A writer faces major backlash after arguing people shouldn’t wear sweatpants if they’re WFH
On April 17, a Los Angeles Times writer published a polarizing opinion piece that some may at first think is satire. The story’s headline is “Enough with the WFH sweatpants. Dress like the adult you’re getting paid to be,” and it argues that if you’re not dressing up like how you normally would for the office, then you don’t deserve a paycheck and you certainly don’t respect your boss or co-workers.
While we’re fans of free speech and all, can someone please remind this person that the reason why most of us are stuck working from home is because a virus (for which we have no vaccine for as of yet) is currently ravaging the world and disrupting almost every single aspect of our lives?
The writer says, “I’ve waited, watched and bit my tongue during the last month of the pandemic-induced work-from-home era but I just can’t take it any more. Please, can we all put away those sweatpants, ratty, gray, decades-old collegiate sweatshirts and obscure minor league baseball caps and start our workdays looking like we deserve the paychecks we’re lucky enough to be earning while the world around us burns?”
Another jab that felt a bit below-the-belt (if you’re wearing one that is), the writer says, “Scrolling past a photo of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour sitting in her home office in sweatpants or turning on the TV to find CNN anchor Chris Cuomo hunkered down in his basement recovering from COVID-19 and clad in a casual shirt instead of a jacket, dress shirt and tie is as profoundly unsettling as is the black-and-white photo of Jim Henson holding a hand aloft, up to his elbow in the green undercarriage of Kermit the Frog.” Is he really dissing the iconic Anna Wintour? Is he for real complaining that Chris Cuomo isn’t in a dress shirt after battling COVID-19?
If you feel attacked, you’re not alone. Plenty have responded to this “hot take” with seething anger only the people of the internet are capable of expressing. With the fury of a thousand bloggers, many replied to the Los Angeles Times‘ promotion of the article on Twitter pointing out how flawed the opinion piece is.
The writer may also be forgetting that not every employed person has the luxury of having the time to dress up for work right now. In a normal world, especially if people have children, they can drop them off at school. Since the beginning of the quarantine, schools across the nation closed down which means parents have taken on second jobs as teachers. Many schools, in fact, are solely relying on parents to make sure students finish their daily lessons and practice P.E. in whatever capacity they can. So maybe throwing a blazer on and making sure your nice jeans are clean isn’t on the top of our list of priorities. I’m not sure if the LA times writer has kids, but what’s clear is that he does have the privilege of putting time and thought into his wardrobe choices.
What you decide to wear during these stressful, unprecedented times is completely up to you. If wearing leggings because the thought of putting on jeans stresses you out, then that’s okay. If you choose to re-wear that “ratty” sweatshirt for two weeks straight because you’re too scared to go to a laundromat (or have run out of laundry detergent), that’s also okay. The world is not normal right now! You’re not a slob, you are coping and you are surviving right now. So, let’s try to show a little bit more compassion — because compassion never goes out of style.
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