By Shawn Gakhal
Last week, Haven Middle School in Evanston, Il. temporarily banned leggings, yoga pants and any kind of bottoms of that ilk.
Parents became concerned that the particular clothing in question was “too distracting to boys.”
Yes, that was their reason.
The temporary ban was soon overturned, as girls could again start wearing their camouflage and floral-printed leggings and yoga pants
But there was a caveat: the girls would now have to wear a skirt, shirt or a pair of shorts over the leggings and yoga pants should they choose to wear them.
For shame, Haven Middle School, for shame.
Where have we gotten in society when a girl can’t just wear leggings and yoga pants and be left alone?
What would our forefathers think of this ruling?
I can’t say for certain, but I’m positive that George Washington would be 99 percent against this.
But Shawn, you’re a guy, what would you know about leggings and yoga pants?
Not too much, which is why I canvassed Roosevelt University to gage the thoughts of those who actually wear leggings and yoga pants: girls!
“That’s so stupid,” junior Amanda Kassel said. “I can wear what I want to wear and nobody should tell me differently. They’re comfortable, cheap and they’re everywhere in every store. If I want to wear leggings, I’m going to wear leggings.”
When told that the girls of Haven Middle School will have to wear a skirt, shirt or a pair of shorts over leggings or yoga pants, Kassel expressed a bit of confusion.
“I personally would not want to wear that,” Kassel said. “It’s not my style, and I feel like it’s more of a hassle to wear shorts over pants. They’re [leggings] not, necessarily, tights. Tights and leggings are two completely different things.”
Senior Nila Brown agreed with the Kassel’s sentiment.
“Tights are more see-through,” Brown said. “I guess it depends on your shape, also. Maybe that’s the reason. And then we have the young boys, and they’re sexual. … Maybe that’s the real problem here.”
However, Brown said that she would be in favor of restricting certain types of clothing to girls depending on the age range.
“If that is the reason, I would support it for that age range,” Brown said. “But other than that, no, it’s not a problem.”
Sure, there’s an argument to be made that young girls of a certain age shouldn’t be wearing tight, revealing clothes. That’s a legit concern for parents, which is totally warranted.
However, personal freedom is important and infringing on one’s right to feel comfortable and confident in their own clothes shouldn’t have the price of it’s “too distracting to boys.”
When Sophomore Paulina Villagomez heard of the news, she said, “Yoga pants, really? I’m thinking like ‘What is wrong with girls wearing leggings and yoga pants in middle school?’”
Villagomez understood why middle school girls wearing leggings might be an issue, but saw no problem with yoga pants.
“Yoga pants are yoga pants,” she said. “They’re just tight pants. So, are they going to make these girls not wear tight jeans either, now? What’s the difference between tight jeans and yoga pants?”
I bet you didn’t know that the origin of leggings trace all the way back to 13th century Europe, where both men and women wore them to protect themselves from cold winter weather. Girls who choose to wear leggings might wear them for a multitude of reasons, and trying to list them all in this column would be an exercise in purposelessness.
That’s because each girl may have a different reason for wearing leggings or yoga pants, and taking the ability to express oneself away is equal to stealing identities.
The reason that leggings and yoga pants might be “too distracting to boys” isn’t a good enough reason to impose a dress code.
“I think that they’re more comfortable than sweatpants,” Kassel said. “They don’t really get in the way. I wear them all the time.”