A Catholic mother has sparked fury after pleading young women to dress modestly.
In an op-ed letter, the mother-of-four asked women not to wear leggings because they cling to their bodies, making their features more visible.
Her plea was published in the Observer, a student-run daily newspaper serving Notre Dame University, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross.
The letter sparked outrage among the students at Notre Dame’s campus.
On Wednesday, more than 1,300 students participated in The Leggings Protest to publicly wear leggings and to encourage gender equality conversations, WBST reported.
The letter has been a subject of discussion ever since it emerged for the first time.
Maryann White started her letter saying how she hoped fashions would keep changing, adding, “that doesn’t seem to be happening. I’m not trying to insult anyone or infringe upon anyone’s rights. I’m just a Catholic mother of four sons with a problem that only girls can solve: leggings.”
White said she remembered seeing girls wearing leggings in church, some of whom “truly looked as though the leggings had been painted on them.”
She wrote: “A world in which women continue to be depicted as babes by movies, video games, music videos, etc. makes it hard on Catholic mothers to teach their sons that women are someone’s daughters and sisters.
“That women should be viewed first as people — and all people should be considered with respect.”
White continued: “I wonder why no one thinks it’s strange that the fashion industry has caused women to voluntarily expose their nether regions in this way.
“I’ve heard women say that they like leggings because they’re ‘comfortable.’ So are pajamas. So is nakedness. And the human body is a beautiful thing. But we don’t go around naked because we respect ourselves — we want to be seen as a person, not a body.”
She added: “I’m fretting both because of unsavory guys who are looking at you creepily and nice guys who are doing everything to avoid looking at you.
“For the Catholic mothers who want to find a blanket to lovingly cover your nakedness and protect you — and to find scarves to tie over the eyes of their sons to protect them from you!
“Let Notre Dame girls be the first to turn their backs(ides) on leggings. You have every right to wear them. But you have every right to choose not to.
“Thanks for listening to the lecture. Catholic moms are good at those!” she concluded.