Yoga Pants ban unfair

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Deanna Ambold

There have been some serious controversial topics circulating around for the past couple years, some obviously more important than others. The most talked about being should yoga pants and leggings worn by girls, be banned from schools.

When I was in high school, the fad of wearing leggings and yoga pants as pants was new and actually quite confusing. For me at the time, I was Team Jeans all the way (my skinny jeans were probably just as tight as leggings) and thought replacing pants with leggings was sort of stupid. They’re for wearing underneath dresses and should be limited to such. As the years progressed, more and more people began to think that these tight-tights and pants were not acceptable for girls at such young ages to wear in an educational setting, so principals have been placing more dress code bans, once again aimed at female clothing. Thus, the spark on both sides of the argument ignited and emails have been pouring in debating what to do with these seemingly unimportant articles of clothing in schools. But the ban on leggings and yoga pants is very problematic for multiple reasons; it’s not just about the clothing itself, but about the bigger picture of what the ban entails.

First and probably the most important, parents shouldn’t have to reprimand their daughters for being sent home for wearing distracting clothing; they should be teaching their sons not to objectify women wearing certain clothing. Any sort of clothing. It teaches boys that girls are merely objects that have nice buns and thighs, not people. Girls are actually covering up by wearing the pants; it’s not as though girls are wearing “daisy dukes” to class and revealing most of their legs and buttocks. By sending girls home, this is teaching everyone that the school’s dress code is more important than the girls’ education. When the school authorities say that it is the girl’s fault for wearing clothes that apparently make men animals who are unable to control their lust, then that is contributing to rape culture, where so many girls are blamed for their own rape and that they were asking for it because God, look at what they were wearing.

Yoga pants are, in essence, for working out, and wearing female oriented workout and athletic clothes at school is frowned upon, whereas guys can wear workout and athletic clothes which may be loose and also revealing when they wear deep-cut tank tops to show more of their not-so-chiseled torso. What about those baggy pants guys wear that exposes almost the entirety of their boxers?

In my school experience, I have seen the guys who wear them receive a single warning, like “pull up your pants please,” but never “you’re distracting the ladies with your lobster underwear, belt your pants or I’ll send you home.” Those threats were for girls wearing shorts that failed the fingertip test by a quarter of an inch. Or for wearing a tank top that failed the two finger test, because revealing too much shoulder to men in the class is outrageous and mirrors the times where puritan women couldn’t even show their wrists or ankles because they would be too scandalous for men.

Girls should not have to feel ashamed of what they wear. Wearing leggings or yoga pants can make a girl feel confident for showing off her curves, or also demonstrate laziness for throwing on a pair before class because you’re already up way too early for this, who could care about what pants you decide to wear. Either way, it shouldn’t matter why a girl wears them. Take the time to fight for things that actually matter: bullying policies and improving academia, for example. When men are sent home for wearing derogatory and sexist shirts like “Cool Story Babe, Now Make Me a Sandwich,” then this issue can be discussed.

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