Beauty is Pain?


| 8 Comments
Okay ladies (and some gentlemen), we all partake in the current skinny jeans craze...but have you ever thought about it's health implications? Don't feel bad if you haven't, because...well...I don't think anyone has.

I stumbled across an article and thought it might be beneficial to pass on to my fellow fashionistas.  According to <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30870617/#.UFvX2Y7T3ap">MSNBC</a>, wearing too tight of jeans can cause meralgia paresthetica, which is when constant pressure on a nerve cuts it off and causes a numb or tingling sensation.  This condition is common among people who wear tight belts, for instance police officers and construction, but with the new trend, doctors are seeing an increase in those affected in young men and young women.

Add heels on top of those skinny jeans and you're just asking for trouble.  Apparently, because high heels push the pelvis forward, it adds even more pressure on this nerve (lateral femoral cutaneous nerve).  Low-rise jeans also added to this phenomenon back in the early 2000's and back even further than that, tight pants were said to be linked to infertility in the 1970's.

Fortunately, most of the time, this damage is not permanent, and once the pressure is relieved, the nerve will regenerate.
jeggings.jpg
What are you willing to sacrifice in order to look good?

8 Comments

I think this is a very interesting and relavant topic. Fashion has always pushed the boundaries within society but more often then we realize it really ventures into negative health effects. this blog reminded me of articles and telivons shows on TLC i have seen about the consequences of using corsets. Wearing sight corsets can squeeze the human rib cage, changing it shape after prolonged use. Changing the shape of your abdomen displaces your organs causing a variety of complications according to a an ehow article. although the disfigurements usually return back to normal, I think your right, How far will we go? and How far is to far in fashion?

http://www.ehow.com/info_8403373_corsets-affect-organs.html

When hearing about pants being too tight, I had never heard about them affecting this nerve. I have commonly heard about male infertility being induced by pants that are being too tight, though i found an article that says otherwise.

The one thing i was surprised about was the effect that high heels have. I've always heard that high heels damage your feet, and can damage the bones, ligaments, and tendons of the feet, but I've never heard about how it can effect the nerve. Thinking about this, I found an article here that discusses the same topic you do, but in regards to heels and the associated foot damage.

But to answer your question, for me personally, I think that every once and awhile its worth the tingling and numb sensation in order to look nice, especially since the effect is only temporary.

Another thing to, many people say that excessive high heel wearing causes, what I like to call "old lady veins" in your legs. Although there has been no official correlation found between the two there are very obvious hypothesesthat connect the two. And aside from the actual medical detriments associated with skinny jeans and high heels, they do LITERALLY cause pain. Walking around in a pair of curve hugging jeans and 5 inch platforms is just flat out uncomfortable, even though I still do it all the time...

It's an alarming thought, and I wonder what would happen if someone continued to wear skinny jeans everyday for an extended period of time. While that MSNBC article said "there is little risk for permanent damage," there have been some cases in which patients with meralgia paresthetica have had surgery in order to decompress the nerve. It's rare, and most people would cut down on the skinny jeans once they found out the potential danger of frequently wearing them, but you never know who is willing to take that risk.

(website I used for additional meralgia paresthetica info: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/meralgia-paresthetica/DS00914)

I love this! Really a cool article. Where did you think to write about this topic?

I've often wondered what the health implications were related to high heels. I've recently had knee surgery and have been hesitant to wear heels again for a long while because I figure it will put additional stress on my knee.

while on the topic of health and fashion, I wonder what people think about those FiveFinger shoes? I found an article that points out that, though it may seem to make more sense to use these from an evolutionary point of view (we weren't born with shoes on, after all!), running without shoes still messes up our biomechanics. What does everyone think?

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15861/1/Five-Finger-Vibram-Shoes.html

I love this! Really a cool article. Where did you think to write about this topic?

I've often wondered what the health implications were related to high heels. I've recently had knee surgery and have been hesitant to wear heels again for a long while because I figure it will put additional stress on my knee.

while on the topic of health and fashion, I wonder what people think about those FiveFinger shoes? I found an article that points out that, though it may seem to make more sense to use these from an evolutionary point of view (we weren't born with shoes on, after all!), running without shoes still messes up our biomechanics. What does everyone think?

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15861/1/Five-Finger-Vibram-Shoes.html

I always thought that the only real "health hazard" posed by heels was the lack of balance when walking. I see girls on campus or downtown with ludicrously high platform heels or something and I'm surprised that they can even stand up straight in those things. The skinny jeans problem doesn't surprise me, but the fact that you pinpointed what exactly is being damaged by them is very interesting. It sounds like they cause a constant surge of the "pins and needles" sensation you get when your foot falls asleep.

The FiveFinger shoes are supposed to simulate running barefoot without the callouses, bunions, and athlete's foot. I want a pair of those.

This goes hand in hand with the blog post that I'm about to finish up, about the "science of stilettos." I've heard all about this topic of why pants that are too tight are harmful to your health.

If pants that are too tight (and do leggings fall into this category?) are harmful to your health, then why do people still wear them? Do they think that being in pain will make them look better?

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