[New York]: On Tiny Underwears
A hilarious manifesto in the Times of London today about the 1990s and 2000s trend of ever-tinier underpants for women, a topic about which I have (cough) absolutely no prior knowledge or opinion.
These tight, elasticated, supposedly saucy partitions across the mid-derriere are, in terms of both comfort and aesthetics, as cruel as the partition between India and Pakistan. There is catastrophic physical displacement. Entire body parts are split asunder, and undertake vast migrations. With my own eyes, I have seen women walking around out there with anything between two and eight buttocks – and placed anywhere between the hip and the mid-thigh. This enforced deformity is not the fault of the pants. They are little guys, simply overwhelmed by the task that faces them. They are outnumbered. They are the Alamo. They are, indeed, often in terrible danger – many look like they’re on the verge of being absorbed by their owners.
The columnist announces she is sick of these tiny underpants:
Women, this manner of underwear cannot be an act of sanity. Why are we starving our bottoms of the resources – like an extra metre of material – to stay comfortable? Why have we succumbed to pantorexia? It is, of course, all a symptom of women’s continuing, demented belief that, at any moment, they might face some snap inspection of their “total hotness,” and have to reveal their underwear to a baying crowd, possibly featuring George Clooney. In this respect, women have communally lost all reason. Ladies! On how many occasions in the past year have you needed to wear sexy pants? In other words, to break this right down, how many times this year have you suddenly, unexpectedly, had sex in a brightly lit room, with a hard-to-please erotic connoisseur? Exactly. On those kind of odds, you might just as well be keeping a backgammon board down there, to entertain a group of elderly ladies in the event of emergencies. It’s more likely to happen.
Of course, while ostensibly both a literally and figuratively small problem, in actuality, women’s tiny pants have massive ramifications for us as a nation. It cannot have gone unnoticed that our global power has waned in tandem with the waning of our pants. When women wore undergarments that extended from chin to toe, the sun never set on the British Empire. Now the average British woman could pack a week’s worth of pants into a matchbox, however, we have little more than dominion over the Bailiwick of Jersey, and the option to buy-to-let the Isle of Man.