This is a rant and a personal campaign against the jeans-ing of American women. It’s time for a Jeans Rebellion!
Collectively, we’ve lost our sense of style. Men look good in jeans. Women? Not so much. So why is nearly every woman at the mall and the farmer’s market clad in them? Because they’re easy? Or are we universally depressed and want to make ourselves look bad? Well, we’ve succeeded.
A recent trip to an upscale mall confirmed it: nearly every woman wore jeans. I have it on good authority that only the rare female looks appealing in denim. Old, young, in between, tall, thin, short, plump—doesn’t matter. For most they’re terribly unflattering, says my male resource. Same with that stretchy active wear that might feel comfortable but does nothing for your, um, profile.
So why wear these things?
They crush, they bind, they confine, they pinch, they are stiff and unyielding and hot and constrict your movements. Ah, now maybe we are getting somewhere. Are they a device, a plot to keep women in check?
Two years ago, I swore off jeans (and six months ago, I vowed that I would also stop wearing so much black). That didn’t stop me from trying on three pairs of jeans last fall, just in case I needed to go out trekking. Holy Schmoly! What’s with the tight-as-flesh, cling to every bump and wrinkle, “if only they were leggings they’d be softer” design?? They went back on the rack where this style had taken over all others.
I feel so bad for unfortunate fashion victims who’ve been conned into buying pants that suppress their feminine attributes in the worst way. Squished and pushed and reshaped is not appealing.
I want to say to them: Do you look perfect naked, and by perfect, I mean according to the designers’ code of what that entails? Yes? Okay then—celebrate it in a slim, elegant swath of flowing fabric that says, “All woman here.” And burn the jeans! In fact, the curvier you are, the better you’ll look in female-centric clothing. Working out a lot? Celebrate in glorious color. Why cram that beautiful body into some stiff fabric meant for tilling the potato field?
Is this another way we women are being forced to conform, to hide our femininity, maybe for safety?
Okay, nobody forced anyone. Yet if you want to buy a feminine garment like a skirt in beautiful colors, with elegant movement in soft fabrics, you had better head online or to a private seamstress. Because the forcing comes from the top, from designers who love little-boy figures and retailers who capitulate. Stores rarely offer soft and pretty these days. They’ve convinced you to either pinch yourself into the gritty garb of a dystopian heroine (minus the weaponry, we hope), or your brother’s go-to wardrobe.
And those mythical, “elegant, dark-toned jeans” that you read about in magazines, the latest cuts that provide “the right shape for every figure”? Nope. Truly a myth. I cannot understand why we still fall for this marketing ploy!
So here’s my Jeans Rebellion challenge: Next time you go out, choose something other than jeans or active-wear leggings with a top too short to cover your private parts. Take a minute. Are you a woman who likes being one? Then go for it! Don’t advertise your shortcomings and especially your goings. Look into a rear-view mirror. Choose colors that uplift the world around you. Defy the fear that’s been put over on you, and wear something truly alluring and pleasing to the senses.
In this era when we may have appointed a rapist to the Supreme Court, you might argue that jeans make you feel safe.
They aren’t any safer than other choices. The heaviness of the fabric has only fooled you. They are even too cold on a frigid day, remember? My sister, an animal tracker who spends as much of her time in deep woods as possible, following bear and cougar tracks, certainly never wears them. You’ll find her in heavy cotton designed for the outdoors, loose enough for a cushion of warm air to form around her. (Pepper spray at her belt for actual defensive action if needed, because the two-leggeds who drink and shoot are more dangerous than the four-leggeds, says she.)
One of my theories is that in our constant fear of #metoo verbal and physical assault, we women have unwittingly shrunk down into masculine disguises, wearing heavy-armor garments that defy our gender. Guilty here. But if we’re all going to step up and out, and proclaim our right to safe lives, to be feminine without fear, then our revolution is simple: We start in our own closets. With the clothing we wear when we venture forth.
Which powerful women do you admire? Do they turn up in jeans for every event? No? There’s our role model. As Oprah says, “Don’t save the good stuff.” Wear it. Today.
And don’t forget your daughters. In fact, I think a few of the little girls I saw at the mall had the very best fashion sense. Remember your fairy wings and princess wands. We are all going to enjoy your blossoming, restored sense of personal expression when we see beautiful flotillas of colorful, confident women!
P.S. I’m not the only one to notice the need for a Jeans Rebellion:
Women and spandex (a.k.a leggings)
UPDATE: Some of you thought I was opposed to pants-wearing in all forms. Not at all! Here are some ideas that go beyond blue-jeans uniformity: https://pin.it/bfroxbtpwqihhi
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