Oh, You Think Tights Are Evil? You're Evil.

What Women Really Think
Feb. 21 2014 3:53 PM

Oh, You Think Tights Are Evil? You're Evil.

Tights tights tights.
Tights come in every imaginable style and color combination.

Photo-illustration by Juliana Jiménez Jaramillo. Photo by Courtney Rhodes/Flickr

First BuzzFeed came for our leggings. Now they’re back for our tights. On Thursday staff writer Diana Bruk fabricated a list of 21 reasons tights are “the most evil form of clothing.” It is stuffed with lies and weird metaphysical claims about how tights constrict our souls along with our bodies. It details a completely imaginary progression of tights-wearing, whereby the tights first “terrorize your legs with itchiness,” then pinch your bladder, then suffocate your internal organs, then snag, then decimate your circulation, then—in the course of their removal—tear off shreds of your life force. I have no idea what kind of demonic stockings Bruk is dealing with, but clearly her piece belongs more in the genre of paranormal phenomena journalism than fashion writing. For the rest of us, wearing tights goes something like this:

    1. Pull on tights
    2. Oh hey, my legs look really good
    3. Pull off tights


The end! There are perhaps some variations (2.5: Tights rip. Cool, now I’m wearing ripped tights and look like Rihanna) and footnotes (it’s true that unpeeling tights feels vividly great). But the process of donning silky legwear that conforms to the unique shape of your thighs and calves is neither as complicated nor as psychologically demeaning nor as physically harrowing as BuzzFeed makes it out to be.

Consider one of Bruk’s stocking-themed sticking points. “In the winter,” she writes, “they cannot be escaped.” This is another way of saying that tights can prove as indispensable in cold weather as coats, hats, or gloves—yet, as a colleague observes, they are far less annoying, because you don’t need to find a place to stash them at your destination. (You can even wear them under your pants for extra, secret insulation.) And I cannot fathom where Bruk got the notion that such legwear has “no right size.” There are no wrong sizes in stockingland: Tights always make your legs smooth, stylish, and elegant. (PSA for flummoxed readers: If they do not fit perfectly, you are probably putting them on your arms.)  

Tights come in colors you never dreamed existed, as well as fishnets and nudes and thigh-highs. They have none of the subtle structural coercions of jeans. None of sweatpants’ passive-aggressive nonchalance. Their variety and versatility allows them to adapt to the occasion, just as their sheer webbing graciously accommodates the contours of your body, no questions asked.

Obviously, I could go on and on about the virtues of tights and the baseless depravity of BuzzFeed’s attack. But instead I will point out that BuzzFeed itself has sung the praises of three different varieties of stockings in the past. Consistency aside, why does BuzzFeed feel the need to periodically declare war on random pieces of women’s legwear? What is the endgame? Jorts? Where are the listicles decrying ties for compressing one’s windpipe and cufflinks for falling into one’s soup? This post strikes me as one more cynical attempt to score cheap feminist points by bugling about phantom oppressors. Don’t be fooled, guys. With the third polar vortex on its way, you’ll need every layer.

Katy Waldman is a Slate staff writer. 


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
Dear Prudence
Sept. 23 2014 6:00 AM Naked and Afraid Prudie offers advice on whether a young boy should sleep in the same room with his nude grandfather.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:46 AM How Men Talk About Relationships in Rom-Coms: While Playing Sports
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 7:00 AM I Stand with Emma Watson
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.