I remember the first time I saw it. I grimaced and turned away attempting to manage my light-headedness and confusion. I was going into shock! Shock that anyone would wear leggings as pants. I see your Ugh, I mean Ugg, boots, your black leggings and YOUR BUTT! WHY AM I SEEING YOUR BUTT? WTH IS GOING ON!?!
I recovered by scoffing. Dismissing mixed with vague attempts to understand. I said: They’re teenyboppers. I wore Hypercolor shirts and hiking boots with long floral dresses at their age. Hormones are confusing their sensibilities just like mine lit up neon colors on my shirts.
For years, I kept to my age in tunics, sweater dresses, and condescending attitudes. I mocked jeggings and swore on Fashion Week that, if the bottoms didn’t have buttons and pockets, I would treat them like tights. Except the more people who joined this rallying cry, the more leggings were worn as pants. And even I couldn’t help but inch towards long, loose shirts and big sweaters with my leggings. I didn’t show my butt, but my jeans and trousers should’ve sufficed.
One day, I stood in my bedroom craving something. Something jeans and buttons and pockets could not provide. I held on to the shirt I wanted to wear and reached into my drawer to pull out black leggings. No fake pockets. No buttons. No going back. I looked in the mirror and thought: I won’t see too many people today, and damn, I feel so… comfortable.
The freedom to wear whatever shirt I felt like wearing and the added comfort of leggings? It was glorious. And addictive. I had a new understanding of those teenyboppers. Maybe it wasn’t style or butts or the desire to worry about camel toe all day. Perhaps they knew and what I now know: the joy of eating and sitting and moving without adjusting my waistline, pulling up my pants, or minding my underwear.
I am a believer, and my only comfort is to say to myself: At least I’m not a believer. And while the mocking of leggings as pants swirls around me, I hold my head — and shirt — up high.
I’ll even break out the Uggs without irony. I’m a rebel. A rebel who’s quite comfortable to my own pants.