Sisterhood of the traveling fat pants

My "Casual Friday" leggings.

Proving my theory that American Apparel is the devil incarnate, the Daily Mail, bastion of all things anorexic and spray-tanned, is now proposing that your comfy cotton leggings are turning you into a fat, slothful pile of cellulite.

In the article, physiotherapist Sammy Margo claims leggings “hold in and support the quadriceps (thigh muscles), buttocks and core muscles in your tummy, and do the job the muscles are supposed to do. As a result, the muscles are allowed to relax and switch off, so when we reveal our bodies for the first time as summer approaches, they are not as svelte or firm as they otherwise would be.”

If this is true, then I’m going to be in serious trouble when I peel off the full-body Spanx I’ve been donning all winter in lieu of long underwear.

Besides acting as the sartorial equivalent of a 6-pack of Twinkies, “Leggings hide the bits of our bodies we don’t like, such as the cellulite on our legs or our “muffin top,” so we are able to ignore the problem and we are less motivated to exercise these parts.”

Margo’s right about leggings obscuring cellulite – unlike a lavender silk one-shouldered Jessica Simpson dress I tried on at Macy’s this weekend that made it look I was smuggling Mr. Breakstone himself underneath. But are they any more likely to drive us to distraction than jeans or sweats?

This isn’t the first time a health expert has warned of impending physical doom and destruction via pants. Remember the “skinny jeans and nerve damage” debacle of 2009? Doctors said the super-tight pants could spark a nerve condition called meralgia paresthetica, aka “tingling thigh syndrome,” by cutting off the lateral femoral cutanaeous nerve. OK, first thing: Would Meralgia Paresthetica not be the coolest name for a brand of high-end jeans? I would totally fork over $195 for a pair of their 36”-inseam boot-cuts Femoral Arteries. Second thing: If skinny is your thing, why not work the look to your advantage and go a size smaller? With numb legs, you’ll have one helluva time making your way to the fridge for meals. Suddenly skinny!

Another tight denim danger: Yeast infections. If your crotch is being forcefully cradled by a constricting strip of fabric, it can breathe about as easily as an asthmatic during a pollen advisory.

With the warmer months approaching, you can try saving yourself with a pair of shorts, but then you’ll have to worry about saggy knees, tushy ride-up and cankles, plus it’s impossible to sit down without your thighs spreading like Nutella on toast, no matter how thin or fit you may be.

What say you, habitual leggings-wearers? Are you now sufficiently freaked out about the damage you’ve done by relentlessly abusing the fabric of our lives all winter long?

PS Check out my Diets in Review story on Body Stank! Yummy.


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11 Responses to Sisterhood of the traveling fat pants

  1. Emily says:

    I’m not a regular legging wearer, but I do wear yoga pants a lot. I don’t weigh myself, so I base a lot on how my clothes fit, which is why I’m more inclined to wear jeans all the time. If you wear anything with an elastic waist for an extended period of time, it just expands with you.

  2. Leslie says:

    Em, I totally wear them. A lot. Over the winter, at least. I have def noticed myself reaching for them on days when I feel a little bloated and don’t want to feel my belly straining against my jeans. My weight hasn’t changed (or at least my clothes still fit – I don’t weigh myself), so so far, so good!

  3. Alyssa says:

    Yet another thing for us to worry over and feel guilty about, right? Thanks, Daily Mail!!!! How long will it be until we’re actually fined for deigning to wear shorts and swimsuits in public if we have even the slightest jiggle/bit of cellulite?
    I wear leggings all the time. Because I work out pretty much every day and I teach fitness classes. And I’m STILL not skinny. Is it because my leggings are so forgiving, or could it possibly be a bit more complicated than that? Like maybe all my emotional issues about food. That I am in therapy for.
    And also the snarking. I’m in therapy for that, as well, lol!

  4. Yeah, whenever I need a little pick-me-up, I just head over to the Daily Mail. Always something there about some female celeb’s body to cheer me right up!

  5. bdaiss says:

    Guilty pleasure the Daily Mail. : )

    Not big on leggings over here, but definitely yoga pants. Especially post baby. The problem was transitioning myself out of them. Oy vey!
    bdaiss recently posted..I am a paleontologist

  6. Nicole says:

    I’d like to know where these people are getting the leggings for their studies, because I definitely need some. My leggings stretch to fit my legs, and in no way are they tight enough to shape my legs or “hold in and support” my muscles. If anything, fitted jeans may do that. Leggings just don’t have strong enough fabric for that. At least, mine sure don’t.

    I’m no more of a slothful pile of cellulite than I was without leggings.. No less of one, either, despite all of the exercising I pretend to do in my leggings. Unfortunately.

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