Russian Tights: Boys Attitudes


Figure 1.--We notice large numbers of Russian boys wearing tights. Less clear is what the boys think of wearing tights. For the most part the age of the boys wearing tights are younger boys whose clothing is largely determined by mothers.

Boys attitudes toward tights seems to have changed over time. Inititially quite a number of boys wore tights much as long stockings had been widekly worn in Russia. The popularity of tights has declined among boys, although quite a number of mothers do buy tights for their sons, primarily as a useful garment in cold weather. Only a few older boys seem to wear tights, even at home. We have received quite a number of varied reports from Russia on the subject. Modern children are very much subjected to the influence of advertising. Boys now want trendy clothes--all these new cool flows, baggy over sized trousers, and jackets worn rolled up to the elbows. Tights are not advertised as trendy clothes. A Russian reader tells us that the subject of tights for boys has been discussed on internet chat rooms where parebnts discuss clothing and other subjects concering their children.

Chronological Changes

Boys attitudes toward tights seems to have changed over time. Inititially quite a number of boys wore tights much as ling stockings had een common. The popularity of tights has declined among boys, although quite a number of mothers do buy tights for their sons, primarily as a useful garment in cold weather. Only few older boys wear tights, even at home. Boys in Russia now view tights as more appropriate for girls.

Advertising

Modern children are very much subjected to the influence of advertising. Boys now want trendy clothes--all these new cool flows, baggy over sized trousers, and jackets worn rolled up to the elbows. Tights are not advertised as trendy clothes.

Prevailing Views

Some readers have indicated that the use of tights are declining in Russia because boys in now view tights as more appropriate for girls. This certainly is how they are viewed by American abd British boys, but this is not true of all Western countries. The Germans view tights differently. One of our Russian readers tells us that the prevalent attitude among Russian boys is not so much that tights are seen as girl's clothes, but rather as little boys' clothes. A Russian reader writes, "On your pages you wrote: 'Boys in Russia now view tights as more appropriate for girls'. Believe me, this is not correct! It is true that boys protest against wearing tights, but it is becaise they view tights as more appropriate for small boys, especially when worn with short pants. The boy in short pants and tights has the image of a 'good boy of his mother' (mama's boy) or "a boy from kindergarten".

Internet Discussions

A Russian reader tells us that the subject of tights for boys has been discussed on various internet chat rooms where parents discuss clothing and other subjects concering their children. Some of these chat rooms also include comments from the children.

Parents

A Russian reader tells us, "I have found this forum in the Russian Web. Some of the discussion about tights provides some information on the use of tights in Russia. So I translated several messages. The Web-site is 7ya.ru ("Sem'ya" means "Family" in Russian - A.). Within the website the Conference (section) was "Children from 7 to 12 years old." The Branch was "Clothes". the topic was To what age it's normal to buy tights for boy? There seems to have been a range of opinions among both boys and parents. Here are a selection of those messages. They are not all mesages from the forum (they are near 100 as I think). The last message was dated April 2004."

Question (from a mother): Our son just entered the school (7 years old - A.), and told us, that he will never wear tights any more because "Nobody wear them". We bought many tights for winter, if we can't make him to wear it, what to do? (date - september 2001 - A.)

Replies:

Women: My son wore tights until he was 8 years old. I think tights are women's clothes, and it is not good to make boy wear it.

???: Darling, who told you such a nonsence? Tights are comfortable and warm, it's a main thing!

Man: Agreed! Comfortable and warm, and what is the age or gender - it doesn't matter!

Women: I had the same situation. My son, when he was 12, told, that he will not put on tights. I insisted. He tried to make me change my mind 1-2 days, and than forgot about it and wore tights as usual.

Women: My Denis is 13. In August before school he selected tights for himself in a shop, even choose one white, but now he doesn't wear any tights. The cause is one - teasing and mockeries of class-mates. He doesn't want to put on tights even at home!

Man: My son will be 14 soon, and he wears tights in Autumn and in Winter. Nobody makes him to do that. I know there are several more boys wearing tights in his class. And nobody tease them. I asked son about this, he said, that some boys tried to tease, but stopped quickly. I think tights is normal clothes for boys.

???: This problem is not a problem. Who want - wear. Who don't want - don't wear.

???: My opinion - boys MUST NOT wear tights at all!

???: Why do you think so?

Women: Every Autumn I insist that my son put on tights, and he refuses, then again, then again, then insisting again that he wear them. Finally he wears tights all the Winter long without problems. And in next Autumn everything will be the same - "I don't want, I'll not put it on" etc.

Woman: Thanks to all! Now my problem is solved. Laugh! It was my son and his friend, they settled to play "cool lads" and teased another boys wearing tights, but they forgot about all these foolish things in a week :-) I asked other mothers in class. Most boys wear tights when it is cold.

Women: My sons are 10 and 12 now, they wear tights quietly. They go to a swimming pool, and I saw - there are 1st class boys (7 years old - A.), who don't wear tights at all, and some boys even older, than my sons, wearing tights. I think it is not good to make boy to wear tights, if he doesn't want - let him do that. Although tights are more comfortable, warm and cheap, than trainers.

Man: I have got another problem! My daughter (she's 11 years old) refused to put on cotton tights, she told, that thety are "BOYISH"!!! What to do - I don't know, my wife either.

Boys' comments

A Russian reader tells us, "Iíve found a forum on one Russian Internet site that includes a discussion about wearing tights. I'll translate some if te messages to provide an insight as to how modern Russian boys think about tights. Here are some extracts from different boysí (mainly 12 y.o.) opinions. Here I must make a note. A home computer with Internet coonection isnít met often in Russian flats, especially in the regions. So I conclude, that all or almost all boys that wrote these messages are from middle class (at last) families and from big cities, so their parents can buy any clothes for their children.

Yesterday mother brought these foolish tights again and told me that Iíll have to wear them because it is getting cold. And I had been happy that this year she wasn't making me wear tights like last year! All the girls at school will laugh. Iíll look stupid just like a first-form pupil!

Some boys tease, some donít. Last year one boy teased me about wearing tights, but once I visited him at home. He was wearing shorts with tights that had foolish Pokemons [cartoon charactrs] on them. After that he didn't tease me any more.

Yesterday after I got home from school, mother made me wear tights with shorts. Today I had to put on tights in the morning as well. Now I must wear them the whole year. But I donít want red or white tights, black or brown I think are much better. I canít imagine myself in shorties and white tights, but last year mother times mother dressed me so several times. She wanted me to look like a ďgood boyĒ when important guests visited us and for special celebrations. But I think itís a nightmare, nothing beautiful!

I think itís nothing frightening here, other lads wear tights too. So I donít make scandals with my parents. Yesterday one girl from my class visited me, and I was in black tights and jeans shorts and she said that itís cool outfit and didnít laugh at all.

Mother told that even grown-up men wear tights, but I havenít seen such men yet. I will wear them if she insists, but not the ones with all these patterns and pictures and not in girlsí colours. I'll wear brown, gray or black tights. But not the red and white tights. Never! I think only first-formers wear white tights, but why should I? To jump like a bunny for a New Year celebration?

What a dull outfit, like in the kindergarten. Nobody wears white thight when 12 years old, but I was made wear it with shorts several times for celebrations and important guests. ďTo look like a good mannered boyĒ! I canít even invite my friends for my birthday in such outfit, theyíll tease me! Black or brown tights are Ok even with shorts. A girl from a nearby flat [apartment] saw me we wearing tights with short pants and she and her friends didnít laugh or tease.







HBC






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Created: April 12, 2004
Last updated: 4:35 AM 4/7/2009