August 12, 2016

The Sudden Death of a Fashionista.


One day I did the laundry, and the only thing in the load were six pairs of yoga pants.

I had stumbled onto the sudden death of my fashionista.

Uh-oh. I’m one of those.

I’d read about a surprisingly large number of people inviting “Clothing Armageddon” by wearing workout clothes for everything. Staring at the pile of black spandex, I grinned.

Damn. I’ve arrived at last.

Our physical forms have been glorified and hidden for centuries. We have spent countless hours and piles of money on dressing up our bodies to create an illusion. Enhance this, minimize that, make sure we’re up with the trends, donate last fall’s necessary for this year’s must have—all in a bid that isn’t real.

On a path toward enlightenment, that’s one of those societal norm boulders to either sidestep or smash to bits.

That day in the laundry room—when I realized I’d lost my interest in making it appear to a stranger that my ass is smaller than it is—I did the happy dance in my underwear until the yoga pants were dry.

There are serious problems with idealizing our bodies and the frames we clothe them in. Perfection becomes the end game and creates the environment where a lynch mob can form when someone breaks from the basic standard of opting for clothing in the first place.

Take Kim Kardashian’s  penchant for stripped selfies, for example. Earlier this year, Kim K. posted her naked body on social media, and three women I admire—Pink, Bette Midler and Chloe Grace Moretzlost some of their pro-woman message in a pile of female puritanism. It became clear what was going on when a misogynist exposed the priggish free-for-all by being himself.

Piers Morgan tweeted to Kim K: “Put your clothes back on.”

That’s the same as saying: Hide your body, slut.

Not long after, perhaps in support of her sister’s brouhaha, Kendall Jenner began “Nipple-Gate” (or what’s more commonly known as “Kendall doesn’t give a sh*t if you see her tits.”) She’d jumped on the 2015 craze to “Free the Nipple.” Why this is an issue is exactly why this is an issue.

As a people who fled puritanism in the 1600s to live in freedom and opportunity, we sure are overly concerned about smoke, mirrors and whether or not a girl’s wearing nipple concealers—which is a not so funny statement when considering the obsession people have with the actual word “nipple.”

The day I realized how far the suckling fetish went, my eyes grimly opened—as though awaking from a long night of tequila shots—as my daughter described the work being done on the toilet in her bathroom.

She said, “The plumber is installing a new pipe nipple.”

My response goes with the problem I have with sexualizing and aggrandizing bodies, rather than simply accepting doo-dads for doo-dads.

“Does everything some guy manufactures have to have a nipple?”

Which set us both to Googling nipples, and our research left me surprised—and not.

There were pages and pages of different nipples. Poultry nipple waterers, dust collection nipples, spoke nipples for bikes, grease nipples for I don’t know what, a tattoo machine nipple, nipple tighteners (omg, no), and a product which clarifies the need to nipplefy everything: the Hose Nipple Barb Fitting Eagle Belting Fitting.

It feels like we’re all stuck in a black hole called kindergarten. Giggles all around for naming body parts.

Last week, Orlando Bloom proudly stood naked on a paddle board. Unlike Kim, no one tweeted for him to put his clothes back on or suggested that perhaps he had dehumanized himself into a “sexual object.” The collective didn’t announce the end of civilization because Mr. Bloom exposed his “junk” long enough for the world to get a good look. But the internet was a-buzz at the shadow left behind when his symbol was blacked out to pass decency standards.

A plate of double standard please, with a side of snickering obtuse on purpose.

I see all three of these recent celebrity displays as examples of how we’re toying with the idea of moving to the land of happy with our bodies as is, but we’ve still got some work to do.

Which is why I believe yoga pants are the best gear for enlightening our minds, as well as the perception of our bodies.

Exhausted with the enterprise of dressing for subterfuge, and far enough along with a mindful practice that shopping became a big yawner, I emptied my closet of hoo-ha and got down to basics.

When I bought my initial pair of yoga pants, I squirmed with anxiety over the expression of my thighs (to be honest this included my belly, behind and boobs too), because whoever looked would have an unobstructed view of my everything.

The first few times I wore black spandex, I ran into yoga class and breathed a sigh of relief when the lights dimmed. Thankfully, because I’m far more pragmatic than vain, I quickly noticed my increased comfort and how much easier and less stressful it was to get dressed. I decided that my curves would not be the determinant of my anything.

Within a month, I bought a second pair. Two years later, I have a fleet at my disposal. I wear them to work, out to dinner, to the grocery store, and yes—to yoga class, paired with an equally simple top.

Occasionally I’ve noted lingering, furtive glances at the encasement of my body. I’m sure there are a few who’ve wondered how I have the courage—nay, the tits to go out in public freely displaying my very real flesh. Yeah, me and Orlando Bloom.

I’m finally ready to give up the fashionista illusion to live as is.

I like what I see in the mirror. My unadorned form, leaves me exposed with no gussied up representative in place of true expression. The honesty of that brings me joy.

May we all be free to simply be.


Author: Deb Lecos

Image: Flickr/Emily

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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