Jessica Simpson's career has taken a big hit recently. Not because she was singing at a chili cook-off in Pembroke Pines or because her meathead football player boyfriend Tony Romo allegedly cheated on her or even because President Obama commented on her "weight problem" on national television before the Super Bowl this past Sunday. No, Jessie is in trouble because she was caught trading in her Daisy Dukes for a pair of – gasp – Mom Jeans.
Like fanny packs, mini-vans and quilted purses, high-waisted, unflattering Mom Jeans are supposedly the most obvious sign that a woman has given up on her sexuality. Girl's Gone Child. She no longer cares. She cooks, she cleans, she wears Mom Jeans.
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If your waistband could double as a push-up bra or your backside looks flatter than a pancake, you are guilty of wearing Mom Jeans. Tina Fey first coined the term in a 2003 Saturday Night Live skit that celebrated a pair of Mom Jeans as "something that says, 'I'm not a woman any more. I'm a Mom.' "
Mommy pants sport nine-inch zippers and tapered legs that emphasize muffin tops, camel toes and panty lines. They flatten and widen the behind and hips. They're usually a crappy shade of blue or black.
In the past year, high-waisted pants have been spotted on a number of celebrity hotties – Jennifer Love Hewett, Mariah Carey, Mischa ("Feed me!") Barton, Fergie, Scarlett Johansson, Gwen Stefani, Heidi Klum and Kim Kardashian – who have all failed to glamorize the so-out- they're-in fashion. They still manage to look like a 40-something mom who thinks a hot date is dinner at Cracker Barrel followed by "Murder She Wrote" on TV.
It's hard enough being a mom today and finding a pair of pants that fall somewhere in the happy medium between Mom Jeans and Ass Crack Jeans. But because us moms are used to being martyrs, I'm willing to accept that bashing moms and their wardrobes is one of the last socially acceptable pastimes. What burns me is that there is no equivalent slam against the horrendous jeans I've seen on some dads.
You know what I'm talking about: snug, extra-high-cut blue jeans with a braided belt cinched tightly over a pronounced crotch and a cell phone fastened under the belly. I've seen photos of Obama and Matt Lauer wearing these "Urkel" jeans and the pics didn't spawn half the number of blogs and criticisms dedicated to Jessica Simpson last week. I know it's too much to ask, but let's quit the double denim standards.
Dudes, hitch up your Dad Jeans and fight fair.