Gendered Jeans?


I found this post http://www.feministing.com/archives/018048.html on one of my favorite blogs www.feministing.com.

http://www.feministing.com/archives/018048.html

It’s very interesting to see how the concept of “boyfriend jeans” is now being marketed to young girls.  Then it makes me wonder, what would the equivalent “girlfriend jeans” be?  Skin tight, flared, and a low cut waist.

image

http://media.photobucket.com/image/maroon%20skinny%20jeans/cupcakesxz/redskinnies.jpg

Why aren’t there girlfriend jeans?  Well to understand that we would first have to look at what boyfriend jeans actually mean.  This label is describing a jean that is sold to women which, in comparison to traditional women’s jeans,  are cut to be baggy, with large pockets, and are considered more comfortable.  This is the standard design of men’s jeans.  So of course women would buy such pants – it’s a fashion loophole allowing the pants to qualify as fashionable while being comfortable.  But if they were to make a girlfriend jean for men, most would pass on wearing them due to the discomfort.  Of course there are  differences between some men and women’s builds, but all in all pants could be constructed to fit comfortably, regardless of gender.  Yet many times they are not when it comes to women’s clothing.  So if the only difference is that one jean is more comfortable and practical than the other, then why is that gendered as “boyfriend?”  And why sell it this way to young girls?  Of course the hetero-normative assumption of these jeans is also disappointing, not to mention the idea of having to be in a relationship.  I agree that men’s pants are much more comfortable than women’s – I have purchased some great pants in the men’s section.  I see how men wear their pants larger, and because of this one pair could last them even if they fluctuated in weight.  This happens to everyone, but for women it can mean buying a whole new wardrobe since pants are cut so snug.  Another advantage of roomy pants is the ability to fit thermals under them when it’s cold out and still have a lot space in your pants (something necessary in PA).  All these observations just point out the discrepancy in men’s and women’s clothing – where we see women have to sacrifice comfort and practicality to supposedly be fashionable.image

http://www.jeanstore.co.uk/ecomm/graphics/PR_17_LG.jpg

In the end of the day, I wonder what happened to pants just being pants?  Why not forget such labels as descriptions, and instead actually describe the pant: measurements, fabric, cut, fit, detailing.  And along with that, how do we rationalize this notion that comfortable/ loose fitting clothes = male and uncomfortable/ tight clothes = female?  I think the marketers behind such concepts need to rethink their ideas in a 21st century context, and stop using gender and sexuality to sell jeans.  Instead lets make and sell clothes in a way that leaves everyone feeling good.

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