It Starts Young

My kids are involved in Little League, which is an interesting microcosm of society. You get all types of kids and parents, united by a love of baseball. It’s a pretty diverse group as far as childrearing practices, as well. I’m glad we’re doing it.

One of the things I find gratifying about it is that when observed among their peers, it turns out that I have unusually nice children. Nice manners, and they don’t have as many annoying personality quirks as the other kids I see out there. They also do not often say things that are unkind, or hurtful.

Not to say they are perfect but they try to be good, because they know it is expected. There is some occasional inappropriate behavior, because they are kids and that is what kids do, but for the most part, they know how to behave in public.

This is not the case with all the kids we see. One of our kids is on a team with some little boys who, for lack of a better term, are real hellions. People say boys will be boys, and I think that is true to some degree, but I also think that kids will be as big of a jerk as we allow them to be. They will take as much rope as you’ll give them.

They also model what we do. You can have all the rules around behavior that you want, but if what you model isn’t what is expected from them, they are going to do what they see you do. Which is why you always hear your most embarrassing phrases coming out of your kids mouth.

One of the things we are seeing with these kids is a general air of disrespect. They can’t handle any kind of correction without throwing a fit, and the parents just allow it. If it were me, I would pull my kid out of practice or a game in a heartbeat if they were doing some of this stuff.

They are also rude to other kids on the team, as well as adults. The thing that really got my goat, though, was when one boy teased another by saying, “you run like a girl!”

I was like, oh yeah? You wanna see someone run like a girl? I’ll show you how to run like a girl. A girl that can run you into the ground.

Like I said, it starts young. When I see kids acting like this, I try to use it as a teaching moment with my own kids. We talk about different kinds of behavior and they are learning what not to do by watching their peers.

It amazes me too, how early sexism starts. There is no fundamental difference in physical ability at this age, so where do boys get the idea that girls are inherently inferior at sports? And when stuff like this comes up, why are parents (especially moms!) letting kids get by with these statements?

It blows my mind, and makes me feel like I am lucky to have nice kids. Also makes me glad I am very clear about behavior expectations. I mean, my kids can be naughty too, but they aren’t mean and they take correction fairly well, perhaps because they are used to receiving it!

Open Letter to the Makers of Workout Pants

Y’all! This morning, I tried on my Under Armour compression pants I bought a while back and I was so annoyed. After I washed them I think they shrank or something. The rise seems lower than I remember, and people – it was not good. I did not want to spend my entire morning pulling the waist up so I just switched to a different pair.

But then I got thinking – whose bright idea was it to make low rise workout pants anyway? On what planet is that a good idea? Are the makers not aware that most workouts involve actual movement – like bouncing, bending and stretching?

Honestly, it makes me kind of mad. We spend a lot of money on this stuff, and I don’t think it is too much to ask for a pair of pants that will stay on.

So I decided it was time to do something about it. So here is an open letter to the makers of workout clothing, from the women who wear it:

Dear Sirs (and we know you are men…),

For years, women have suffered in silence. We have been subjected to atrocities and endured embarrassments beyond human comprehension – yet, we have not complained. We have accepted your crummy garments as our lot – the price of wearing Lycra.

No more. No more will we stand idly by while these horrors continue. Starting today, we rise up against inappropriate workout clothing and demand that those who have shackled us to their crappy pants for so long, be held accountable.

Or at least we demand that you please, for the love of all that is holy, stop making poorly designed, low rise workout pants out of crappy material.

Thousands of times a day, across North America and around the world, women in low rise workout pants show crack in yoga classes. We struggle to keep our pants up while running on streets and treadmills, due to the lack of drawstrings in your garments. Your pants give us muffin top.

This madness must end.

When designing garments, design them for actual women, including women whose body fat percentage permits menstruation. Hire a woman who exercises to be part of your design team, ask her what she needs, and actually listen to what she says.

In addition, we demand that your products be made from better materials. Last year, millions of women purchased overpriced Lululemon yoga pants, which were apparently made from transparent material. This became the source of much media attention when the pants were recalled and the company was sued. The CEO of the company then insulted the customers, implying that if they just would stop being fat, transparent pants would not be a problem.

Naturally, the CEO of this company is a man.

As if transparent pants and muffin tops weren’t enough, even pants which are not see through or in danger of falling off still leave too little to the imagination. Due to your use of flimsy or unfortunately colored material, we have for years been forced to inadvertently suffer from camel toe while working out. This is unhealthy for us, not to mention embarrassing.

Furthermore, there is an ongoing problem with many pants not colored black when we sweat “down there.” Other writers have expounded on this topic better than I can, so I will just say this: Surely in this day and age when we have the technology to access the entirety of the world’s knowledge base from a device that fits in our pockets, there surely must be a way to make pants from fabric that won’t appear as if we’ve peed our pants when we sweat.

In Closing

Pants makers of the world, we demand that you stop blaming us for the design flaws in your garments. Accept the fact that women of all shapes and sizes have the same right to work out and become more fit as have those lucky few whose body fat percentage is in the single digits. We should all be able to do so in clothing that is both functional and flattering.

And while you’re at it, see if there isn’t something you can do about the smell.

Sincerely,

A bunch of sweaty women who wear your products.

Well, how’d I do? What drives you crazy about your workout clothes?