Saturday, November 12, 2011

Yoga Pants

We had a six hour choreography call for the show today.  It was great, we got the two biggest numbers choreographed completely.  However, something that I noticed and then later the stage manager noticed: every single one of the girls was in yoga pants.

Now, actors are expected to wear clothes that they can move in to dance rehearsals, so some of you might be thinking that yoga pants are that surprising.  However, over the past shows I've worked, I have run into remarkably few people (female or male) that wear yoga pants.  Sweats are extremely common, as are shorts (basketball shorts in particular).  It just seemed very weird to me that every single girl (I'm not trying to be diminutive by saying "girl", my actors range from 12-17)) were wearing yoga pants.

In sharp contrast to the girls, the guys were wearing very baggy sweats or basketball shorts.  You could look at the group and sorta squint and still be able to instantly tell the men from the women by clothing shape alone.

Why is this worth a post?  I was just fascinated because I have remarked many, many times that theatre is much less restrictive about gender roles and boundaries (with the very large exception of casting, which I will talk about in another post when I'm more awake).  And, since boundaries are more transitive, people tend to push them more.  What I don't think I realized was that this pushing doesn't generally start until college.

And even more interestingly for me: generally it is men who have the harder time pushing gender roles, but in theatre, it's always seemed easier for the men than the women to me.  For example: two of the guys were wearing yoga pants (clothing "typically" meant for women) today, but none of the women were wearing masculine clothing.  I know many more gay male actors than gay female ones.  The women actors I know tend to relax as they get older, but the pressure for them to be attractive and skinny and demure in their teens and twenties seems a great deal higher.

I'm not sure I really have a point.  It's been a very long day, but it was an interesting occurrence that I wanted to share.

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