By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Close X

Hey hipsters, skinny jeans could be bad for you!

  • Author questions a new claim that skinny jeans are harmful to your health
  • She says if your jeans are hurting you, go up a size!
Hey hipsters, skinny jeans could be bad for you!
Amelia Parry

Editor's note: Amelia McDonell-Parry is the founding editor of Before founding The Frisky, Parry wrote for a number of pop culture magazines, like Teen Vogue, Marie Claire U.K., and Rolling Stone. 

Here is a short list of things I enjoy that over my 32 years on Earth, I've been told are, apparently, out to cause me physical harm: Red wine, the sun, high heels, cell phones, microwaves, plastic water bottles, yoga and diet soda.

READ MORE: Mirror, Mirror I was the skinny girl

So perhaps I'm just desensitized to bad news, because I cannot work up one ounce of concern over a new claim that skinny jeans are also bad for my health. 

Karen Boyle, a microsurgeon who specializes in labiaplasty at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, has apparently seen an influx of patients suffering from troubling symptoms of a disorder -- a disorder! – that she says may be caused by their trendy skinny jeans.

She told HLN in an email interview that this disorder is called Meralgia Paresthetica, and while it doesn’t pose a significant health risk, it’s good to know the No. 1 culprit: Tight jeans.

READ MORE: Would you wait in line for a pair of shoes?

 “Skinny jeans can compress one of the nerves in the outer part of the thigh and cause symptoms of numbness, tingling and discomfort,” Boyle said.

And if you're one of those women who wears skinny jeans with high heels -- guilty! -- then you’re adding possible further damage to your physique, because the high heels cause your pelvis to tilt, putting more pressure on those already stressed-out nerves, according to Boyle.


Now, I've been a skinny-jean diehard for the last couple of years and I have to say I have never experienced any of the symptoms Boyle describes. In fact, I am wearing a pair right now and there's nary a tingle in my stems. Perhaps that's because I don't believe "skinny jeans" are synonymous for "way, way, way too tight jeans."

If I must get technical, skinny jeans are defined by, duh, their skinny leg, but the part that is "skinny" in comparison to other styles of jeans are the calves. If you buy a pair of skinny jeans in your correct size, they really should not fit any tighter in the thigh area -- the area of the body apparently under attack by this variety of denim -- than a pair of boot cut, flare, or straight-leg jeans.

I don't want to totally be dismissive of Boyle's concerns, but I really don't get the handwringing. While I have not met any of her patients, I would like to offer a co-diagnosis of my own. I believe these cases of Meralgia Paresthetica are likely caused by another disorder I call "Pant Size Dysmorphia," in which the patient thinks they are at least one size smaller than they actually are. (Another identifiable symptom? Muffin top!) Prescription? Facing the facts and sizing up.

Join the conversation... welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.
Restaurant: 'Racist' receipt was an inside joke
OMG | See all 2242 items Restaurant: 'Racist' receipt was an inside joke