Death to Skinny Jeans
These “pants” must go
Who ever said that it was a good idea for larger men to wear skinny jeans?
I mean, seriously. The other day I was sitting on an airplane, watching the usual slice of America attempt to squeeze derrières far too large into seats far too small. In the age of the seat belt extender, this is hardly an unusual sight. But just before takeoff, there was a rotund man rolling a wheelie suitcase down the aisle in way-too-tight pants. What was he wearing? You guessed it—sheaths of spandexy “denim” someone told him counted as jeans.
In fact, the continued existence of skinny jeans in the closet of the American male consumer is one of the biggest issues plaguing society today. Unfortunately, the anthropologists have yet to come up with an explanation for this phenomenon, and there is currently no “Social Analysis” core offering devoted to the subject (although you never know with “GenEd”). Regardless, the question still remains: why are these god-forsaken leggings so popular among members of the male gender, even among the bigger specimens?
My theory about the popularity of skinny jeans is that, sadly, skinny jeans are used as tools for improving one’s self-image when a mirror is nowhere to be found.
You see, people want their clothes to present them in as thin and as fit a manner as possible. Why else would a larger man like the guy on the airplane stuff his limbs into leg-leotards better suited for the thighs of a twelve-year-old girl? When the men who wear skinny jeans purchase their jeans, they do so merely because they can squeeze into them and enjoy the satisfaction of fitting into the smallest possible pair with the same waist size as the other pants they usually wear. (I would argue that the same is true of tight T-shirts, although, thankfully, they seem to be less of an epidemic.) In a sense, skinny jeans allow some men to feel skinny even when, as the case of the airplane guy clearly demonstrates, that is hardly the case.
What’s so wrong with that, you ask? What’s wrong with allowing people to make choices that in turn make them feel better about themselves? To be honest, I don’t really have an answer other than that it’s tragic that one must feel thin in our society to feel happy and that it must be exponentially more painful to wear skinny jeans than it is to watch someone wearing them.
I realize that this is a contentious issue and that I will probably lose friends over the course of this little polemic. I am not here to argue that men should wear, as The New York Times’s Guy Trebay recently complained, “mommy jeans or pants reminiscent of Ted Danson in ‘Cheers.’” I am merely attempting to facilitate dialogue on an unaddressed problem.
After all, somebody has to say it: Death to skinny jeans!
James K. McAuley ’12, a Crimson associate editorial editor, is a history and literature concentrator in Currier House.