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Man declares yoga pants a scourge, women take to the streets for yoga pants parade

The women of Barrington, Rhode Island are not taking one male writer's opinions (ath)leisurely.


Jaya Saxena


Posted on Oct 21, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 6:09 pm CDT

Humans are a constant source of surprise and inspiration. For instance, it seems a bit absurd to have a strong opinion about yoga pants. They exist, some people wear them, others don’t. And yet, a Rhode Island community has enough passion in their hearts about yoga pants that their interactions have resulted in a Yoga Pants Parade.

It all started when Alan Sorrentino wrote a letter to the editor in the Barrington Times about the national scourge that is (apparently) yoga pants. “The absolute worst thing to ever happen in women fashion is the recent development of yoga pants as daily wear outside the yoga studio,” wrote Sorrentino. The absolute worst! To “women fashion”! 

Sorrentino claimed that, while cute on children, yoga pants are an outrage on “mature, adult women” or “someone coping poorly with their weight,” and told women wearing them in public that they flat-out look bad.

Photo via Yoga Pants Parade

Wait a minute—assuming women need to dress in a traditionally appealing way? Acting like a woman’s body only exists for men? I take back what I said. Yoga pants do have a bearing on the world. They are the microcosm of the battle for female bodily autonomy in the war against misogyny. At least that’s what five response letters had to say.

“I’m disappointed, saddened, and mostly scared that I live in a town where we allow a man to publicly body shame women,” wrote one. “I know that duck season hasn’t yet started for November, but apparently it’s time once again to listen to Mister Sorrentino rant and rave about something,” wrote another, suggesting that Sorrentino is a beloved local character. The rest argued that “resident has no right to tell women what to wear,” that chauvinistic thoughts don’t belong in the newspaper, and that it would behoove Sorrentino to learn about the yogic principle of compassion.

To cap it off, local women have organized a Yoga Pants Parade on Sunday, Oct. 23, which will go past Sorrentino’s house. The Daily Dot has reached out to organizer Jamie Patrice about the event, but hasn’t heard back as of this posting. However, participants are already railing against Sorrentino’s sentiments. 

“It is each individual woman’s decision to look how SHE wants to look! Your weight, body fat percentage, amount of muscle mass, clothes you wear, what color or style your hair is, etc., are all YOUR OWN DECISION BASED ON WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF,” wrote Amanda Perry. Patrice also wrote that they would be collecting donations and supplies for Sojurner House.

Much has been made of the current trend toward “athleisure,” mostly centered on men who find it attractive versus men who find it annoying. But women who wear yoga pants tend to come back to one point: They’re comfortable. 

Sure, there’s plenty of comfortable clothing out there that fits our standard ideas of what’s “appropriate,” but c’mon, are you really gonna get all het up about yoga pants when there is literally any other issue to get upset about? Though, one could argue, are you really going to hold a parade about yoga pants when there is literally anything else to do?

One thing is now clear, though: Yoga pants are now a divisive issue you must have an opinion about. Choose wisely.

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*First Published: Oct 21, 2016, 12:26 pm CDT