Monday, May 17, 2010

Big Girl Pants and The Women Who Hate Them?

Not that long ago, I read a rather humorous review (I didn't save the link) on how to successfully purchase jeans that don't fall into the category of "mom jeans" which give you the dreaded "long butt" illusion. I confess, I did laugh more than a few times reading the article because it's stuff all of us women at one time or another think about when trying on a new pair of jeans. According to the article, Mom Jeans are a fashion fate worse than death, and they are to be avoided at all costs.  In case you're not sure what Mom Jeans are, they're basically the kind of jeans your mom wears.  Generally, they are a solid color (as opposed to stonewashed or bleach faded), they likely don't have any back pockets, and they might even have elastic in the waist as opposed to a zipper and button.

While the review I read was done in a pretty lighthearted style, it got me to thinking about a few things. First of all, it made me wonder why we're (women) so freaked out about wearing mom jeans in the first place.  When I was a brand new mom (meaning, less than 24 hours into motherhood) a horrifying reality hit me as I was changing out of my trendy hospital gear into my street clothes. MY PANTS DID NOT FIT!  I had no reason to think they wouldn't.  I had packed my pre-preggo clothing into my hospital bag and having no idea I'd gained all sorts of baby-pounds, I just assumed my non-preggo pants would fit just fine.  I'd even packed my largest size, just to be sure.  Well, I wasn't sure what to do so it was Mom to the rescue as she brought a pair of her Mom Jeans to the hospital for me.  They were one solid color, no back pockets and had elastic in the waist.  At 18 years old, putting on Mom Jeans was something I never ever ever thought I would do, but there I was, a new mom, in Mom Jeans.  I was at the time very concerned with fashion, so this was like the worst thing in the world to have to do, but I had little choice.

Fast forward a couple of decades and here I am a humble wearer of Mom Jeans, by choice.  It's rather ironic I know, but they're comfy and when you're a busy mom, comfy is a very good thing.  I know (and know of) many women my age (and older) however, that would not only never be caught dead in Mom Jeans, but try super-duper-hard to pretend they're still 22 years old.  You know who I'm talking about, that 50+ year old woman who shops in the Juniors department under the banner that reads "hot" or "trendy".  She wears only those clothes that you would normally see on someone half her age and she pokes fun at her peers who actually wear Mom Jeans.  You really have to wonder though, who looks more out of place, the mom who wears age appropriate clothes, or the mom who tries too hard to dress like a college student?  Us women in North American culture have this twisted idea that getting older is bad, looking our age is bad, dressing your age is bad and striving for youth is where it's at.  Cosmetics companies and clothing designers must really love how vain and gullible we truly are.

While I came away from that article with some valuable information (back pockets are a must, and they should be square, and evenly spaced, and lower rather than higher to combat the long-butt illusion), I have no intention of running out and replacing my favorite Mom Jeans.  I'm totally okay with wearing them, and looking my age.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe