Why the Big Deal Over Leggings?

A few days ago a United Airlines controversial issue erupted the internet.
Two young girls about 10-years-old, were denied airplane entry due to their leggings breaking the Airline’s dress code. The two had a special pass and with that special privilege comes a strict, professional dress code. They were forced to put a dress over their clothes to prevent their leggings from showing too much. Other regular passengers were not checked for leggings or any other dress code violations.

According to the United Airlines rules on their dress code, Rule 21 states that they have the right to refuse to transport people not properly clothed. This vague rule adds to the confusion of who decides what is appropriate and what is not.

“For a leisure plane ride I don’t think that should be a thing but, for a business yes,” says Forever 21 manager of Morgantown mall Jaye Dyre.

Why does it matter?

“I think it’s because they are representing the airline so they want you to look nicer since they have that special pass. My uncle is a pilot so when we fly for free we have to look nice” says Junior Emma Slaney.

There are strict requirements of what is professional and what is not but, leisure attire such as leggings should not cause such a huge controversy.

“I’ve had to have people either buy an outfit or change because they had a short shirt on (crop top) and leggings and it was too inappropriate to wear,” says Dyre.

Who defines inappropriate?

West Virginia University does not have a dress code. However, majority of high schools and middle schools across the nation have a dress code on particular items including leggings.

The debate blew up in 2014 when an Illinois middle school banned leggings and yoga pants.

Of a 2009 article from the Daily Athenaeum discussing WVU’s lack of a dress code, they reported that it is more of an embarrassment for students to be walking around having inappropriate sayings on their clothing than anything else. Although it is an outdated article, there is no talk of a legging issue, simply proving that at a certain age, it just stops mattering.

“I guess it’s just weird to me because more people’s jeans are just as tight as leggings,” says Senior Lydia Walters. “What’s more alarming, 10-year-old girls wearing leggings or men looking at them as sex objects because of it.”

Junior Carly Greer responds:

“As a female of any age if the pants are not showing any part of your body in a sexual manner, then you should be allowed to wear them,” says Greer. “I could understand if the pants were see through but, if they’re just regular leggings I don’t think it’s fair that a female shouldn’t be able to wear them. They have been part of our clothing culture for the past 5 years and if people haven’t gotten used to them by now, that should be on them.”


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