This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
Oh, apparently we're not allowed to wear skinny jeans anymore, it says here, because there was a study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry—possibly my favorite neurological, neurosurgical, and psychiatric journal, although Practical Neurology has its moments—saying skinny jeans are a health risk. So take your pants off immediately. Take them off now.
All right, now that we're all extremely naked on our bottom halves, we can talk about why skinny jeans are a health risk. Skinny jeans are a health risk because a woman in Australia did too many squats while wearing them and her calves swelled up like blood balloons and she had to be sliced out of her pants. She was helping someone move. Kept squatting down to pick up boxes. Fell over. Couldn't get up. Special pair of scissors to get her out of her jeans. Nightmare.
Now, I know this is taboo. I know this is a taboo thing to say about other people's injuries. But that is very funny to me. Close your eyes and imagine: a woman, in skinny jeans, her calves positively Popeye-esque, struggling while a crew of firefighters go at her trousers with a hydraulic claw. That's funny, right? If that happened in Broad City it would be an amusing consequence of one of the characters wearing an overly tight pair of jeans. I mean, she had to spend four days in the hospital, so it's not that funny. But if it weren't real and it didn't make us all think of our own mothers, sisters, aunts, girlfriends, wives, and particularly hip grandmothers in similar kinds of agony, it would be funny.
Due to this isolated incident of "compartment syndrome"—nerve and muscle damage to the calves, caused by overly constrictive jawnz—doctors are warning people not to wear skinny jeans, for fear of something similar happening again.
"The present case represents a new neurological complication of wearing tight jeans," the Royal Adelaide Hospital report said. That—paired with a 2008 study that found a number of patients had reported tingling and aching pains in their thighs after wearing similarly fitted jeans—means that basically, humans have developed a way to hurt themselves with their own invention: pants. I mean, humanity is fucking doomed, aren't we? We cannot wear jeans without almost dying.
I think if we put health warnings on every item of clothing that someone has inexplicably hurt themselves while wearing then we would be a very sad and nude human race. Example: I have punched my own face while urgently putting a T-shirt on. I once got a T-shirt caught over my head and fell down a small step. I wear T-shirts a lot and I am clumsy. I once put a T-shirt on and managed to victoriously punch a low ceiling and really did some damage to my hand. My shoelaces once got caught in a bike pedal and I nearly got hit by a van. Wearing clothes is dangerous, man. Who can truly look the gods in the eye and say a pair of pants hasn't fallen down on them because they forgot to put a belt on and fell over and almost chipped a tooth? It is nobody. And I haven't even gotten started on specialist girl clothes, like underwire bras and heels. Essentially: being anything but naked is a painful and dangerous chore.
What is the upshot of this skinny jeans fatwa? The natural conclusion is that flares—prescription flares, medically ordered by doctors—make a soaring comeback. That'd be good, wouldn't it? Bit of swish around the ankles. Bit of funk to liven up our days. Way fewer vivid outlines of dicks and balls being thrust toward us every single day through the thin denim crotches of every single stranger on the subway. Hospitals and GP services handing out muumuus and sarongs. "Be safe," medical practitioners are saying. "Be breezy." Or, I guess—and this is just a left-field opinion, and believe me, I am no doctor—or maybe, if you cannot comfortably squat and pick a box up in your skinny jeans, maybe you could just go a size up instead? Just wear slightly less skinny jeans, so a hospital does not have to put you on a drip to help you recuperate your legs.
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