Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pajama Jeans and ableism

So I was wasting time, I mean, visiting other websites so I could learn more about the world. Wasting time.

One site I check out daily or so is It's like Cracked, only there's less funny commentary - most of the things presented in the lists are done without comment, or just a basic description. Like today's is a compilation of photobombs, and there is no writing, just the pictures and links to the sources.

Yesterday was "12 Strangest Jeans" and one of them really caught my attention and made me go, I want that!

Number 11 is "The Pajama Jeans" and the write-up isn't very mean or anything -
Hate having to change out of your SpongeBob pajamas when all you want to do is eat at the hotel's breakfast buffet before heading back to your bunk?

Of course, as a college student, I see nothing wrong with wearing said SpongeBob pants out and about. However, I am quite dignified and only wear my pj pants on Saturdays, my laundry day. I figure if they get dirty, no big deal. I thought it was funny last Saturday, as I walked towards and then with a big tour group - "Look, it's a college student in pajamas! Just like on the teevee!"

Right now I rotate weekly between a blue plaid pair with my name on the leg and a just a pair of black loose drawstring pants. My awesome neon green plaid pants (with a pocket!) had some holes in bad places, and I was mature enough to throw them out. (I did wear those to class maybe last spring or the fall before - I'd slept through my first class and it was 15 minutes or so into my French class. I threw my old ratty jacket on over my PJs and went to class. I wear a bra to bed, but it's looser than the ones I wear with clothes.)

Here is the infomercial:

I want these pants. I have 4 pairs of jeans - expensive, good quality, but I haven't worn them in at least a year due to pain. Yes, I'm fat and my weight has gone up, but even if I went out and bought jeans that fit (which is what I did with these 4), they'd still hurt because of the waistband. And if they didn't hurt, I'd be holding on to them because I didn't consult my male cousin on how to dress in jeans that are too big for your body.

I do not understand the hatred for sweatpants or yoga pants. When I think of sweat pants, I think of the sweat suits we wore in Iceland - cuffed at the leg and wrist, and purple (for me, I think) or pink.

I do not think of comfortable cloth pants that have a little flare at the end, like itsy bitsy bell bottoms.

I do not get the hatred for pants like that. If it's not khaki, denim, or part of a suit, it's either "yoga pants," "sweats," or "pajamas" and they are just icky. For the record, none of my pants have "juicy" across the butt.

Those kind of pants are very comfortable for me, due to my abdominal and pelvic pain. I imagine they're comfortable for other people with physical disabilities, any that would make buttoning/zipping a hassle, and people who have enough trouble getting dressed (for whatever reason) and want as few steps as possible.

So I want these pants. I don't have enough comfy pants, and I do miss wearing jeans and look! pockets! It's more variety in my wardrobe!

And not that's it anyone's business, but, despite the name, they would not be pajama pants. They're too fancy! When I don't have school, I try to get dressed. And it's important to have a division between pajamas and "dressed" clothes, especially since most of my pajamas are "dressed" clothes, just in different colors. (Bra*, panties, pants/shorts, t-shirt/tank top) It's an important thing, part of a ritual, and also important when depression has me in its grip. "Look, I got dressed! I did something!"

So I googled pajama pants, because the link was just a site saying "Hey, check these out!" The first link was to the official website, the second to the commercial, and the third, ooh, the title alone pissed me off, I just had to click on it. It said "What do 'pajama jeans' say about Americans?"

I knew the answer - we're fat and lazy - before even clicking. But I had to.

First of all, he says they seem like a "hoax" SNL commercial.

He then quotes another crueler blogger who says that the pants say, "I'm an idiot who can't deal with even the most mundane of day-to-day adult responsibility like a pair of jeans that are secretly pajamas."

And they're lumped in with the snuggie and footie pajamas (not for me, my feet always got too hot) as a sign of how lazy and indulgent we are, because we need even more things for lounging around the house in.

Plus, these are expensive, at $40 US. I say if they last and they're comfy, they're not too expensive.

I can't figure out where this guy is going - we're lazy and we're so lazy we're going to spend $40 on pajamas that look like jeans.

The ableism is there the whole time, and he does call the pants "crazy" (as opposed to expensive velour sweats) because they are pajamas.

But the final sentence pissed me off so much.

Exactly. If you can't get out of your pajamas to go out of the house, and have to buy pajamas that look like jeans, then don't leave the house.

Excuse me, I should not even leave the house? Well, fuck you very much Aaron Crowe.

Oh, no, I just had to keep looking. The comments at another site are disgusting - sizeist (only gross fatties wear sweats), classist (it will free up space in the trailer... WTF?), and just ugh.

The actual post is disgusting on its own, the comments just make it worse. (Though yay for the people saying, nope, I disagree those look comfy.) These pants make the author ANGRY and that you need to GROW UP because you are DOING SOMETHING WRONG if you even think of wanting these. (All caps his.)

The ableism and privilege on display at these two sites are disgusting.

And no one has told me why wearing sweats out and about is so disgusting. They cover everything (including my pale, hairy legs) and they're not going to attack you in your $100 designer jeans and make you look like me. People associate them with sleep (which is gross, I guess?) or exercise (so you sweat) and assume that if you wear them anywhere but bed or the gym, that you're too lazy to change. Because they know everything about you! Assumptions are fun, y'all!

And aren't skinny pants and leggings worse on a "bad pants" scale? Sweats are loose, but leggings can give you "moose knuckle" or "camel toe". Not that I care, no one's forcing me to wear them, and no is forcing you to wear sweats.

I wasn't paid by anybody to write this (one day... nah, never going to happen), but I seriously want a pair of these. XL, in case the pajama jeans people are reading.

*Anyone ever hear you can't wear a bra to bed or your boobs will stop growing? I wish. Something that isn't a myth but drives me up the wall is body hair and shaving. I don't shave my legs - it's too much hassle, hello I can't see! But there are parts on my calves where I did shave a few times, and you can tell the difference because the hair that grew back is indeed a different texture and a bit darker. Considering how pale my legs are, it really stands out. But I don't care. As for pits? I've been shaving them for years, and those hairs definitely come back jet black and hard.


melanie said...

hell, i don't bother to cover my pale, bruised legs anymore. don't find me attractive? good! less harassment for me then.

i got to your blog by googling unhp something or other, which amuses me. being as that were both u of m honors bloggers, thought i'd say hello.

Kaitlyn said...

Well hi, and thanks for commenting!