The most innocuous of attire, the basic yoga pant, has once again come under fire. And this time it’s not whether they’re acceptable attire on airplanes, it’s whether or not they’re acceptable in the gym.
In a new piece by the New York Times, senior opinion editor Honor Jones wrote a scathing review of the workout pants accusing women of only wearing them “because they’re sexy” – not because they’re practical or comfortable.
The author states that the only people who have the go-ahead to wear skin-tight leggings are deep-sea divers and Olympic speedskaters, while the rest of the world, especially those over 30, should stick to the classic sweatpant.
“Women can, of course, be fit and liberated. We may be able to conquer the world wearing spandex,” the article reads. “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?”
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There’s also talk about how the rising studio class industry and the popularity of athleisure continue to perpetuate what she sees as a vicious, demoralizing cycle: “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.”
If you’re wondering whether this writer understands that there are purposes to wearing a fitted legging during a workout aside from snapping a selfie in the gym mirror, so are many enraged readers on Twitter.
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 spend 6 days a week rolling around in a sport where any piece of loose clothing can be used by an opponent for an advantage. No one is wearing tight fitting clothes to look good. Trust me. https://t.co/acB34QFnI1
— Alyssa Miller (@alyjo85) February 18, 2018
1. no one is requiring anyone to wear yoga pants
2. a lot of women genuinely like wearing yoga pants
3. yes, there ARE real reasons to wear yoga pants to yoga. they allow for more flexibility and to see if you are posed correctly.
4. do better, NYT, oh my god https://t.co/8wIlHOSCJh
— a fake sports fan because of the olympics (@mandalovescats) February 18, 2018
My entire TL rn over the NYT yoga pants op-ed piece. pic.twitter.com/vfJDoyZnnR
— Cath (@WWRBGD) February 18, 2018
Others called out the implication that those with only “perfect” bodies are “allowed” to wear leggings.
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
I will wear yoga pants whenever I damn well please. After that article I might just wear yoga pants even when I don’t feel like it. Don’t tell me what to wear. I am insecure enough without the NYT coming for my choice of pants.
— Ayesha McGowan (@ayesuppose) February 19, 2018
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And some flabbergasted readers simply reacted with straight confusion.
So a NYT writer wrote an op-ed using a pen name criticizing women for wearing yoga pants. I didn’t realize we ran out of legit feminist issues to now champion the great gym attire debate. https://t.co/oapbT0z0ch
— SHIREEN QUDOSI (@ShireenQudosi) February 19, 2018
What an unusual thing to write about, the only rational conclusion I can muster hints at a line at the beginning when a few women give her funny looks, maybe she is just not comfortable at her gym and thinks the appearance of others is the issue? Very odd. https://t.co/DGqrNxMzmL
— J Mummey (@mummey_j) February 18, 2018
We, for one, think the fact this made its way into the New York Times opinion pages is a bigger stretch than the four-way Lycra that allows us to do triangle pose in peace.