Body Image

Tights are tights

31 March, 2010

I see people say “Tights are not pants” all the time and it makes me sad because I sense a degree of body shame every time it is uttered (or typed). People seem to get angry at other people for wearing a simple item of clothing. Why? Why the need to take up this rallying cry so fervently? I don’t really think anyone who is brave enough to switch tights for pants cares, so at the end of the day all this chant does is reinforce negative body messages in the brain of the protester!

I may not wear tights as pants because I have a body that is typically seen as unattractive by society and I feel the oppression of that shame daily, no matter what I wear. (Don’t you feel it too?!) One day though might I want to put my balls on the line, nay the seam, and wear tights as pants because I feel they are a powerful symbolism of body love and acceptance. When I’m out and about and I see a person taking risks in personal styling by maybe wearing only a t-shirt and tights, I applaud loudly inside my heart and declare them my Personal Hero of the Day. What a terribly boring world we’d live in if we all dressed conservatively!

That aside, the more important point is that bodies are not enemies. There are a lot of reasons why we wear clothes but I think the most telling reason is to cover up our Terribly Rude Bits in some attempt to distance ourselves from animals. I really don’t think it has anything to do with morals – it’s more to do with shame. Maybe nudists have got it right, you could call them Kings and Queens of body acceptance! Certainly then those who wear tights as pants are the Prime Ministers of the turbulent state of Body Love.

(PS: Since this is a positive body space, I’m not particularly interested in comments in defence of the “tights are not pants” stance. I want to encourage you to think a little bit before regurgitating societally transmitted negative body messages.)

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