There are only two things I hate: leggings and everyone. My crippling excitement upon discovering that the two combined make up the unofficial college girl uniform was rivaled only by Mel Gibson’s delight with Hanukkah. This debilitating epidemic affects countless people every day, though the real victims are not those who don the leggings themselves, but those who are forced to look at them. Leggings, put simply, are neither classy nor flattering; no woman should ever be wearing them as pants. Women don’t wear leggings as pants; girls do. To be a woman is to be classy and well-groomed, both of which fly in the face of leggings as pants.
My problem lies not with the leggings, themselves, but with the method by which girls wear them. I don’t know when it became acceptable for girls to walk around basically half-naked, but it did. When the trend first started, leggings were worn under dresses and skirts, as a “more fashionable” version of tights. But soon the skirts and dresses were lost, just like the girl who just walked past you wearing leggings and a crop top. Nowadays a girl can walk around wearing a pair of leggings, a moderately trendy shirt and some lace-up boots and she is hailed by all as the style icon of the century. The fact that every groove and curve of her butt is visible is somehow forgotten. The truth of the matter is: when a girl is walking in front of you and her butt is in your face, wobbling around mimicking her Tuesday night drunken gait, the feelings of nausea and discomfort mix together to create something so potent that misanthropy is inevitable.
Leggings, though, are by no means a new trend. We can thank the ’60s for them — and the ’80s for solidifying their place in fashion history. Fashion loves the ’80s, and as per usual in the industry, designers were inspired by years past and sent leggings down the runway, sparking a trend revival. These designers were either a.) not alive during the aforementioned time periods to know the real monstrosity that is a butt in leggings, or b.) playing a cruel joke on society. But this is not the ’80s and we are not in the “Flashdance” music video. We are in America; America, the home of the free — not the biddy. Our forefathers died to give us such inalienable rights as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to walk out in public without being visually assaulted by cameltoes and panty lines.
Now, I am aware that men everywhere are probably cursing me out in anger. Most men love leggings, and understandably so. One of the straight men in the fashion industry probably poisoned people’s minds and devised the “leggings as pants” trend, in a resounding victory for the male population. The second girls started wearing leggings with standard length T-shirts and calling it fashion, men everywhere cried out joyfully in unison (not unlike when pole dancing became “exercise”). But everything is in fashion for a reason; wearing black or vertical stripes makes a body appear slimmer, the placement of butt pockets on jeans can make it look bigger or smaller, empire waistlines can emphasize breasts and hide all evidence of Monday night’s Cherry Garcia binge… the list goes on. The only purpose that leggings serve is as a cheaper x-ray machine for scanning a woman’s butt, whether you asked for that scan or not. For being such a“revolutionary” addition to the world of fashion, leggings are a rather uninventive product. They are essentially footless tights, except no one would ever wear tights without something over them.
Of course, those who know me would call me a hypocrite. I own my fair share (and Dakota Fanning’s, apparently) of tight dresses, and I frequent the grocery store in my yoga pants. So why is a pair of leggings so much more of an abomination than the skintight skirt I wore last week? Leggings are typically made of spandex or lycra mixed with nylon or cotton, materials conducive to clinging to every contour of the body. I can’t stress the point enough: leggings were intended to be worn under skirts and dresses, like tights, and unlike the bodycon skirts that are made to emphasize curves, not mold to them. I do understand why leggings are such a popular choice among girls; they are comfortable, easy to wear, cheap and versatile. And although I believe in comfort over style, I am the number one supporter of class over comfort.
It’s also clear that I’m not the only one who advocates this position. A search on Twitter for the hasthtag #LeggingsAreNotPants yields hundreds of results. There are over 50 Facebook groups titled “Leggings are NOT Pants”. Over 400,000 people stand united and strong against mooseknuckles and jiggly butts. So girls, next time you’re getting dressed in the morning and you’re about to put on your leggings, just take a moment to think about what you’re doing. Think about the thousands of people that suffer every day because of your poor decision, and how you can help them. A few minutes out of your otherwise Facebook-filled day is all that is required to eradicate this issue. Start with the girl in the mirror and tell her to change. No message could be any clearer: if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at your butt in those damn leggings and change.