Thursday, May 24, 2018

Secular Tznius?

Tznius is a touchy topic. I, personally, heave whenever it comes up in conversation. The point of modesty is that it remains modest—not constantly talked about. I also thought it was something only our world would fuss over. 

That's why I was taken aback to see Honor Jones' "Why Yoga Pants Are Bad for Women," which, of course, was pelted with rotten tomatoes. 
It’s not good manners for women to tell other women how to dress; that’s the job of male fashion photographers. Women who criticize other women for dressing hot are seen as criticizing women themselves — a sad conflation if you think about it, rooted in the idea that who we are is how we look. It’s impossible to have once been a teenage girl and not, at some very deep level, feel that.
But yoga pants make it worse. Seriously, you can’t go into a room of 15 fellow women contorting themselves into ridiculous positions at 7 in the morning without first donning skintight pants? What is it about yoga in particular that seems to require this? Are practitioners really worried that a normal-width pant leg is going to throttle them mid-lotus pose?
We aren’t wearing these workout clothes because they’re cooler or more comfortable. (You think the selling point of Lululemon’s Reveal Tight Precision pants is really the way their moth-eaten design provides a “much-needed dose of airflow”?) We’re wearing them because they’re sexy.
Like I said, there were a lot of tomatoes. Women protested that they aren't wearing tight yoga pants to look attractive, they are wearing them because it's easier to do the poses. (I do yoga at home in baggy pajama pants; I don't like restrictive fabric when exercising or sleeping. But that's my personal preference.),rgb&qlt=80,1&op_sharpen=0&resMode=sharp2&op_usm=0.5,1,3,0&icc=sRGB%20IEC61966-2.1,relative&iccEmbed=1&hei=561&wid=374  
Yet along with the uproar were positive comments. Women who wanted to work out without feeling like they had to look attractive. Women wondering about what is appropriate. Women commenting that yogis wear loose cotton, not skintight spandex. 

Where I live, there are a lot of teenage girls who live in leggings. In my view, leggings have to be worn with something of at least tunic-length, but these youngsters rarely do.  

But if I went walking in some other communities, who had different norms, chances are they would find my attire to be reproachable. I would not tolerate them if they decided to voice their objections.

Tov v'ra, "good" and "bad," are in the eyes of the beholder. I'm not comfortable with yoga pants as a fashion choice. But so what? Who appointed me judge and jury? 

We all have the norms that we feel comfortable with. That's our choice. We have to let others make theirs.

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