October 25, 2014

What’s Wrong With Jeans?

Tiffany Collier

I must admit there are just some things I don’t understand. Most things, I just dismiss as unimportant. However, there is one thing that I have noticed since coming to college that I just simply can’t dismiss: the kinesiology department’s anti-jeans policy.

I grew up on a small farm in central Texas. I wore jeans almost everywhere. Need to round up the cows? Okay, that’s fine. I’m wearing jeans. Need to run after a stray animal? Say…the dog, for instance? Sure. I’m still wearing jeans. I climbed trees in jeans. I gardened in jeans. I played flag football, soccer, and softball in jeans. I even ran sprint races in jeans. I have slept in jeans and I have swum in jeans. And guess what? It hasn’t hurt me one bit.

Generally speaking, a good pair of jeans will protect you from several types of injuries, and unless you get the low-cut designer jeans that cost about three times as much as my weekly food budget, they’re fairly modest, too.

So you can imagine my surprise when I came to my first PE class in college, only to be told that jeans weren’t acceptable and that we must wear “work-out pants,” which usually consists of either some form of sweat pants that look like you just crawled out of bed or a stretchy, form-fitting, thin-as-a-sheet pair of uncomfortableness. Shorts that show off nearly everything but the bare minimum are also acceptable. But jeans? Most certainly not.

I’ve heard the arguments behind why they chose to enforce this anti-jean rule. Supposedly, workout pants are more comfortable, more flexible, and help keep you cooler. More comfortable? I beg to differ. Wearing pants that show contours I’d rather not display doesn’t constitute “more comfortable” in my book. More flexible? Possibly, but I never had any trouble climbing trees, ducking under fences, and sprinting after animals in my jeans. Keep you cooler? Yeah, that’s not something I want. I spend most of my life feeling like an icicle. Unless it’s over 80 degrees outside, I’m cold. And then you want me to wear something that makes me even colder? And during the winter no less? Yeah. Not appreciated.

I’m not going to say that everyone is like me and that everyone must wear jeans. On the contrary, what I’m saying is, “Let me decide.”

In my opinion, some of the best athletes I’ve ever come across were cowboys, and I promise you that they don’t run around in basketball shorts or skin-tight “workout pants” when they’re out doing their jobs. They wear jeans. Why can’t I?

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