Leggings Are Not Pants

Leggings Are Not Pants

Amy Patterson, Reporter

Leggings are not pants.

Okay. That’s my title. So, you’re probably not shocked that it’s also my thesis statement.

I don’t care if it is “all the rage,” or if your boyfriend loves the way you look in them, or if your best friend Jenny gave you a pair for your birthday. Leggings are not pants. Leggings have never been pants. Leggings will never be pants.

The principle issue with wearing leggings as though they are pants is that it perpetuates a misogynistic, overly sexualized society. Ladies, of course we have no control over whether or not a man chooses to objectify us. However, we do have control over whether or not we objectify ourselves.

Every day, women are stabbed to death for having successful careers in Mexico. Women are stripped of all of their reproductive rights in India; in Pakistan, Malala Yousefzai took a bullet to the head so that girls under Taliban rule could receive education and, as a result, respect.

Yet, in public American high schools, teenage girls are actively choosing to wear a garment that is hardly more concealing than a tattoo from the waist down. Then, they proceed to proclaim to any in hearing distance that all boys are lying, cheating, sex-crazed monsters, who, for some reason unbeknownst to the lassies, never even attempt to hide the sneak peeks they’re taking of their innumerable, nearly bare derrieres. Meanwhile, the majority of us are resting our aggravated faces in our resigned palms.

Here is my message to girls everywhere.

Your body is not shameful. Your body is beautiful, unique and precious. You are not less valuable because of the way you dress. You are not less valuable because you want your peers to appreciate your figure. You are not to blame for the times when, invariably, a small portion of boys will disregard your mind in favor of your body.

On the other hand, you cannot expect the human eye to suddenly stop being naturally attracted to shapes and colors and receive positive results. This isn’t a matter of sexual attraction or the extremely tired and intrinsically false all-men-are-pigs argument. Even other heterosexual girls end up observing your appearance of no volition of their own when you are clothed in skin-tight neon tribal print. It cannot be helped. It is inherent to the physiology of the eye. And, in people with functioning eyeballs, a myriad of uncomfortable thoughts flood the mind the instant a legging-clad rear-end comes into view.  I’m not anti-leggings. I’m anti-butts.

So, ladies, dress for what you actually want to be noticed for. If you want to be noticed for your gorgeous body, that is fantastic!  Be proud! Flaunt it, girl! But, if you do not want to be noticed for your body, please stop blaming every boy you know for looking at you in your not-pants. No one has sympathy for you in that situation, and in all likelihood, they are doing it by accident.

Leggings are not pants. People will not react to a girl wearing leggings in the place of pants as though she is wearing pants, mostly because she is not wearing pants. Before you get dressed for school in the morning, ask yourself, “Am I presenting myself the way I want to be perceived?”

If the answer is no, throw on some jeans or a long top, for your sake, and ours.