• Women have been posting photos of themselves wearing yoga pants on social media after a man wrote a letter to the editor deriding them as tacky and ridiculous. (Instagram/@yoganonymous)Source: Instagram/@yoganonymous
Hell hath no fury like a woman told she shouldn't wear #yogapants.
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

25 Oct 2016 - 12:27 PM  UPDATED 25 Oct 2016 - 12:27 PM

A letter to the editor which criticised women over the age of 20 for wearing yoga pants in public has sparked an outcry, not just in his American town in Rhode Island, but around the world online.

Alan Sorrentino wrote the letter to the editor in The Barrington Times in which he called yoga pants "the worst thing to ever happen in women fashion" when worn outside the yoga studio. 

"Like the mini-skirt, yoga pants can be adorable on children and young women who have the benefit of nature's blessing of youth," Barrington wrote.

"However, on mature, adult women there is something bizarre and disturbing about the appearance they make in public. Maybe it's the unforgiving perspective they provide, inappropriate for general consumption, TMI, or the spector of someone coping poorly with their weight or advancing age that makes yoga pants so weird in public." 

A local women, Jamie Burke, was outraged by his letter and organised a parade around Sorrentino's neighbourhood in protest, which was attended by hundreds of women, girls and other supporters.  

Kristen DiChiappari, who shared photos from the Yoga Pants Parade on her @tqote Instagram account, explained why she came out in protest.

"I took my daughter to @paradeyogapants because someone else's approval is not her responsibility," she said.

"It's not about pants. It's about entitlement and arrogance. It's about misogyny and disrespect.

"I don't want her to shrink herself to fit into that space. I want her to stay brave and bold and badass, to never apologize for who she is and to live her life to the fullest. #yogapantsparade #yogapantsparty #itwasneveraboutthepants #girlpower."

Gabriella Palko said the letter was "grossly misogynistic" and read like a "textbook definition of body shaming and policing".  

"It was not about standing up to one man's comments about yoga pants, it's about the inescapable sexism that pervades our everyday lives," she said.

"It's about the long history of men dictating women's bodies and choices. It's about having a republican presidential nominee say he can grab women when 1/5 women are victims of sexual assault. It's about the 20 million girls and women who suffer from and die of eating disorders, who live with men in our neighborhoods and homes who call our changing and aging bodies 'disturbing'.

"Everyday sexist bullshit may seem casual, but it perpetuates generations of dangerous and unrighteous oppression. Today was a wonderful giant middle finger to that. And to the author of the letter who declared that no woman over 20 should wear yoga pants, I think mine are looking better than ever  #yogapantsparade #todaymademefeellikebeyonce." 

Sorrentino has since said his letter was meant to be humorous, and has likened the death threats and furious voicemail messages he said he has received to what he has experienced for years as an openly gay man.

"It’s vicious and intimidating," he told WPRO-AM. "The fact that this is seen as an appropriate reaction to something I wrote in the paper is really disgusting."

However, the movement has resonated with women online, who have been sharing photos of themselves wearing yoga pants and defending women's rights to wear what they want, using the hashtag #yogapantsparade.

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