However, as much as I admire the range and ability of your garden variety hoo-haw, I think I could quite happily live the rest of my days without seeing one more of them packed into a pair of whisper-thin tights or yoga pants. Too much information is just…too much. No matter how gorgeous you think every bit of your bottom half is, ladies, I’m here to tell you: no one needs to see that. No one. At least not the general population you’ll run into during the course of a day. Your bus driver? Tim Horton’s worker? Your grandma? I think I can safely say that none of these individuals are going to have a better day for taking a gander at your nether regions. Last time I checked, that much detail belonged in a Wikipedia entry, not below your belt.I get it: You want your freedom. Knowingly or not, you are rebelling against a misogynistic system that until fairly recently had women draped in enough material to giftwrap the Q.E.II. Skirts that were constricting, awkward and just plain inconvenient for doing anything more than gliding through life like a geisha in training. Pantyhose that managed to strangle your lulu within twenty minutes of getting dressed. Been there, girlfriend. Been there, got the chafe marks, not planning on going back. Neither am I going to force complete strangers to witness how I fill out my drawers. There are things that you just can’t un-see.
Speaking of un-seeing things, this summer I was the unfortunate recipient of a meme on Facebook that showed the latest in men’s swim wear: the string lateral flash thong. Basically it’s a slingshot that wraps around a males’ hip and leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. I can’t conceive of the audience for this piece of ickiness. Who needs to see a banana in a hammock, especially when that hammock is the size of a regulation rubber band? Certainly not me.I’m not too worried, though. Men are nothing if not loyal to what’s come before. Witness the underwear drawer of the average male: packed to the gills with undies held together with no more than a molecule’s-worth of fabric and a prayer, stretched, stained and fading like a prairie sunset. Individuals willing to put these shreds on their bodies are not going to run out to buy the latest mankini, especially if all it consists of is a millimeter-thin scrap that displays their junk to the last microscopic (ahem) detail. As hard as it is to believe I’m saying this, men have more discretion than that.
I asked my husband to weigh in on the tights debacle recently. He is Jamaican, and probably one of the least uptight, least judgmental individuals I have met in all my years. I fully expected him, as “live and let live” as he is, not to bat an eyelash at all of this vacuum-packed vag. Yet even he was scandalized by what women are wearing these days, all in the name of comfort/fashion. Not that it’s for the benefit of men that I’m ranting on this subject. Not at all.As a woman of the 21st century, I believe we have every right to put on our bodies whatever the heck we want, from burqa to bikini, with no apologies to anyone. But as I’ve asked before, just because you can do something, does that mean you should do something? Sure, I could put on a tutu and clown makeup to go to work if I wanted, but it doesn’t mean it’s a smart option. There’s a homeless man I see all the time who wears mukluks and a parka all year long, no matter how hot the weather. Then again, I’m pretty certain that he is mentally ill and he likely doesn’t have a choice, either.
What I’m trying to say is that, as thinking modern women, we can do better for ourselves. We don’t need to go to the lowest common denominator, do we? Crocs were bad enough. Stretchy pants that look like they’ve been sprayed on? Are they really the best we can do? I’d like to point out that you don’t see men wandering around in tights, even though they almost always value comfort above all. You know why? Because they would look ridiculous, and they know it. Imagine a world where eighty percent of men walked around in skin-tight bike shorts. Would you love the look? Would it be appropriate? What if men decided to wear them to the bar? To school? To work? Would you need that much anatomical accuracy in your sightline every single day? I’m thinking that your answer might fall somewhere on the negative side of things, but maybe I’m wrong…If you want to be comfortable when you’re lounging at home or working out at the gym, that’s fine. If you’re genetically fortunate enough to have a nice booty and you want to shake it at the bar, great. Do whatever the heck you want, but please, I’m begging you. Save something, even if it’s only your dignity. Put a skirt over those tights. Wear a long shirt over them and do your best throwback to the 1990’s. Cover. It. Up.
Can you imagine your grandmother in a pair of tights? Your mother? Your great aunt Sally? You can’t, can you? That’s because these women were raised to believe (correctly, in my opinion) that displaying their naughty bits to all and sundry isn’t (wait for it) classy.There. I’ve said it. The “c” word. (No, not THAT one.) I am well aware that in these days of political correctness, it’s taboo to actually say that something is objectionable. It’s all “different strokes for different strokes” and “nobody cares” and “no worries”. To state an opinion that isn’t vague and inoffensive to every single creature on the planet is looked upon as being the next best thing to a dinosaur. Me, I’m from the Late Cretaceous.
I know I sound like some oldster, waving her bony finger and “tsking” under her breath, but I don’t care. What is that saying? “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything?” Well, I’d like to know who decided that this particular something was a good thing. Because as I see it (and BOY, have I seen it!), it’s most definitely NOT.Ladies, we are not lemmings. We do not need to follow every trending thing and say “Me too!”. We just don’t. As thinking human beings, we can decide that swathing our undercarriages with black lycra is just not how we want to roll. We don’t have to be lazy and wear the same damned thing every day, just because it’s “easy”. Please. If that’s your only criteria, why not wear a bathrobe and slippers everywhere? As independent women, we can say that we know what is appropriate apparel for the great big world out yonder and just wear that. It’s not like there aren’t a whole lot of options for us. Far more than men, when you come right down to it. Which is why deciding that tights or yoga pants are our only choice ninety percent of our lives is just silly.
Say it with me gals: Tights aren’t pants. Tights aren’t pants. That’s it. Just keep repeating it until you believe it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a bone to pick with those “socks and sandals” folks…