Any way you slice ’em or dice ’em the supply of pant options with the title “skinny” attached to it is incredibly “plump”. Just the names alone make me cringe.
Over the past few years, while the Skinny Jean style took off, those around me heard my dislike for the trend that just keeps on giving, most thinking my disdain for this cut is because of personal preferences. I’m not one to put importance on another person’s fashion choices because I’ve been nothing but a fashion victim for most, if not all, of my life. For me, it’s not what you wear but how you treat others that matters.
When the trend first reared its head I was cool with it. No one was forcing me to wear them. No one was forcing me to buy them. I could easily walk past the skinny rack and pick up a pair of “Relaxed”, “Wide Leg”, “Loose” “Straight”, “Flare” or “Boot Cut” jeans.
But things changed, like an infestation the “Skinny Movement” took over. “Wide Leg” the first to go followed by “Loose” and next “Relaxed”. Before I knew it “Flare” jeans were a thing of the past leaving only the “Boot Cut” which eventually became the “Skinny Boot Cut”.
For me it’s not about disliking the fashion, it’s about disliking the lack of providing options.
It’s one thing to introduce something new and allow the freedom of choice. It’s another thing to introduce something new and take away all the others flavors that added spice and creative expression to our world leaving us with, literally, very slim pickin’s.
Walking into the mall over a year ago to replace my old tried and true “relaxed” fit jeans, I was floored when my favorite shop told me they were discontinued. Obviously disappointed, I asked the clothier to direct me to my options. Imagine my surprise when my options all had the word “skinny” attached to them.
Needless to say, I left empty handed yet hopeful. Hopeful because I was in a shopping mall and shopping malls are chock full of clothing stores that are chock full of options. Little did I know my only choices would be the type of color or wash I preferred rather than the fit.
I left confident that online shopping would serve me well.
I logged off feeling defeated.
Rather than give in to the skinny, I gave in to sewing, poorly might I add, the only proof of relaxed fitting jeans possibly left in existence.
Seeing skinny jeans everywhere I turned made me question if I was the only person left who wanted a relaxed or loose pair of jeans.
By it’s very definition relaxed means 1. Not rigorous or strict. 2. Free from strain or tension. and 3. Easy and informal in manner. How could no one want a pair?
And skinny, by it’s very definition, means 1. lacking in flesh 2. consisting of or resembling skin and 3.tight
Add “super” to the mix and we are essentially looking at a product that is “extremely tight lacking in flesh”. Throw in “Rock Star” and we stress the importance of achieving “celebrity status”. While we’re at it, toss in words like “boyfriend” and “always” for more pressure, so in the end we have a product that, whether we like to admit it or not, sends a message to our youth that in order to be included and accepted, you have to “always be extremely skinny, with a rock star edginess in order to be loved (because we all know what great role models most rock stars are).
What no “Girlfriend Cut” for the fellas?
So what’s really being pushed here? A simple pair of jeans?
Ask any preteen or teenager in today’s world and a majority of them, if answering honestly, will tell you they worry about their body image. Not in the sense that they want to be healthy and physically fit but in the sense that they want to be accepted and adored by others. They want to be sexually desired by those around them. They want to be who and what they see on television, in movies, on stage and in magazines, leaving very few of them wanting to be or evening knowing who they are themselves. And the fashion industry, by taking so many options away, has chosen this pressure filled lifestyle for them, dictating what they should wear, by giving them only one style with a zillion variations of it.
We live in a world that heavily bases worth on looks and sexuality. If we give our youth a variety of different options, these options will promote creative expression, intelligence and an understanding of oneself, if we continue to promote the mantra that sex sells then that’s about as far as they’ll get.
At this point, what choice do they have?
It’s not about their fashion, it’s about their options.