For the love of yoga pants! With all the joy they bring, there sure is a lot of negativity. The yoga pants ban is in full effect, people. Middle schools and high schools across the country have been deeming life’s most comfortable two-legged garments unsuitable for school dress codes. But many yoga pants-clad students are poised for protest.
Should yoga pants be banned in school? Administrators at Cape Cod Regional Technical School in Massachusetts think so. This past June they voted to ban yoga pants, leggings and any clothing that’s super form-fitting, a change which did not sit well with some students. The media picked up on the story recently after one student, 16-year-old Emily Connolly took to Facebook to vent her frustrations.
“Girls in today’s society are forced to cover there[sic] bodies and considered more of sex symbols than actual human beings just because some guys don’t know how to “control” themselves doesn’t mean girls need to pay for it,” Connolly wrote. “We shouldn’t have to cover our bodies we are talking about pants people! Jeans are the same exact thing just a different fabric. If the school systems want to really see change they shouldn’t be focusing on girls.”
The school’s senior class president, Seana Aiolupotea, concurred adding, “We’re not wearing them to get attention from people, we’re wearing them because they’re comfortable,” Aiolupotea told the Cape Cod Times.
Needless to say, yoga pants aren’t just the comfy, convenient choice of adults, they’re also huge with the teens (see lululemon, Ivivva, “athleisure” boom, etc). But we’ve seen this happen before – actually for years now – where yoga pants and leggings are considered by school officials to be so distractingly “revealing” of female bodily shapes they’re worried that students (adolescent boys) are not capable of concentrating. School administrators figure they’ll just avoid the whole thing (“whole thing” likely being an honest conversation with teenagers about bodies and sexuality) by banning the stretchy pants all together and calling it a day.
For their part, the administration at Connolly’s school have taken her concerns into consideration and have updated the dress code to allow yoga pants…just not worn as pants. “Leggings, tights, yoga pants and any other extremely form fitting apparel are considered an accessory and must be worn with dress/skirt or shorts,” the new code reads.
School district superintendent Robert Sanborn says it’s about preparing kids for the real world. “Vocational technical education is about preparing people for a career,” Sanborn told Today.com. “It has to do with employability. We’re passing on the skills that are needed in the workforce, to know that’s not proper attire when you’re at work.”
(Oh, unless you’re a yoga teacher! Zoink. Actually we know there’s been an uptick in yoga pants as office wear. You know who you are.)
That reasoning isn’t cutting it for Connolly who, along with some of her classmates, organized a “First Day = Yoga Pants” protest calling for female students to combat body shaming by wearing yoga pants and leggings on the first day of school (which is today), September 2. As for the turn out, we’re not sure how many students participated but the Boston Globe reported there were 115 “attending” the event.
“My friends and I don’t plan on doing anything super-dramatic,” Connolly told the Boston Globe. “I hope it’s not a fight that we’ll have to put up. I’m totally willing to sit down and talk to them about it and see if we can work around it and come to an agreement around it.”
Superintendent Sanborn said he was prepared for the yoga pants parade and that repercussions would not be “heavy-handed.” Also open to dialogue with the students, Sanborn said, “it’s going to be a teachable moment.” We hope it is for everyone. With so many kids practicing yoga these days, bringing the positives of instilling body acceptance and improved self-esteem, it would be a shame to reassociate that with shame.
What do you think? Yoga pants too revealing for school? Too unprofessional?
(Remember when? Yoga pants bans aren’t just the kids. Remember when the Montana legislator wanted to outlaw yoga pants? HA.)
- Teens Are Ditching Jeans For Yoga Pants, Driving ‘Athleisure’ Fashion Trend
- More Kids in U.S. Are Practicing Yoga
- Rumor of Yoga Pants Ban Has High School Students Unite in Stretchy Pants Protest
- School Bans Yoga Pants, Students Rebel, Refuse to Hide Curves
In the larger picture of this one thing being overlooked especially by those thinking about the mythical “real world” is that the more you hide our bodies the more distracting they become. If youve ever been to a nude beach you may have noticed the novelty fades after a while and pretty soon seeing body parts everywhere isnt distracting. You end up just going about your business as you normally would at the beach.
Just compare cultures for a clearer example of how this works in a society. In the US seeing certain body parts is hugely distracting because those are the parts required to be covered. In Europe for example its very different or in a Middle Eastern culture it would be very different in another direction.
We create our own distractions by avoiding and hiding it.