I had a different post planned for today but then I got inspired. Yesterday, Brianna posted this article to the community page, which sparked a really interesting conversation over there. I then shared it to my personal page… more conversation!
The article was written by a senior staffer at the NY Times (though many speculate it’s a pseudonym) who missed sweatpants and was upset by the influx of spandex and as she put it “sexy” workout clothing. She asserts that yoga pants are “bad for women.” Oof. It made feel a lot of things. At first I thought it was funny and cute. YEAH! Why can’t we just be a little messy at the gym? As someone who goes to a fancy gym where everyone looks so good all the time (tanned, toned, and in perfectly coordinated workout gear), it can feel a little intimidating at times.
It also made me feel a little bit guilty, as I have spent so much money at Outdoor Voices over the past couple months as I get my @$$ back in shape. Like more than I’ve spent on regular clothes. But I love their stuff and live for their matching sets (this crop + these leggings + this tank = my go-to uniform).
But then I started to think a little more about it and actually started to feel angry with the author – and the piece in general.
First of all… LOLZ. Who works out in sweatpants anymore!? (Note: I am so sorry if you are reading this and you do, but also if you do, enlighten me?) They just aren’t functional! Sweatpants get SO hot, they’re baggy and get tangled if you are on the elliptical, or they bunch up over your legs if you are doing downward dog. And I don’t take spinning but could you even imagine trying to take a spin class in sweatpants? A big fat NOPE to that. I have three pairs of sweatpants (Aviator Nation makes the best ones, for the record). Sometimes I’ll wear them over shorts or capris as I walk to the gym but I certainly don’t work out in them. My sweats are reserved for introvert time at home and trust me, I get a lot of use out of them but no actual sweating happens while wearing my sweatpants. Even the author referred to sweatpants as “basically towels with waistbands.” If you are getting in a good sweat, how would that be more comfortable!?
Next: I don’t work out in cute clothing to look sexy for a man. I don’t know a single woman who does this. Yuck. The idea of it made me actually laugh. I work out in cute workout clothing because it motivate me and make ME feel good! My cute stuff also happens to be very functional – designed to help me get a better workout. Since starting to work out in the morning, I have gotten into the habit of laying out my workout clothes for the next day ahead of time. (Just one more thing to save time.) Knowing that I am going to put on a cute outfit motivates me to get up, throw it on, and get my workout in! Perhaps that is superficial but honestly, I have a hard time motivating and if something gets me to the gym, it’s generally a very good thing.
As for working out in tight clothing, I actually think that is a must – especially in yoga or barre where you have to be so careful with your alignment and how you hold your poses. Though my core is far from perfect I wear a crop top + high waisted leggings to yoga as a) I don’t have to deal with a tank top bunching up around my head when we go upside down, and b) I get hot, and c) I can actually see my body, monitor it, and make sure I’m holding the poses properly. It has nothing to do with looking sexy but more with getting the poses right. The idea that we wear this stuff to look sexy and/or dress for men at THE GYM is positively ludicrous.
Also… yuck to this line! “Women can, of course, be fit and liberated. We may be able to conquer the world wearing spandex. 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?” (She says this shortly after saying “It’s not good manners for women to tell other women how to dress.” Yeah, Honor, that isn’t good manners and you’re contradicting yourself a bit.)
Not only is that line insulting to women over 30 (many of us), women with dimples and rolls (all of us), it just comes off as rude and insecure on her part. She has no business telling other women what to wear… insulting women’s bodies, or inferring that once you hit a certain age you’re just doomed. UGH.
So yeah. I hate this article and I will wear my nice workout clothing with pride. I’m proud of my daily workouts, and I like my spandex. If you don’t like spandex, that’s cool too – wear what you want!!! If it motivates you and makes you happy + comfortable, it’s GOOD FOR YOU (no matter what it is), and that’s what you should wear. And I love the New York Times, but given everything else going on in the world, surely, they could have chosen a better Op Ed piece, no!?
Did you read the article? What did you think? I’d love to get your thoughts!!!
photography by Trent Bailey.