'Yoga Pants Parade' Is the Perfect Answer to Body-Shaming Dudes -- & We Want In

We can all agree there are some things that should be left unsaid -- like, for example, the entirety of one man's letter to a local Rhode Island newspaper. The writer, Alan Sorrentino, made a harsh argument that urged women to stop wearing yoga pants in public. And instead of brushing off these offensive comments, the women in his community gave the best response: The ladies hosted a Yoga Pants Parade -- not only to peacefully protest the letter, but to stand against the general practice of body shaming, which is still running rampant in our society.

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"The absolute worst thing to ever happen in [women's] fashion is the recent development of yoga pants as daily wear outside the yoga studio," he begins his letter.

Now, this is an opinion that isn't new to anyone. The "leggings as pants" debate has been around for years, as has the word athleisure. But the tolerance for anything that could be described as constructive "fashion talk" stops right there.

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This rant is NOT about fashion. This rant is the definition of body shaming. And that's blatantly obvious as he continues:

Like the mini-skirt, yoga pants can be adorable on children and young women who have the benefit of nature's blessing of youth. However, on mature, adult women there is something bizarre and disturbing about the appearance they make in public. Maybe it's the unforgiving perspective they provide, inappropriate for general consumption, TMI, or the [specter] of someone coping poorly with their weight or advancing age that makes yoga pants so weird in public.

There are so many things wrong with this. To even suggest that yoga pants should be reserved for those who have "nature's blessing of youth" is absolutely ridiculous.

Yes, yoga pants are comfortable and we all wish that we could just lounge around in them all day. Oh, wait! I do that on the occasional lazy Sunday afternoon. But that's my choice. If a woman wants to wear yoga pants outside of the yoga studio, it's her prerogative to do so. It shouldn't matter where a woman wears them. 

The writer even states that he has issues with his own body: "To all yoga pant wearers, I struggle with my own physicality as I age. I don't want to struggle with yours." It's a little presumptuous to assume that everyone wearing yoga pants is "struggling" with their bodies. Even so, if you are dealing with personal body issues, why would you choose to shame these women in this fashion? 

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The letter even goes as far to compare yoga pants to Speedos. He wrote, "Yoga pants belong in the yoga studio. What's next? Wearing a 'Speedo' to the supermarket? Imagine if men did that. Yuck!"

Leave my yoga pants alone! There is no reason for you to be publicly condemning so many women for their choice in clothing. If a woman wants to wear yoga pants, sweat pants, gym shorts, leggings, etc., out and feels comfortable doing so, then more power to her. 

I have to give the women of Rhode Island a standing ovation for not just letting this negative body talk slide. This community stood together to say that this type of shaming is just not okay. And we need more of that.

a great day to be a woman #yogapantsparade

A photo posted by Abby Voigt (@abbyvoigt_) on

The protest was not just about hate or clapping back at one man's uncalled-for opinion -- it was about fighting the shaming we face on the regular. 

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#yogapantsparade

A photo posted by Lauren G (@poopmastaflex) on

"This a wonderful group of people celebrating our bodies and our right to cover them however we see fit. And while yoga pants seem to be a silly thing to fight for, they are representative of something much bigger -- misogyny and the history of men policing women's bodies," describes the official Facebook event page.

Women, men, and children all marched down the street where Sorrentino lives to peacefully make their statement.

Reportedly, Sorrentino made a statement of his own by putting a sign out that said "free speech." 

And while you can't win over everyone to your way of thinking, this protest is a wake-up call. If this is how you choose to use free speech, be prepared for those you've insulted and degraded with your words to invoke their right to challenge your opinion.

All I can say is long live yoga pants! 


Image via iStock.com/FXQuadro

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