Are tight jeans bad for your health?

Jamaica Gleaner - - WESTERN FOCUS -

THERE IS the gen­eral per­cep­tion that women spend more time, money, and ef­fort op­ti­mis­ing their ap­pear­ance. There are many in­dus­tries that cap­i­talise on this. It seems at times that even health may be sac­ri­ficed in the process. Is this the case with tight jeans?

The fe­male fig­ure has been long con­sid­ered an im­age of beauty. Looking at art forms from an­cient civil­i­sa­tions, it’s not hard to find many rep­re­sen­ta­tions of this in paint­ings and sculp­tures. There are some cul­tures that seem to pre­fer full-fig­ured women and some that pre­fer slen­der women.

Women gen­er­ally revel in the at­ten­tion they get from both sexes and of­ten smile and blush when they get com­pli­ments, espe­cially from a source they like. Big breasts, big but­tocks, and wide hips are gen­er­ally con­sid­ered sexy (sex­u­ally at­trac­tive). Sub­con­sciously, it seems that we, espe­cially, but not ex­clu­sively, men, are at­tracted to these sym­bols of re­pro­duc­tive su­pe­ri­or­ity and it seems that gen­er­ally, women are ‘pro­grammed’ to show them off. (I hope I don’t ruf­fle any feath­ers.) Men seem to have caught on to the craze, many of them also wear­ing tight jeans.

Tight-fit­ting clothes are very use­ful to dis­play these features. In most lib­eral cul­tures, they are quite pop­u­lar, but not all who ad­mire them are will­ing to wear them.


Re­cently, a woman from Aus­tralia was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal for days af­ter wear­ing tight jeans for a pro­longed pe­riod while be­ing in­volved in ac­tiv­ity that re­quired that she spent a lot of time in a squat­ting po­si­tion. Later that day, she col­lapsed while walk­ing in a park and had to be treated at a hos­pi­tal. She had de­vel­oped a con­di­tion called com­part­ment syn­drome, where the tis­sues in her leg had got­ten swollen and com­pressed the mus­cle, nerves and blood ves­sels in her legs, which led to dam­age to these struc­tures. The blood sup­ply was sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced as a result. She had to be cut out of her jeans. For­tu­nately, she seems to have made a full re­cov­ery.

Tight-fit­ting jeans are sus­pected to con­trib­ute to vagi­nal con­di­tions such as can­didi­a­sis (yeast in­fec­tion) and bac­te­rial vagi­nosis and numb­ness in the legs. Men risk suf­fer­ing from low sperm count as tight jeans raise the tem­per­a­ture of the tes­ti­cles, which re­duces their pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Ob­vi­ously, stretch jeans are less likely to cause these prob­lems as they are less re­stric­tive, but cau­tion and mod­er­a­tion are still ad­vised.

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