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A man told women they shouldn't wear yoga pants. So they threw a yoga pants parade.

'While yoga pants seem to be a silly thing to fight for, they are representative of something much bigger — misogyny and the history of men policing women's bodies.'

A man told women they shouldn't wear yoga pants. So they threw a yoga pants parade.

Men of the world take note: This is what happens when you tell women they can't wear yoga pants.

That's right, it's a giant yoga pants party — and double yep, it's happening in front of your house.

‌Photo via The Associated Press.‌


Last week, a strongly-worded letter by Alan Sorrentino, a local Rhode Islander, appeared in Barrington Times. In it, he denounced women who wear yoga pants because he thinks "there is something bizarre and disturbing about the appearance they make in public."

"Maybe it's the unforgiving perspective they provide, inappropriate for general consumption, TMI, or the spector [sic] of someone coping poorly with their weight or advancing age that makes yoga pants so weird in public," he hypothesized in the editorial.

The rest of the letter is a not-so-polite suggestion for women to choose another method of covering their lower half since yoga pants, he says, "do nothing to compliment a women over 20 years old."

That rumbling noise you're hearing? That's the hundreds of angry women who came to Sorrentino's house on Sunday, Oct. 23, to make something abundantly clear: He doesn't get to decide what women can and can't wear.

A group of 200 or so peaceful, yoga-pants-wearing protestors gathered outside Sorrentino's home (which, ironically, sported a "free speech" sign) to stand up for their right to wear whatever the heck they want. In this case, yoga pants.

‌Photo by Kerri Lemoie/Flickr, used with permission.‌

As the event page on Facebook for the yoga pants parade succinctly put it: "While yoga pants seem to be a silly thing to fight for, they are representative of something much bigger — misogyny and the history of men policing women's bodies."

A woman named Danielle joined the protest with her family, wanting to set an example for her young daughter.

‌Photo by Kerri Lemoie/Flickr, used with permission.‌

"It was really fun, uplifting and empowering," she explained over direct message on Twitter. "I went with my family because I don't want my 3-year-old to be told by anyone that she should be held to any kind fashion/beauty standards other than her own."

Jennifer Costanza wrote on Instagram that she took a break from cooking to stand in yoga-pants-wearing solidarity with her friends.

One supporter even made yoga pants cupcakes.

Once assembled, the protesters did exactly what you expect of someone wearing yoga pants. They got down with a group yoga flow.

‌Photo by Kerri Lemoie/Flickr. Used with permission.‌

Jamie Burke, the event's organizer, said she had no idea the kind of response it would get.

She decided to host the parade as a response to this "casual sexism" because, she said, it spoke to her New Orleans roots.

‌Photo by Kerri Lemoie/Flickr, used with permission.

"There were so many strong women and girls who came, and amazing men and sons standing with them in support," Burke wrote in an email. "But what touched me the most were the notes from people around the country telling me why this was so important to them, sharing their very personal stories and gratitude for this action."

This is not just about yoga pants, and it's not a vendetta against Sorrentino. It's about standing up to people who feel they have the right to police women's bodies and choices.  

‌Photo by Kerri Lemoie/Flickr, used with permission.‌

This is far from an isolated incident. Lately men and women have been declaring yoga pants taboo fashion left and right.

A panel of men (yes all men) on Fox News had the audacity to debate whether or not women should wear leggings by scrutinizing models parading in front of them. One Montana lawmaker actually tried to outlaw them, saying they qualified as "indecent exposure." Some Christian groups have even declared them "sinful."

This is a dangerous line of thinking, especially in a political climate when so much of what a woman can and cannot do with her body is being decided for her by male politicians.

‌Photo by Conor McDonough/Facebook, used with permission.‌

As such, it's reassuring to see women refusing to take this lying down. They're out walking the streets making their voices heard in the comfiest pants ever created because it's their human right to do just that.

Sorrentino claims his letter was a "satire," but the fact that he thought it was important enough to be published in the paper — and the fact that the paper deemed it an opinion worth publishing — means he wanted someone to take it seriously. Thankfully, women everywhere did, and now the world will be reminded, once again, to leave women's choices to women.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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