The nation was shocked by the news of a possible yoga pants ban in Montana earlier this week. It was the perfect storm to create outrage online: pending legislation, a popular subject, Republicans. It had it all and people lapped it up.
The bill was the work of Republican Representative David Moore of Missoula, Montana. He introduced it to expand the state’s decency laws and protect “the children.” It was tabled almost instantly, but the media still tore it apart:
“I want Montana to be known as a decent state where people can live within the security of laws and protect their children and associates from degrading and indecent practices,” Hill said Tuesday in support of the measure. “I believe this bill is written preserving that reputation.”
The language of the bill itself was rough, but it was Moore’s comments after the fact that really set people off. From The Guardian:
“Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway,” Republican David Moore told an Associated Press reporter, whose story appeared in the Billings Gazette and was picked up by publications as disparate as Fox News and Jezebel.
That’s what set folks off. It’s one thing to attack nudity, that’s old hat at this point. But why take on yoga pants? Innocent, playful yoga pants. People love yoga pants for a variety of different reasons and now this guy wants to destroy that.
At least that’s what we were led to believe. As I said, the wording of the bill was very odd and it allowed for that interpretation to take hold. Some disagreed, including Moore himself who then attempted to pass the entire incident off as one big joke:
Moore told the Guardian: “At no time during the hearing of that bill was yoga pants brought up.” He said: “The whole was a off-the-cuff remark in the hallway, and the whole thing just exploded.” (via)
Well that’s believable. It wouldn’t be the first time that the media took a false narrative, assumed it was true, and decided to run with it to gain attention. That’s been business since the old days of newspapers. Stretch the truth a bit.
There is a problem, though. The Associated Press is sticking by their original report, disputing claims that Moore was joking and that yoga pants weren’t actually part of the language in the original bill:
“Our reporter spoke to him at length,” Associated Press media director Paul Colford said about the interview, which took place on Tuesday. “She asked him about that statement twice. After the story appeared, Mr Moore told associates he was making a joke. Our staffer did not report that the bill would go so far as to outlaw yoga pants. Or that he intended to, we stand by our coverage.”
Moore’s bill, HB 365, would have banned people from exposing “genitals, pubic hair, or anus of exposes the areola or nipple of the person’s breast with anything less than a fully opaque covering while in a public place.”
The passage Moore said could have applied to beige yoga pants, according to the Associated Press, would have banned “any device, costume, or covering that gives the appearance of or simulates the genitals, pubic hair, anus region, or pubic hair region or exposes any device worn as a cover over the nipple or areola of the female breast that simulates and gives the realistic appearance of a nipple or areola while in a public place”. (via)
I don’t know who would wear beige yoga pants, but OK. I would say that’s the real joke in this situation.
None of this matters at this point since the bill is put to rest. That doesn’t mean it won’t return in some other form to terrorize the yoga loving citizens of Montana, probably with clearer language and a much quieter sponsor. Until that time, though, feel free to wear those yoga pants (especially the beige ones) with freedom. America is still alive, folks.