I saw this window display (above) this weekend, which shows a woman bending over, wearing yoga pants, and it reads: “let the compliments begin. Try the new Perfect Booty Pant.” Sigh.
Just last month, a writer for The Good Men Project (ironic, I know), wrote about his obsession with yoga pants: “…I have to employ a Buddhist-like asceticism to keep to from glancing at the attractive women and their yoga pants.” Double sigh.
Fortunately, there was some backlash on feminist blogs, such as The Frisky. “Newsflash Nathan Graziano: Not everything women do is done with men in mind. Just because you find someone sexy, doesn’t mean she’s being sexy for you. Just because someone is wearing something you find sexy, doesn’t mean she is wearing that something for you.” Amen!
That’s why this window display at the lucy store in Northern Virginia is so frustrating: it perpetuates this idea that women always dress to impress men and to receive compliments. Oh, the compliments! We are not complete, satisfied human beings without them, are we?
Of course, clothing such as fancy dresses all the way down the line to simple jeans and a T-shirt are swoon-worthy for dudes. But now our comfy workout clothes aren’t even sacred! The lucy window display only feeds upon and supports the notion that women dress for others. And it normalizes unwanted sexual attention to boot.
The heart of the problem is that it doesn’t really matter what women are wearing because we experience street harassment/public sexual harassment everywhere, all the time. Normalizing this harassment to sell products is pretty gross and only exacerbates an already too-prevalent social problem.
Perhaps the store would be willing to take their window sign down and show solidarity with women who want to exercise – or heck, even run errands in comfortable pants – in peace? After all, it seems like promoting street harassment doesn’t line up with the lucy company’s values. The Stop Street Harassment community was recently very successful with changing Yes To Carrots packaging, which said “Yes to whistling (and yes to getting whistled at!).” I only hope the same success can be replicated with lucy.
Katie Broendel is the media and public relations manager for the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She earned her master’s degree in public communication at American University in Washington, D.C. Her thesis focused on the framing of sexual violence in the media. She earned her bachelor’s degree in geography at the University of Mary Washington, and has worked for several nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C., including the National Geographic Society. Follow her on Twitter.Share on Facebook