Women in Rhode Island are taking a stand against body shaming.
After a man in Barrington, Rhode Island, wrote in to the local paper to complain about women who wear yoga pants in public, women in the area organized a Yoga Pants Parade on Sunday to peacefully protest his words.
“I want women of all ages, shapes and sizes to know that it is okay to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable,” parade organizer Jamie Patrice told Yahoo!.
The letter-writer, Alan Sorrentino, argued that wearing yoga pants in public is “the absolute worst thing to ever happen in women fashion [sic].”
“Not since the mini-skirt has there been something worn by so many women who should never have it on in the first place,” he wrote. “They do nothing to compliment a women [sic] over 20 years old. In fact, the look is bad. Do yourself a favor, grow up and stop wearing them in public.”
“To all yoga pant wearers, I struggle with my own physicality as I age. I don’t want to struggle with yours.”
Patrice says she created the parade not to attack Sorrentino, who told the Boston Globe that he’s received death threats since the letter was published, but to protest the constant criticism of women’s bodies.
“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 womens bodies,” Patrice wrote on the Facebook page for the event.
“[T]his is NOT a hateful protest against Alan [Sorrentino]. This a wonderful group of people celebrating our bodies and our right to cover them however we see fit.”
The parade drew a large crowd — all donning yoga pants — who quietly marched down Sorrentino’s street and past his house, where he had put up a sign that said “FREE SPEECH,” while police officers stood on the edge of the property.
The parade ended with a yoga session.
“So #blessed that I can always count on my hometown to tackle the tough and polarizing issues of 2016#freetheyogapants #yogapantsparade #imwithyogapants,” wrote one marcher on Instagram.
“I took my daughter to @paradeyogapants because someone else’s approval is not her responsibility. It’s not about pants. It’s about entitlement and arrogance. It’s about misogyny and disrespect. I don’t want her to shrink herself to fit into that space. I want her to stay brave and bold and badass, to never apologize for who she is and to live her life to the fullest,” added another.