By: Matt Reichenbach
When I told my roomie I was going to take pictures of myself in fitness tights, the words “Uggs”, “pumpkin spice latte” and “Lululemon bag” were tossed around. I rolled my eyes and headed out of my dorm confident, cool and collected on the outside but embarrassed – like, cheeks-on- fire, hands over my eyes embarrassed – on the inside — was I really doing this? When we – and by we, I mean society, think of fitness tights, or yoga pants for that matter, we seem to only associate them with women’s leisure or fitness clothing. But why aren’t men allowed to wear them for the exact same reasons? The answer is rooted in our culture and how we perceive masculinity.
At a typical gym, men don basketball or running shorts paired with a tank top or dry-fit tee, finished off with mid-calves or no-show socks under running shoes. The look is conservative – men don’t show much besides their arms and legs, unless you take into account those who go shirtless (which, by the way, I commend them for). Undoubtedly, men have curves too, just in different places. For men who prefer a bit of modesty and want to still leave some things to the imagination, layer compression shorts underneath the tights – they’re comfortable, they don’t roll up and they make the tights less overwhelming so I can feel free to have fun with it.
The stigma around men in fitness tights is wrapped in our skewed expectations and standards of masculinity. Sure, girls wear tights, but that shouldn’t mean that guys can’t. Tights are comfort is key, so overcome the stigma and live your best life. Trust me, if you see yourself in fitness tights you will fell like you have Michael Phelps legs. It’s amazing what spandex can do.