Are Skinny Jeans Really Evil? The Redux
I was once accused of being ‘one of those people who like to be liked’, and although I disputed it at the time, it is quite possible that it is maybe slightly true. Having provoked some quite strong feelings and possibly upset, I feel a little redux is in order as far as skinny jeans and her sisters are concerned.
As with most things, the problem with skinny jeans is not the jeans themselves, but the thinking of the people who wear them, and what they do to you – and therein lies my beef. I think fashion is a Hole – for some people, a Black Hole, that they are inexorably drawn into, whether or not they like it.
So skinny jeans themselves are only a proxy for every unwilling or unconsidered fashion choice. Fashion, as I said before in ‘Skinny Jeans Are Hip: A Rant’, should primarily be something YOU THE WEARER like and are comfortable in, but which should also to some degree be tempered against the sensibilities of other people.
Let me explain that last with an example, before you allow yourself to be offended: there are certain clothes my mother dislikes me to wear, even though I myself like them, and they are not indecent. I don’t wear them in front of her out of respect for her – and it doesn’t kill me not to – but I have worn them at other times. This is what I mean about respecting sensibilities. Clothes that are, for instance, very revealing or suggestive, might not be appropriate in all contexts, therefore, a person should exercise some common sense in their fashion choices, depending on place and people. This is also similarly true for clothes that are entirely obscuring, but that is a conversation for another day (I promise).
In conclusion: skinny jeans are not intrinsically evil*. Nor are leggings, jeggings, treggings or bleggings. What are objectionable are the mentality, marketing, manipulations and machinations that force people to wear clothes they wouldn’t independently choose, that are contrary to their sense of what a) they like, b) suits them, c) makes them feel comfortable, and d) is healthy.
* Actually, they are somewhat potentially (extrinsically) evil in terms of long-term health risks.
Lastly – Muslims in Skinny Jeans:
A lot of my personal opinion about skinny jeans and her sisters are related to Muslims wearing them. For the Muslims committed to dressing within the bounds of sunnah, I don’t think it is appropriate for you – men or woman, boys or girls – to wear them on their own in public. As a Muslim, you should wear clothes that are loose and obscure your shape: it isn’t enough for them to be opaque. Skinny jeans and leggings are the opposite of this: the whole point is to define and accentuate your figure.
I’ve seen too many Muslim girls, who actually are concerned with staying within the sunnah, wearing these without seeming to realise that it contravenes it. I know when you wear heavy leggings – and more so with jeans – that you feel as dressed as you would in ordinary jeans or trousers, but in terms of how it looks, you might as well be wearing tights – or not wearing them, really.
Skinny jeans under jilbab works quite well, but for my sisters who don’t wear jilbab and still wish to dress correctly according to the sunnah when in public, it might be best to find some looser trousers, coupled with longer tops or dresses. The other problem I always notice in the Prayer Rooms at uni is that girls are often wearing trousers too tight to pray in – if you can’t bend or sit down properly when you’re wearing them, that’s a sign that they’re too tight. Also, when worn with short tops, large areas of your lower back show (and sometimes much more than that, God help us) when you pray, which clearly makes your salah invalid.
And a final reminder for my Muslim sisters and brothers: Allah doesn’t only see you when you’re praying – He sees you the rest of the time, too. It is one of the minor signs of the Day of Judgement that ‘people will be dressed but naked’ – the question you must ask yourself is whether you want to be part of making that more true.
Those signs are warnings. Every Muslim who adds to their truth should be worried, and should do everything they can to avert it. And that means that some fashions are just not for us, no matter what Cosmo or Vogue, Tinky Winky or Milly-Molly-Mandy say.