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Skinny Jeans and Snake Bites

November 16, 2013

Skinny jeans and snake bites: What do they have in common? This week, we read an article in Time for Kids with the fourth and fifth grade students about an amazing young woman who has spoken out against gendered clothing and created a line of “gender-free” clothes. We engaged the kids in a conversation about their personal styles and what they think of the issue. Some of my favorite comments include: “I am going to wear sweatpants every day for the rest of my life because they are comfortable” and

“I don’t understand skinny jeans. They are so tight that it just feels like you have snake bites all the way up your leg.”

I recently experienced this when trying on some jeggings at Lucky. When the lady handed me the pair in my size, she shared that they were pre-shrunk and stretch to half a size bigger after you wear them. I felt like they were cutting off my circulation. Also, the name “skinny jeans” is just problematic. It’s another tool to convince men and women to fit a norm of “skinniness” in our culture.

I loved hearing the kids debate this topic. They asked thoughtful questions, like why babies are wrapped in blue and pink blankets, or why boys are made fun of for wearing pink. Many of the kids talked about ignoring these messages and wearing whatever they wanted to school, but what happens after elementary school? Does the need to conform become stronger?

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