This is an ode to my maternity jeans (that I'm wearing right now). Long live maternity jeans.

For a long time I sort of had the impression that maternity jeans were The Worst. Frumpy, ugly, overpriced and uncomfortable. And I had never really worried that much about it because I'm Childfree (TM).

Pictured are the ones I'm wearing, they're from The Gap. Everything about them is awesome. They're the right color. They fit good. The pockets are low-slung enough to prevent "mom butt" (which is good because, just to reiterate, I'm nobody's mom).

I love my maternity jeans even though I am not and have never been pregnant.

I think my favorite thing about them though is how great they feel when I'm sitting down. They feel like nothing, like pajamas! But the actual jean part that anybody sees is real jean. They are my pants ideal.

Here are more reasons why maternity jeans are preferable:

1. No fly. Honestly, who needs a fly? I don't. There's no real appeal to a zipper fly, and without one, I never have to worry about my fly being down. Or, more likely, the end of the zipper sticking out.

2. No buttons. When I was a teenager I liked buttons on my pants, sometimes a lot of them, like these on the left.

I love my maternity jeans even though I am not and have never been pregnant.

(Fuck yeah Delias.)

But nowadays buttons lead to the Dreaded Button Pooch, where the button at the top has the denim sort of curve around it after one wear, and then if I wear a shirt that covers that button (so, all of them) it sticks out in a weird little lump.

Shirts, especially longish, fitted ones, lie perfectly on top of maternity pants.

3. They fit my body better. There's no weird waist gap in the back because the waist is elastic. They don't fall down and need to be tugged back up.

4. Unlike generic 'elastic waist jeans,' maternity pants have a wide, sturdy, FLAT band of elastic to hold them up. At least, the ones I like do. They're fitted and come in great cuts made by brands that make nice (ish, at least) things. If I google 'elastic waist jeans' this is what pops up:

I love my maternity jeans even though I am not and have never been pregnant.

No.

By contrast, if I search 'maternity jeans,' this is what I get:

I love my maternity jeans even though I am not and have never been pregnant.

Better. There are issues in the top results for both searches, but one of them is clearly preferable.

Downsides: There's the slight downfall of not being able to tuck shirts into them, but I wear most shirts untucked. I don't mind having a separate pair of jeans for that. And you have to buy them a size smaller than normal, I guess, could be a downside?

The first time I bought maternity pants was online (not the first time I bought maternity clothes though... that was at Target, where the maternity stuff is the best stuff anyway and it's always mixed into the rest of the sales stuff so you don't know it's a maternity maxi dress until you notice the tag at the register). I was shopping for jeggings — judge me, I don't care, I'm talking about maternity pants here — and realized what I really wanted were elastic waist jeans without too much stretch in the legs. And... that's pretty much the whole story.

That story wouldn't have happened without online shopping, because embarrassment. I think the biggest issue with wearing maternity pants when not pregnant is the shame. When I buy them I order online and avoid the weird guilt of going to a checkout and having someone see me buying maternity clothes unpregnant. This is the real reason I'm writing this, because I know I'm ashamed to wear maternity clothes. I don't tell anyone in real life... but I figure I can't be alone in this.

Why should I feel bad about my maternity pants? They're super comfortable and I love them! I sometimes wear them two days in a row! And, real talk, they look better on me than every other pair of jeans I own with the right tops. I believe it's to do with two things: fat shaming, because people still like to tell jokes about how pregnant women are "fat," and because of a weird psychological disconnect that pregnant women can't, or maybe shouldn't, look "good." (Like, sexy good. Physically attractive good.)

These are cultural things that suck. Fat shaming sucks, and anyway, pants don't change your body type so regardless of what size or shape you are they're still just pants. Thinking pregnancy makes women somehow not attractive in a way nonpregnant women are expected to be also sucks. Pregnant women get to decide how sexy they want to present, not everyone else.

I'm sure there are other reasons, but I don't care. I just wanted to let everyone know I love my maternity jeans and I hope lots more people who are not pregnant buy them and also enjoy their benefits without feeling bad about it. Because it's dumb to feel bad about pants.