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Following wide criticism of her rather shocking $3,600 Gucci ensemble at last week’s inauguration, Kellyanne Conway took the opportunity to apologize, albeit sarcastically. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the president’s counselor says she’s "sorry to offend the black-stretch-pants women of America with a little color." To which the black stretch pants-wearing women of American replied: Uh, what?
At first glance, the remark Conway makes is not only shocking for its condescension, but for the fact that presumably many, many of said women voted her candidate into office. Donald Trump built his campaign on “draining the swamp” of politicians and personifying a version of success that panders to the everyman, and if there’s a uniform of the “everywoman,” it’s sweatpants. Her comment’s disdain directed to the enormous group of people who were indispensable in electing Trump illustrates the same disconnect with the public for which the Trump administration has criticized “political elites.”
But think about the so-called “black stretch pants woman” a bit longer and it’s increasingly difficult to put a face to her. That’s probably because athleisure — or, the fashion-ification of the black stretch pant — is one of the largest growing and most talked-about sectors in the industry right now. What began more than a decade ago by athletic wear brands like Lululemon and Athleta has since exploded into a full-on phenomenon, complete with a Merriam-Webster definition. “Black stretch pants women” aren’t a group of slobs Kellyanne Conway can point to to feel better about herself; they’re practically all of America, from “coastal elites” to those living in Trump towns.
PROUD BLACK-STRETCH-PANTS WOMAN OF AMERICA— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) January 26, 2017
The next time Kellyanne Conway decides she wants to insult a huge percentage of Americans, she should perhaps go shopping with some of them first. Maybe then she’ll realize that actually, black stretch pants are great.