yoga pants I would say yoga pants are as comfortable as baggy sweats just in a more supportive way....

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