The Guardian

'The Leggings problem': can we just never hear about them again? | Arwa Mahdawi

The spandex-based controversy has been broiling in the west for years; and it’s not just men policing women’s bodies, women are doing it to themselves
A mother wrote a letter to Notre Dame’s student newspaper to beg female students to shun leggings. Photograph: Marquicio Pagola/Flickr Vision/Getty Images

Sign up for the Week in Patriarchy, a newsletter​ on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday.

Won’t you think of the mothers of sons?

For years, Maryann White suffered in stoic silence. She prayed that fashions would change and the legging problem would go away. Alas, athleisure only became more popular. Eventually White could stand it no longer; distraught and desperate, she wrote a letter to Notre Dame’s student newspaper imploring female students to “turn their backs(ides) on leggings”.

“I’m not trying to insult

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian3 min read
The Best Way Of Dealing With Online Trolls? Ignore Them – And Starve Them Of Oxygen | Stuart Heritage
As Countdown’s human calculator has shown with her Twitter abusers, blocking them – and not engaging – is a better way of dealing with them
The Guardian3 min read
'He's A Barbarian': Māori Tribe Bans Replica Of Captain Cook's Ship From Port
New Zealand village complains to ministry of culture and heritage over planned visit by a replica of the Endeavour
The Guardian5 min read
'The Mystery Must Be Resolved': What Befell Swede Who Saved Hungarian Jews?
Raoul Wallenberg is thought to have saved as many as 30,000 Jews but his descendants do not know how, when or why he died