Skinny Jeans Is A Ridiculous Term

Shani Silver
1 min readNov 11, 2022

And it’s had a hold on my entire generation.

You remember her.

They aren’t just pants — far from it. They’re a linguistic poke in the ribs with a pointy stick that’s been jabbing at my generation long enough. We didn’t ask for them, they were imposed upon us…like mandatory training videos at work. Has a phrase ever held sway over an age bracket more than “skinny jeans?” What the hell does skinny jeans even mean? Are we referring to a style of pants or a pair of pants we haven’t worn in awhile? Skin-tight? Then why call them skinny? Stretchy? Then aren’t they leggings not jeans? One moment the world wants us to buy them three pairs at a time and the next we’re shamed as a group for wearing (and loving) them at all. Can we know no peace? Can we not just live and dress on our own time as we see fit? We can of course, but there’s a reason why doing so makes us feel so damned uncool.

This is an excerpt from 1982, a newsletter by Shani Silver. If you’d like to read this essay in its entirety, you can join the Substack here.