A city councilwoman was body-shamed for wearing leggings to work and called "big" and "lazy" by her constituents.
Emily LaDouceur, 36, a lifelong resident of Berea, Kentucky, was elected city councilwoman in November. The single mom-of-two, who also works at The Good Men Project, a website that examines modern manhood, usually wears leggings to sprint through her day.
"I live in these $60 leggings from Amazon because I have a curvy body and I like the tummy control," LaDouceur tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
On April 10th, LaDouceur wore a pair of black leggings with a collared purple shirt to give a lesson on municipal government to students from Berea Community Elementary School. But locals were appalled at LaDouceur's outfit seen in Facebook photos of the event.
"Most of the comments came from a local conservative group who has been doxing and harassing me online," LaDouceur tells Yahoo Lifestyle. "One man - who has run for city council and lost twice - wrote, 'Why does a big girl think she can wear leggings?'"
The insults "felt like crap" to LaDouceur - but only briefly. "The truth is, these are salty men who feel entitled to the female body and they're frustrated by their sexual attraction to a woman in power," she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
After the field trip, LaDouceur shared an Amazon link to purchase her favorite leggings by Lysse, writing, "Hesitant to wear something comfortable that fits your body because others can't handle you being intelligent and curvy at the same time? Never mind those haters...you've got a curvy City Councilwoman who tries to set an example daily that it is okay to love the skin you're in."
Responding to a person who said leggings were "lazy" professional attire, LaDouceur responded, "Tell you what. I'll let you put on the outfit I wore that day...then you can put on the holy, stained T-shirt and oversized jeans worn by some of my colleagues to city council meetings. Report back to us which outfit is more 'lazy and inappropriate.' Since you're so concerned about what we wear, be concerned across the board. And to answer your question, at $400 a month salary for this job, sweats would be within the range of affordability for a person in this role."
LaDouceur's Facebook community decided to wear leggings and posted photos to social media with the hashtag #BereaWearsLeggings. A medical professional admitted that she put on leggings under her scrubs and a business owner wrote, "...I'm usually always sporting leggings but today I wear them for the best reason yet...Way to go ladies!"
At an April 16th city council meeting, groups of women and some male construction workers, were clad in leggings to protest chauvinism. "Some had prepared speeches but for the first time, the mayor wouldn't allow outside comments beyond the agenda," LaDouceur tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Berea businesses demonstrated, too - a Mexican restaurant advertised taco-print leggings and clothing stores served discounts on leggings.
"Not all of us fill out clothing in the same way," LaDouceur tells Yahoo Lifestyle. "A smaller woman will look a lot different than someone with curves, bοοbs, and a butt. This is classic misogyny."