​Students Protest After Catholic Mum Asks Them To Stop Wearing ‘Form Fitting’ Leggings

A letter from a concerned mother visiting the campus of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, has prompted a student protest, after she urged people to stop wearing 'form fitting leggings' that young men apparently find hard to ignore.

Maryann White's thoughts had been published in a letter to the editor entitled 'The Legging Problem' in an edition of the Observer, the university's campus newspaper.


"I'm not trying to insult anyone or infringe upon anyone's rights," White wrote.

"I'm just a Catholic mother of four sons with a problem that only girls can solve: leggings.

"The emergence of leggings as pants some years ago baffled me. They're such an unforgiving garment.

"Last fall, they obtruded painfully on my landscape. I was at Mass at the Basilica with my family. In front of us was a group of young women, all wearing very snug-fitting leggings and all wearing short-waisted tops (so that the lower body was uncovered except for the leggings). Some of them truly looked as though the leggings had been painted on them."

Jessie J likes them. Credit: PA
Jessie J likes them. Credit: PA

Explaining that women should 'first be viewed as people', White continued: "I was ashamed for the young women at Mass. I thought of all the other men around and behind us who couldn't help but see their behinds.

"My sons know better than to ogle a woman's body - certainly when I'm around (and hopefully, also when I'm not). They didn't stare, and they didn't comment afterwards.

"But you couldn't help but see those blackly naked rear ends. I didn't want to see them - but they were unavoidable. How much more difficult for young guys to ignore them."

Perez Hilton is also a fan. Credit: PA
Perez Hilton is also a fan. Credit: PA

Rounding up her thoughts, White added: "Leggings are so naked, so form fitting, so exposing.

"Could you think of the mothers of sons the next time you go shopping and consider choosing jeans instead?

"Let Notre Dame girls be the first to turn their backs(ides) on leggings. You have every right to wear them. But you have every right to choose not to.

"Thanks for listening to the lecture. Catholic moms are good at those!"

Students and staff then retaliated to the letter to the editor by wearing leggings on campus for 'Leggings Day', using the hashtag #leggingsdayND, with one person writing on Twitter: "A Catholic mom published an opinion in ND's newspaper that leggings Lead Men Into Sin so we're protesting our right to not be responsible for men and to not be constantly policed by morals or femininity #LeggingsDayND."

Someone else, inspired to join the protest elsewhere, said: "Morally supporting #LeggingsDayND from @mcgillu in Montreal. I will die in my leggings before letting some catholic mom shame me into taking them off. They're comfortable, cheap, functional & I LIKE THEM. If people can't stop staring at my ass that sounds like a them problem."

Amen to that, guys.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013