Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Yoga Pants & Mom Jeans for Two Cents



I was recently made aware of this whole thing by AM, my LiLBoToBoFriHuRoo. I didn’t know it was thing, in fact when I first heard it was a thing I wondered if it had something to do with what AM’s brother once said.  He didn’t think women should wear them unless they were actually going to do some yoga, because they are YOGA pants.  Now I love AM’s brother, like he were my own but there is no way in hell that I am going to actually take up yoga just so I can wear yoga pants.  I used to own a pair of scrubs though my practice of medicine has always been limited to cleaning skinned knees and elbows parts, applying bandages and once, I removed stitches.  But I digress.  Scrubs are comfortable but they got nothin’ on the yoga pant.  Nothin’.  

Now in case you live in a cave without TV or Internet, or you just...you know...don’t know anyone who knows a Christian who reads the internet then I will tell you that the Yoga Pants Situation has become a thing for Christians.  Not all of them...but some bloggers have been writing about it and really they are writing about the subjects of modesty and lust and yoga pants are the witches of Salem (MA not OR). 

Now lest you think me an uneducated/uninformed left-wing hater, let me assure you that my Christian education was begun at the tender age of zero.  My parents brought me to church from the get-go, by the time I was six it was three times a week, every week.  Then they really stepped it up upon my entry into 3rd grade when they enrolled me in a conservative-private-protestant-Baptist leaning school.  There, I memorized whole chapters of the Bible, which I studied for an hour a day, nearly every school day for the next 6 years.  And when I wasn’t in actual Bible class, the Bible was incorporated in uncounted ways within every other subject, from history to “science” to math and English. I can still name all 66 books of the Bible, in order.  When I started high school, I became a “missionary” at the nearest public high school, a little tiny 14 year old evangelist, reaching out to love the lost and save the sinner.  So naturally, when it was time for college, I chose a Christian Liberal Arts College, so I could really be a professional Christian or...er a Christian Professional. 

Had I chose an actual Bible college I probably wouldn’t be writing this post.  Probably because I wouldn’t be able to write very well...oh snap.  Instead I went with Liberal Arts....which we all know was probably the slippery slope that led me to where I am today.  But I am jumping ahead.  Upon leaving college I continued in my Christianity following ways until I had racked up 32 years of church going, Christian stewardship, neighbor-loving, poor-people feeding, worship leading and Sunday School Teaching. And then everything went to shit.  I found out that for all my very real and honest faith, that Christians aren’t actually any better than anyone else.  They love to preach about being good, kind and loving but they suck at it like everyone else.  And you know what, that’s ok.  But I turned a corner in my faith.  I still have it, I just don’t look at other people (especially those who are supposed to a be “leaders called by God”) for wisdom and truth about how to live my life.  I have surrounded myself with people who are filled with love, regardless of their religion or lack thereof; people who have found a way to judge less and love more...who can see truth where it is and go with it.  But that doesn’t mean that everything I was taught has been lost.  I don’t have Bible Amnesia.  I know what it says.  And at the risk of being called a heretic (it won’t be the first time)...It doesn’t say what a lot of people think it says.  

Now I don’t (much) want to pick on Christians - and here I am finally getting to the point of this whole thing – but they seem to be missing the point with this whole Yoga Pants Situation.  Jesus – he said – that the whole law and the prophets (talking about the Old Testament) could be summed up with these two things, 1) Love God and 2) Love People.  Now what I see is a whole lot of Christian people trying to define what that looks like, i.e., if “I am going to love my "brother in Christ" – then I better not wear yoga pants so he won’t be tempted to look at me inappropriately – which would be committing the sin of lust.”  So here’s the thing.  You aren’t responsible for controlling your "brother’s" lust issues. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, women need to cover up their sexy bits so that men can go about their day with pure thoughts.  Modesty Monitors like to quote the writer Paul in his letter to his friend Timothy as translated over and over from different languages to what we have today and he says how he wants women to behave in church.  And now these bloggers are using that as the guiding point of light on how they should dress in 2015.  One interesting thing about that is that he says they shouldn’t wear gold or braid their hair.  But he didn’t say anything about yoga pants or lust in there.  He was talking about how he wanted these women, who were uneducated pieces of property to act in church!   So there’s that.  Context, people!  

But here’s the real kicker...way back in the day...Adam’s day and the day after, Eve’s day...everybody was naked, if the Bible is to be believed.   

NAKED.   

Adam and his DNA equivalent female were NAKED.

NAAAAAKED!

And then they got it on and started the world down a 10,000 year spiral into population overload.  But who cares?  They were naked.  And it wasn’t a sin.  If the Bible is to be believed, our original perfect state was actually no yoga pants, or any pants at all....just our holy nakedness, exposed, vulnerable and appropriately, without shame.  So where do we go from there?  Christians aren’t supposed to smoke so they can’t put this in their pipe and smoke it but for God’s sake, people, THINK. 

Seriously, if you really want to LOVE others then how about you practice patience, kindness, gratitude, humility, selflessness, forgiveness, embracing truth, protecting the weak, trust, hope, and perseverance.  If we spent our time DOING these things, we wouldn’t have time to do things that are hurtful and dishonoring to ourselves and others.  And maybe someday if one generation after the next gets better at that we will have a world where everyone can go back to being naked and vulnerable without shame or fear.

So I am going to do my part and remember that we come into this world naked and there isn’t anything wrong with that.  People who turn it into something else in their heads aren’t going to change if everyone stops wearing yoga pants or anything else...Just like they aren’t going to be better people if women all start wearing burkas.   

For you men, who don’t like how your brain objectifies women, then do something about it...I mean, about YOUR BRAIN.  Take responsibility for changing the way you think.  Learn about brain chemistry and how we create synapses and reinforce them until they become habit.  YOU can change but is internal, NOT external.  You will never change your brain by “respectfully asking” your wife to change her clothes.   

And ladies you aren’t helping any man by “doing your part” and burning your yoga pants or preaching about setting an example for your daughters and sons.  This is not your issue.  It is the issue of the person who has the objectification problem.

And here’s a thought, if you really want to de-sexualize yoga pants for your kids then you should wear them every single day.  In one generation there won’t be a boy or girl who thinks yoga pants are sexy because that’s all mom ever wore.  Yoga pants will become the MOM JEANS of this generation.

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