ince they first came into vogue a few years back, skinny jeans have sparked vociferous debate. Their detractors have alleged that the sausage-casing-like garments are hazardous to wearers' health, constitute an adequate judicial defense in rape cases, and make any women larger than a size 8 look ridiculous. Now, with major retailers like Gap and Old Navy selling "super skinny" jeans for girls as young as age four, some commentators are worried that the clingy pants may trigger unhealthy body images and even eating disorders.
Enough with the fretting: We're talking about pants here — practical, comfortable, and "generally stretchy" ones at that, says Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's hard to imagine that a 5-year-old is going to pass on a piece of cake at the birthday party so she can fit into her skinny jeans." These pants are "easy to run around in" like the leggings my daughter loves, but thicker and sturdier.
"Do little girls belong in 'super skinny' jeans?"
It's not the pants themselves that are bad: There's nothing intrinsically wrong with these jeans in terms of form and function, but the name "super skinny jeans" might give girls the wrong idea, especially when stores like Old Navy embroider those words inside the waistband, says the MomFinds blog. "Impressionable young girls... already [face] enough pressure to be thin."
"Do super skinny girls’ jeans encourage eating disorders?"
True, but there are more troubling influences out there: "I get MomFinds' point," says Kate at Parenting.com, but we should probably be more worried about other eating-disorder-promoting things in the ethos, namely emaciated starlets and models. "I think they're [kids] far more influenced by the stick-figure celebs who wear these jeans, rather than the label itself."
"Are super-skinny jeans OK for girls?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Attack of the invasive species
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Why Easter is so important to Christians
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- 10 things you need to know today: April 20, 2014
- Wounded in Boston, two brothers endure
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week