Dear jeans I couldn’t pull up my thighs this morning,
I ascended upon this morning with an air of uncertainty. What was I to wear? Did I have the authority to make these important decisions? Being just a regular old day, I wasn’t looking for anything too glamorous. However, I didn’t want to look sloppy…something about this day just didn’t call for sweatpants.
Hey, I know! I’ll wear my trusty jeans. You can never go wrong with those.
Boy, little did I know that trying to get you up my buttocks would leave the rest of my day dramatically askew.
I’ve seen jeans such as yourself described as “trustworthy denim,” but what in the world characterizes them as "trustworthy?" Just picture the task of putting jeans on. The mere act of doing so stresses me out. Sometimes, I have to pick underwear that aren’t too thick solely for the purpose of merely imagining fitting into jeans comfortably. Jeans are running a system of denim dictatorship. They must be stopped. If this continues, our asses will no longer be protected by that reassuring strip of cloth underwear at all.
Jeans like you are stressful from the very beginning. You influence our underwear selection—a decision that all of you should have absolutely no hand in. Then, after you decide for us what underwear we’ll be donning, you daunt us with the task of actually putting you on.
It pains me to even recall getting into you that one time. You know exactly the time I’m talking about.
It was the same morning I described previously, the one where it wasn’t a sweatpants, yoga pants, stretchy pants, slacks, skirt or dress kind of day. It was distinctly a jeans day. And there you sat in my drawers, while every other pair of pants I owned was thrown into a haphazard pile constituting the overflowing heap that was my laundry hamper at the time. Wait, who am I kidding? That’s always my laundry hamper. That’s beside the point, though. The point is, there you sat, the only hygienic pants in my current possession. You were my only option. So I selected you, being the naive young woman that I am. I didn’t have a choice. I had to trust you.
I may have been the one to physically break you, but I think it’s clear who the emotionally broken one here is.
“Time heals all wounds. But not this one. Not yet.” – Marie Lu, champion
Your image haunts me. As a complete unit, you were a pair of high-waisted, acid wash skinny jeans from Urban Outfitters. I broke the bank to spend a whole $60 on you, falling in love with your ‘80s aesthetic at first sight. I expected to get a few years out of you. You felt so strong, so… stable. I look back at my initial impressions and consider myself a fool. I’m the type of girl that holds onto things. I would never discard you after a few wears. I thought you valued that. Obviously, I was wrong.
I stuck one foot into your left leg. What followed was an immediate, overwhelming sense of discomfort. The struggle began early on in the process. My foot got stuck trying to get through the opening, which had seemed to narrow with time and distance. I’ll admit, I neglected you for a few weeks, but I didn’t think that would change anything between us. Caught off guard by this barrier, I lost balance and started teeter tottering uncomfortably: a recipe for disaster. Grabbing onto my bed post for stability, I clumsily knocked over the clutter on my desk. Now, not only had you caused a struggle, but you had made my life more of a hot mess than it already was, something I hadn’t thought possible.
After an extended ordeal, I managed to force my foot through your tiny opening. These skinny jeans would be a skinny-fit, all right. I breathed a sigh of relief only to realize that the battle was nowhere near over: the next leg promised an equally strenuous effort. The seemingly simple task of getting my feet through your openings left me breathless. I stood there dumbfounded, cheeks flushed and panting wildly as my mind ran in circles to catch up with itself. Surely, the feet were the hardest part, and everything would be easy, breezy, beautiful CoverGirl from here.
Boy, was I wrong.
While encasing my calves in your denim, I felt you restrict a powerful hold around my muscles. I expected it to only last for a second, but the oppressive feeling persisted long enough for me to know something was clearly off. But was it really that big of a deal? I may have felt uncomfortably restrained, but at least you were on.
The thighs were the killer. While pulling you up, I tried to imagine going through the day functioning in your restrictive fabric. Doing so made me cringe.
The above video depicts a similar ordeal to that of which I endured on this unfortunate day, only my experience was much more dramatic.
But at least I still had the choice at that point. An invaluable sense of security came from knowing that you were there if I needed you. In the blink of an eye, or the tear of a seam in this case, your illusion of reliability was eradicated. When I pulled you up I heard it: the slice that obliterated everything I had once known about jeans and legs.
There was a moment of doubt. No, it couldn’t have been what had immediately crossed my mind when I heard the sound. I looked at myself in the mirror. In front of me stood my reflection, appearing wide-eyed and panicked. Did I dare turn around to either confirm or disprove my theory?
I pivoted around so my backside was facing the mirror slowly, while panic billowed up in the pit of my stomach. I squeezed my eyes closed, clenched my fists and counted to 10. When I opened them, I half expected to have transfigured myself off to Narnia, but what lay before me was even more surprising.
The white flesh of my bottom white butt cheek was visible amidst the sea of blue that surrounded it on all sides. Your "reliable denim" had failed. I briefly considered it might be me, but nah. It's never me. I'm exactly the same weight I was eight months ago, even though I haven't weighed myself since eight months ago. This catastrophe was, without the shadow of a doubt, at the hands of conniving denim corporations everywhere.
Humiliated, I pulled you down and laid you out on my bed. My heart couldn't just let me toss you off to the side in some trash can. I lied to myself, swearing that I'd sew you back together. I don't even know how to sew. This was a wound that would not be mended.
You reduced me to fishing around in a hamper of dirty clothes to pull out a pair of black leggings. Black leggings are the real "trustworthy" ones, yet they don't go around calling themselves that. I walked around in them all day, grimacing whenever I saw someone sporting a pair of jeans (so I grimaced at 85 percent of everyone I saw). A flurry of self-deprecating adjectives can capture the way I felt: insecure, incomplete, dirty, just to name a few.
I flashback to this moment whenever I put on a pair of jeans now. I trust no one, and it's entirely your fault. My self-image has been hideously morphed. Countless moments of my life were lived out in jeans, yet all I can think of when I hear any word relating to "denim" now is my horrible time with you.
Thanks for ruining jeans.
an ex-member of the denim cult
This is a real picture of my eyeball and the pair of jeans that I ripped. These events are not fabricated. This is an honest girl providing a firsthand account of the pain one pair of jeans inflicted upon her. This could be you. Isn't that terrifying?