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(I just want to note that this is not a "hatin' on the skinny chicks" post.  I think women are wonderful, no matter what their size.)

I do like summer - summer comes with butterflies, fun animals, evenings outside, and wildflowers.  Even the weather has been particularly good so far this summer (I'm usually hugging the air conditioner like a drowning rat on a life raft by June).  There's just the sticky issue of summer weight-loss ads.  Every summer, like clockwork, I get bombarded by the information that I'm definitely not skinny enough, especially since women much thinner than me in the ads are worrying about how they look.

(The fact that I've lost 60-70 lbs and kept it off for 14 years now is of no relevance.  I am still way too fat, say the ads, because my stomach is not flat.)

Actually, there are two times of year these evil ads come out like avenging angels here to judge you for your adiposity (and find it completely unacceptable) - just after Christmas (with all that holiday feasting weighing heavily on one's mind and hips - and if it isn't, it should be!, they scream), and as summer begins (coming soon to a theater near you:  The Horror of the Body Not Fit to Wear a Swimsuit!  It had cellulite!  It didn't shave enough!  It sagged, it pooched, and it was bigger than a size two!  It made grown men faint with disgust!  And it's ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!!).  It's definitely not limited to weight loss companies, either -  it's also all the foods and "herbal remedies" and supplements and OTC diet "aids" that supposedly make one's disgusting, human shaped body disappear and replace it with the body of a mannequin with perpetually smooth and toned thighs.


Special K, I'm growling in your direction.  I hate Yoplait, too (The itsy bitsy woman in the itsy bitsy bikini is severely underweight, yet is ashamed to show her body?  Fuck you, Yoplait, fuck you with your own spoon), but Special K really kills me, because they keep going on and on about those mythical "skinny jeans", and how we're all supposed to want to fit in them.  It's not about being healthy, it's not about feeling your best, it's those fucking skinny jeans and all they stand for.

(Oh, and one of the SK ads has a woman thinking "I really want dessert tonight", like she normally won't put anything but a salad past her lips, and one dessert is going to doom her to eternal hippo-dom.  I hate that ad.  Dessert is something that should not engender guilt, dammit!)

You know what?  I hate skinny jeans. 

(Okay, I hate all jeans, but skinny jeans are the worst.) 

I'm told that jeans are the comfiest trousers one can wear, but I've never experienced that, and I've tried on lots of jeans.  Even the two pairs that I will deign to wear (one pair is black, the other green) are uncomfortable at best.  Why on earth would I want to shove myself into tight jeans that don't stretch, cut me in the crotch, gap at the back, slice me in the front (all jeans do this to me; either I or the jeans were built backwards), and make me look dumpy, when I can wear linen pants that fit and make me look sexy and awesome?  If they're loose enough to be marginally comfortable, they make my butt look saggy and my legs look short.  If they're tight enough to show off my legs, they cause my internal organs to significantly shift, and I look like a grape with two toothpicks stuck in it.

With jeans, I can't win.  But I can't use myself as an example, because I am from another continent, if not another planet.  My friends in high school hated the feel of their designer jeans (yes, I was in school during that fashion craze), but were convinced that there was some magical property to skinny jeans that would make everything in their lives better - if only they could fit into the tightest, most camel-toe inducing, painted on jeans that were tinier than everyone else's.  Designer jeans meant nothing unless they were on the skinniest of bodies, and fat girls were not allowed!  Being skinny in your (designer) skinny jeans stood for success, achievement, and made you a member of the elite.  It was perfectly normal for girls to throw up their meals until they fit into the damn things, because being skinny in your skinny jeans was all that mattered.

Many of the girls I knew would wet their jeans and stick them in the dryer on the highest setting so that they'd shrink to skin-tight level, and lie down to get them zipped up (sometimes with the help of a friend).  Why have we gone back to this obsession with skinny jeans?  Anything that mimicks the restrictions of a corset without providing amazing cleavage (and requires starving) seems counterintuitive to the idea of health and well-being.

But no, I'm told - jeans are awesome.  They're comfortable.  They're the garment of choice for relaxing.  They look good, they feel good, and they work for almost any occasion (wear a sport coat and a tie for your wedding, and you're set!). 

This still doesn't explain those damned skinny jeans.

I have come to the conclusion, after literally minutes of research, that skinny jeans are a conspiracy to keep us buying Special K and other diet foods, by making sure that we never, ever feel thin enough.  However small you get, there's always a skinnier pair of jeans out there, mocking you.  So, the companies tell us that we want skinny jeans, that skinny jeans are something to aspire to, that skinny jeans make other women jealous and guys our adoring pets.  Buy our miracle product, and you'll fit into those size two skinny jeans!  You'll be loved!  Your life will be perfect! 

Never mind that yeast infection, you will look pretty! 

Uh... until you take those jeans off, and your entire body is covered with criss-crossed red lines detailing every compressing seam of those bastard pants.  Not to mention that there's no way to smoothly take off something that rivals a wet suit in clinginess the minute you sweat, or that you can't even dry-hump satisfactorily in skinny jeans, because the lower half of your body went numb three hours ago from the lack of blood flow.

Honestly, I'd rather wear leggings - and I haven't worn those since the early '90s. 

Do guys really like skinny jeans in particular?  Or is any attractive outfit that shows off ones legs and butt pleasing (uh, not that I really care what you think of my body, but I'm conducting research here)?  Guys, would you like skinny jeans as much if you knew how much they hurt women, how uncomfortable they are?  Would you dress in something likely to give you a urinary tract infection just to impress a girl?  Would you really demand that a woman do that for you?

See, I don't think it's men demanding that we dress in miserable uncomfortable clothes that cause varicose veins, it's the fashion industry and their lap dogs, the diet industry.  They claim that looking good is important, but they're not saying it's healthy, and this is key.  Once upon a time, Special K was touted as a healthy breakfast cereal, but now, the ads say fuck-all about health - they just emphasize weight loss.  They don't say that having a good breakfast is good for your bones, or your mental health, or your digestive system, they say it helps you lose weight.  I don't think I've ever seen as many ads that have simply used "lose weight!" as a selling point as I do today.

And I think "skinny jeans" are the apotheosis of this stupid (and untrue) association between weight loss and health.  In pretty much every way, skinny jeans are bad for you - they hurt, they give opportunistic infections a chance to breed, they cut off circulation, they encourage hip and back problems, they even help cause varicose veins - yet they're held up as something to strive for.  Not health, not strong bones, not the opportunity to fight off disease, or live longer - just being thin and fitting into those "skinny jeans" (and the accompanying high heels that cause shortened tendons and foot problems, of course).

It's actually refreshingly honest of them - being pretty on the outside is all that counts to the diet industry. Average-sized healthy people don't need diet pills that cause heart failure, so you have to make them insecure about not fitting into a size zero.  Fuck health - after all, high self-esteem doesn't help anyone rake in the greenbacks.

Don't help the diet industry make more money.  Declare your independence! Burn your skinny jeans that don't fit unless you starve yourself!  Wear sweats! 

They're versatile. They're comfy. Men seem to find them attractive.

And they're a lot healthier to excercise in.


( 98 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
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Jul. 9th, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC)
Screw that whole skinny thing. As Two Tons of Fun once said, "Honey, not every man want skin and bones!" Why would we want to look like what passes for starving in the rest of the world?
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
I dunno, the skinny jean angle is better than the "pinch an inch" angle. I remember being in the second or third grade and worrying about being this ginormous Thing because I could pinch an inch and OMG you shouldn't have any baby fat when you're all of 8 years old, right?

They can keep their skinny jeans if I can keep my high heels and supposedly short tendons. Though if I can run a half marathon, I doubt they're all that short.
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
I actually prefer my bootleg jeans. Hate skinny jeans. Only look good on stick insects!!!!
I may be overweight but I have a heart half my age and lower cholesterol than a lot of my friends and my GP..
I will loose weight by eating properly and exercising and because I *want* to, not because I am told to by companies who really only want my money and dont' give a rats about my health!

No skinny jeans in my wardrobe!!!
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
The only jeans that I have ever found that fit right are from Lane Bryant. They fit great, look awesome, feel wonderful, and I feel good when I wear them. I don't care where they come from. I just wish they made them in every single size because they really are cut and designed better for more body types than any other brand I've tried.

I have my own yard stick for measuring my fitness success. There's a 2.78 mile trail at Umstead park in Cary that we walk weekly. I want to be able to run it and that's what I'm working towards. So far I can run/jog about 1/3 of it.
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
If you're looking for a good program (I love having a set of expectations), and you're okay with the run/walk thing, you might check out Couch to 5K. It starts out really reasonably and it's fun to challenge yourself.
(no subject) - pirategirleee - Jul. 9th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - swwoodsy - Jul. 9th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
Though it hardly matters, the "skinny jean" thing has two different implications. Usually in diet ads, they mean the ones you could fit into when you were skinny, assuming you once had been, and had jeans then. The last time I had any that could be called such, pleats, acid wash, and cuffs were in, in a non-ironic way. Needless to say, fitting into those monstrosities again is not a goal.

The other, more current incarnation are actual skinny jeans, and they are an abomination. Nothing would drive me to a diet more slowly than the prospect of wearing them. They look horrific no matter how thin you are. In fact, I'd argue that the thinner you are, the worse you look in them. I so tire of seeing people walk around with toothpick legs swathed in ironic skintight acid washed denim. Stories have been floating around about men driven to anorexia to fit into these things. What an incredible turnoff.

I have this pair of floaty linen pants that I bought to wear for my summer job when it's hot. I feel like a freaking movie star in them. From the forties. I wish I'd bought ten pairs when I bought that one.
Jul. 9th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
Aahhh. You just brought back fond memories of my teenage years with the acid wash. And the stonewash jeans. And the pleats! Oh, the pleats. And the strategically ripped ones. Yes, the non-ironic-acid-wash-pleated jeans with the rips.

*sniff* I am so glad I burned them.
(no subject) - rikibeth - Jul. 9th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
In defense of the blue jean...
I have to admit I love my blue jeans, but most important to note here, they are not "skinny jeans". They are Levi's. Honest "going to go clean out the barn" jeans. They don't have a single touch of Lycra, nor do they have a designers name stitched across my @ss. They are just jeans. Meant to be worn until they can't work any more. And then cut off and worn until they fray to nothing.
I love my jeans, every torn, shredded, stained, tattered comfy inch of them.
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
Re: In defense of the blue jean...
Wranglers fit me better, but yea, when I wear jeans they're working men's jeans. For casual pants I wear cargo pants (gotta have the pockets!).

Now I'm not your typical male, being rather more fond of gentlemen than ladies when it comes to the crunch, but I loathe skinny jeans. I don't find the sprayed on look attractive. And boy or girl, I don't want to see your junk or your cameltoe. There's a time and a place for that and passing in the street is not that time or place.

I like to see fabric at work: snuggling and accentuating curves, draping beautifully while concealing and suggesting hidden delights, flowing with the wearer's movements. It's better than giftwrap! You don't have to do the full Stevie Nicks look, but a well-cut flared skirt does lovely things when the wearer walks briskly. Skinny jeans don't do any of that. Clothes that don't fit don't work either, nor do fabrics made of dead dinosaurs.

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Re: In defense of the blue jean... - swwoodsy - Jul. 9th, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
On the leggings thing, I wonder if the US will go that route. I saw leggings all over the place in France a year ago and Belgium last month.
Jul. 9th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
Leggings were *everywhere* I went when I was in Manhattan earlier this week. I wear leggings pretty much year round, I treat them as a base layer, ankle length in cooler weather, capri length in hotter weather. I was wearing them long before they came back "in". :)

As to skinny jeans, I'm going to say that for myself, I like them (I was in the navy for four years right after high school, I *loathe* trousers/jeans with any extra fabric about the lower legs/ankles). They look good on me if they're cut correctly and worn with a belt, but I don't wear them skin-tight, either.


Jul. 9th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
:) I like the way you think.

I'm a fan of Lane Bryant & Fashion Bug's Right Size jeans (which is no help for someone who isn't a "plus size" but still isn't built according to model proportions), but I've noticed that jeans seem less comfy to me than they used to. Maybe because I used to wear jeans with more stretch, maybe because my body proportions have shifted as I've lost and gained (and lost and gained) weight, or maybe because I just really like skirts.

The ads that piss me off the most are the Hydroxy-Cut ones, because the before picture was NOT FAT and was actually prettier than the after picture.

And let's add sciatica to the list of issues that skinny jeans can cause, or at least aggravate, at least in my experience. When I first developed sciatica, I'd gained a bit of weight & a lot of my pants were tight. I noticed that if I put on a well-fitting pair of pants or a skirt, the pain was much reduced. Gee, putting crazy amounts of pressure on your nerves can screw with them---imagine that.
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
Apropos of Nothing, but
That is a really smashing heraldic design.
Re: Apropos of Nothing, but - aeliakirith - Jul. 9th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Apropos of Nothing, but - tacnukesoul - Jul. 9th, 2009 01:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Apropos of Nothing, but - soldiergrrrl - Jul. 9th, 2009 02:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Apropos of Nothing, but - (Anonymous) - Jul. 9th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Apropos of Nothing, but - nusbacher - Jul. 10th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - chargirlgenius - Jul. 9th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:23 pm (UTC)
Skinny girls? Not really my ideal. Not for most guys I know either. I recall reading that there was a study indicating that women tend to rate photos of thinner women as being more attractive.

On the supposed comfort of jeans: I don't get it either. As a guy, I find a pair of good summerweight wool slacks more comfy than my jeans. Softer, cooler (heavier wool to be warmer in winter), more flexible... People give me flak on "Casual Fridays" when I show up in the same style pants I do the rest of the week. These guys seriously believe that jeans are better. The problem is likely that their dress pants are cheap poly and not really properly fitted.

For women, I have a hard time believing that jeans are more comfortable than a skirt. (I have no personal experience with this, though, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. ;)

Sweats? Attractive? Um... No. Have I mentioned skirts? Properly fitted skirts?

Jul. 9th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
I recall reading that there was a study indicating that women tend to rate photos of thinner women as being more attractive.

Which is probably why playboy models are curvier than clothing models...

(no subject) - virginiadear - Jul. 9th, 2009 01:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Jul. 9th, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
Skinny jeans aren't flattering on anyone, except possibly emaciated heroin junkies who are male. Seriously, the point of tailored trousers with a flared leg is to balance out the ass. If you have an ass, you can't look good in skinny jeans, and most men I know like ass. (not that we care what men think about our bodies, as we do not walk around for their pleasure but for our own ends).

That being said, I've never enjoyed wearing jeans. They have never been comfortable for me, I have literally never found a pair of jeans that I wouldn't immediately remove the minute I got home to put on something more comfortable. I live in tailored trousers, skirts and yoga pants.

They have a fundraiser called Jeans Fridays on alternate Fridays where I work where if you pay $5 for the chosen charity you get to wear jeans to work that day (every other day they are verboten). I have never participated because why would I pay money to wear something I don't even wear when I can for free? If, however, they wanted to institute a Pajamas Friday, I'd be all in!

Edited at 2009-07-09 01:27 pm (UTC)
Jul. 9th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
I used to work in the medical field and various offices through the years required us to wear scrubs.

I swear, it's like wearing pajamas all day long.

I miss wearing scrubs to work.
(no subject) - rikibeth - Jul. 9th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)
I wear Relaxed Fit jeans. Even if I lost some weight (which I could stand to do) I would still wear Relaxed Fit jeans. And my husband prefers women in skirts or dresses, actually, not skinny jeans.

(When I was at my skinniest--and in college for awhile I weighed about 116 at 5'8" and wasn't trying to be that thin--I still had entirely too many curves for a Size 2. That fact has never bothered me much.)
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 9th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)

I generally buy my 501's about 2 sizes larger than they should be... There's more pocket room that way. I wear jeans for protection when crawling around fishing wiring on the job, and not because I'm trying to look good. I wear my jeans the REST of the time because I can't be bothered to carry a purse (Yay! Pocket Room!) and STILL don't care what I look like.
(no subject) - kargashina - Jul. 10th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eithni - Jul. 13th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
THAT was laugh out loud funny.
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)
Other than my patchy pants (which are denim with large fabric insets), I now no longer own any jeans. Because women's jeans were never sized to fit my short-waist/long-leg/belly combination.
Jul. 9th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
That's me, too - except my belly is also round low down, as a result of losing a lot of belly fat, but not getting a tuck of the loose skin. Low rise jeans are loo low, and high cut jeans slice me in the waist in front and gap in the back.

I like soft pants that sit just below the waist, and I have several pairs of capri sweats, because they look good on me and they're awesomely comfortable. (Bob happens to think I look better in sweats, too.)
(no subject) - popelizbet - Jul. 9th, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
Nice post! :)
My sister, who is 19 and all of a size 2, wears those horrible skinny jeans. Her friends wear them too and they all look ridiculous. The guy friends compete to see who can find the smallest pair of jeans in the Girl's (not Teens) department to wear.

I prefer boot-cut myself when I'm in the mood for jeans, but I love my dress pants. They fit like a dream and I feel far more sexy in them. I feel so much more put together and that's always awesome. :)
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