A Catholic mother has written a letter calling on women to address what she describes as the “problem with leggings”.
Maryann White wrote the letter to the editor of the student-run publication of Notre Dame College in Indiana.
In the letter, Maryann describes witnessing a group of young ladies wearing skin tight leggings whilst attending church. She questions the moral and social implications of young women openly displaying their figures, especially with the impact it can have on young men, of which Maryann has four sons.
Maryann confessed she had considered addressing this issue for some time.
“I’ve thought about writing this letter for a long time. I waited, hoping that fashions would change and such a letter would be unnecessary — but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I’m not trying to insult anyone or infringe upon anyone’s rights. I’m just a Catholic mother of four sons with a problem that only girls can solve: leggings.
“The emergence of leggings as pants some years ago baffled me. They’re such an unforgiving garment. Last fall, I was at Mass with my family. In front of us was a group of young women, all wearing very snug-fitting leggings. Some of them truly looked as though the leggings had been painted on them.”
In the letter, Maryann went on to explain that she believes it is difficult for mothers to teach their sons to respect women with many being depicted as ‘babes’ in modern society, She also accepted that young men will always have a natural instinct to look at the bodies of women.
“A world in which women continue to be depicted as “babes” by movies, video games, music videos, etc. makes it hard on Catholic mothers to teach their sons that women are someone’s daughters and sisters. That women should be viewed first as people — and all people should be considered with respect.
“I wonder why no one thinks it’s strange that the fashion industry has caused women to voluntarily expose their nether regions in this way. I was ashamed for the young women at Mass. I thought of all the other men around and behind us who couldn’t help but see their behinds. I didn’t want to see them — but they were unavoidable. How much more difficult for young guys to ignore them.”
Maryann continued by pointing out the potential dangers young women could be placing themselves in by revealing their bodies in tight-fitted leggings.
She also encourages women to be portray themselves as the individual people they are, rather than just a body.
“I’ve heard women say that they like leggings because they’re “comfortable.” So is nakedness. And the human body is a beautiful thing. But we don’t go around naked because we respect ourselves — we want to be seen as a person, not a body.
“I’m fretting both because of unsavory guys who are looking at you creepily and nice guys who are doing everything to avoid looking at you.
“Leggings are so naked, so form fitting, so exposing. Could you think of the mothers of sons the next time you go shopping and consider choosing jeans instead? Let Notre Dame girls be the first to turn their backs(ides) on leggings. You have every right to wear them. But you have every right to choose not to. Thanks for listening to the lecture. Catholic moms are good at those!”
Maryann’s letter has divided opinion online, with many supporting her for taking a stance, and others accusing her of interfering in people’s rights to wear what they want.