On Feb. 9, Virginia’s House of Delegates approved a law making it illegal to show your skivvies in public. Dubbed “the droopy pants bill,” it called for a $50 fine to anyone exposing their undies in a “lewd or indecent manner” (as opposed to displaying your knickers in a tasteful, discreet manner). But just a day later, someone apparently wised up to this simply comical waste of governmental time and money, and the bill was axed by the commonwealth of Virginia’s Senate committee.
CNN’s online reports on the story included photographs of a man’s boxers emerging from his sagging pants … but where was the photo of the chick with her thong yanked up to her thorax?
Yes, sagging pants and prominently displayed underwear are no longer just the realm of NBA players, hip-hop stars and prepubescent boys who mangle gang signs and sputter out “Yo-yo” like they have Tourette’s. As low-rise pants have gradually descended further and further south (sometimes you can practically see a woman’s mons pubis) it’s become fashionable for a sweet young thing to have her thong hanging out in public.
In 2002, salon.com was just one of many publications to declare butt crack the new cleavage. This movement was propelled in part by Hollywood starlets marching down the red carpet in completely backless gowns, cut so low they brazenly exposed territory that previously had only been associated with overweight plumbers. These days, just about any glossy dance club in the metro area will reveal girls in shockingly low-cut pants with their Day-Glo pink thongs purposefully and proudly hiked up above the hipbones, for all the world to see. Hell, even the granola crunchy Jewel was photographed on the cover of Blender with her thong hiked high above her hip huggers (or, more aptly, crotch huggers).
But take note, ladies — not just any type of visible unmentionables is sexy, so you can’t go prancing around with your white granny panties spilling over your belt. No, it’s specifically the micro-mini G-strings — or ass floss, as my friend calls them.
Capitalizing on this trend, lingerie designers are now producing thongs that are meant to be seen in public; the T-backs of these thongs are decorated with tiny flowers, bows or other cutesy shit. For $25, Victoria’s Secret offers a microscopic piece of filmy triangular fabric, the back decorated with a string of rhinestones, metal charms, or some other form of chick bling that looks like it belongs on a tacky barrette. I know what you’re thinking, girls — gee, what could possibly be more comfortable than a cold wedge of cheap rhinestones riding your ass crack? And for $58 (more than the Virginia fine) you can pick up a red band of lace attached to a single string of faux pearls — and yes, it’s supposed to be underwear. While I’m sure this seems incredibly luxurious and opulent, I can’t imagine that flossing your crotch with a string of pearls is very comfy. (I could make another crack about a pearl necklace, but I’ll refrain.)
Most guys I know get a thrill from catching a glimpse of a girl’s panties — but this trend of purposefully displaying undie bling offers an intentional, not accidental, glimpse. As many a sex therapist or feminist has expounded, men are intrigued by something they’re not supposed to see. This is the same reason strippers sport tan lines; they make the customer think he’s seeing something he’s not supposed to — even though he just shelled out $100 for a naked lap dance with Bambi. So, this whole overt “look at my panties” shtick makes it that much less spontaneous, mysterious and naughty.
Oh, who am I kidding? Guys are guys, and a chick’s underwear is still a chick’s underwear, whether she intended to show it to you or not.
Personally, I find visible thong tacky, especially when it’s blatantly yanked up, grazing the edge of the last rib — but what really gets me is that even our nether regions have turned into yet another form of human billboard. Some guys who buy Tommy Hilfiger or Calvin Klein underwear will hike the waistband — imprinted with the designer’s name — above their jeans, specifically so you know who made their designer drawers. And Victoria’s Secret offers a thong backed by a sparkling rhinestone “V.”
Come on, kids — if your ass is advertising for these companies, shouldn’t you at least get a cut of the profit?Sarah Klein is the culture editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org