A few days ago, I overheard a group of girls extolling the virtues of “boyfriend jeans.” While the style’s nothing new, and I won’t argue over the merits of any loose, comfy piece of clothing that comes with plenty of room to accommodate your three-doughnut-baby because the grocery store was selling 4 for $2, I do have a problem with the name.
“Boyfriend Jeans.” Whatever happened to “Loose Fit” or “Relaxed”? They all mean the same thing. Granted, “boyfriend jeans” is hipper sounding than “baggy, misshapen, after-Thanksgiving jeans,” so I understand the idea for a new marketing campaign. However, I don’t understand the idea that a heteronormative, sexist and sizeist name is an acceptable alternative.
You’re wearing boyfriend jeans? Great! You fit the expected female norms of being:
- In a relationship (but not married – these aren’t husband jeans)
- Smaller than your boyfriend
I don’t need my denim to be homophobic, sizeist and infantalizing, and I don’t need my clothing to define me with the nomenclature of another gender.
On the tails of some people’s outrage over a little boy with pink toenails, my mind is sucked again into the dichotomy that while it’s not alright to define a man through female signatures, it’s perfectly acceptable to define a woman through male signatures. So no “boyfriend jeans” for me. I’ll call them what they really are, “baggy, saggy diaper bum jeans,” instead.
As usual, Stephen Colbert said it best.
When a girl wears men’s clothes, they’re boyfriend jeans. But when a man dresses up in his girlfriend’s clothes, suddenly she’s his ex-girlfriend.
And while we’re at it, no more:
- Hooker boots
- Wife beaters
- Skinny jeans
What clothing monikers do you want to see done away with?