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Leggings.

June  11th,  2019
Joel Feldpausch
By Joel Feldpausch read
Posted in Men

Imagine my shock when my psychology professor referenced Nelly in our college course. Wondering if I heard him correctly, I listened a little closer. He repeated: “That’s right, Nelly was onto something when he rapped about the waist-hip ratio.” I had grown up exposed to hip-hop culture’s fascination with the measurements of women thanks to late-night music videos on BET. What my psychology professor was pointing out was that men are attracted to women subconsciously because of the potential for creating babies. This desire in men to create life with women was used as the springboard for one of the most devastating industries this world has ever known: the pornography industry. I want to talk about how the pornography industry took men’s desire to create life, coerced me into objectifying women by their measurements, and then helped make particular clothing a catalyst for that objectification. In short, this is a blog about modesty, and how the pornography industry changes how men see leggings.

I’m sorry, ladies. I know. This might feel like beating a dead horse. Modesty is not particularly fun to talk about. And leggings are super comfortable. I have heard that many times. I didn’t know that I was being drawn to the objectification of women when I listened to music back in the day. Regardless of the genre, many of the songs I heard from men talked about women in an objectifying way. If it was a really vulgar song, it would specifically discuss a woman’s body and the sexual things that women should do for men. I didn’t know that this music was changing my perception! This perception led to a new way of thinking about women and attractiveness.

Yes, science shows men think about sex more frequently than women. This does not have to make us horribly inappropriate, though! The problems begin when those thoughts about sex get influenced by material that warps our sexuality. As I mentioned above, men and women are subconsciously drawn to one another because the population of mankind depends on it. More consciously, men and women can be very public about their sexual preferences. Music is one of the ways people share this. I, unfortunately, was influenced by certain music and its obsession with the measurements of women. Then, when pornography entered my life, my thoughts about the ideal body type combined with the mentality that women are meant to be outlets for men’s sexual desires. This began to impact not just my conscious treatment of women, but my subconscious behaviors as well.

Have you ever watched a man’s eyes as a woman walks by him? Sometimes, consciously or subconsciously, that man’s eyes will quickly scan the woman from head to toe. There is an even more blatant objectification of the woman’s backside. This is not ordered sexuality. I don’t think we need to spend much time reminding ourselves the purpose of butts. But (pun intended), the subconscious desire to create life has been hijacked by pornographic material and objectification through media to create generations of men who cannot stop checking out women in inappropriate ways.

This is where the leggings come into play. Bare backsides are not attractive. The pornography industry attempts to convince us otherwise through all the treatment and acting the performers do. Leggings hide the unattractive part of backsides while still playing right into the hands of the industries built on objectifying women. Just enough is left to imagination that it triggers a reminder of the attitudes men are told to have about women’s bodies. I’m not saying it is okay. In fact, I’ve devoted the past two years of my life trying to get young men to break free from these objectifications that seep into our brains. As John Paul II wrote about men and women: “They are to mutually affirm each other’s humanity, awed by its dual richness.” Will you help us break free from objectification and discover the awe again by understanding how leggings may be too revealing for a man’s brain? You are in my prayers!

Joel Feldpausch
Joel Feldpausch

About the Author

Joel grew up in Dewitt, Michigan, and met the Culture Project at a Theology of the Body retreat with Christopher West. He decided to join as a missionary when God dropkicked him through the Culture Project's open door. Joel rediscovered Christ's love by running as far from it as he could throughout high school and most of college, a route Joel does not recommend. Thanks to the campus ministry program at Michigan State University, he finally gave God a chance to bring him peace, and God overwhelmed him (unsurprisingly). Nowadays, Joel loves spending time with friends and family, playing sports, and watching movies. Through Theology of the Body, he rediscovered what it means to live a life of joy, and he hopes to help others discover that life as well.


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