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Home > Culture and Society

My Thongs: # 8245 - 8249

5 August 2005

This week's 'gay old time' moment for the media came in the form of a skimpy little downturn in the sale of thongs. Still clearly gasping for funnies, all the papers pounced like pun-hungry tigers. Yes, the laughable excuses for knickers are no longer selling like hot hookers. Apparently it's all the fault of chavvy
women who are often seen displaying the offending articles so far above the tops of their trousers that they get their hoop earrings caught, and no one wants to be mistaken for a chav. Not even chavs, probably. They'd just batter you. So the fear of being associated with a mostly media-created underclass has sent panicky fashion-conscious women scurrying back to pantsville,
considering VPL a whole lot classier by comparison. Thongs have been dividing opinion (as well as... no, let's not stoop to that) for some years now. Once ruder and racier than 'Daisy Does Every Football Player She Missed The First Time', the teeny-weenies went from the pages of pornos to every high street clothes shop via MTV. They were immortalised along the way by R'n'B buffoon
Sisqo, which did little for their kudos.

Fashion aside, there's the inevitable hipsters-give-you-arthritis health angle. Thongs are well known for their tendency to simply become absorbed by the body, leaving only a morsel of elastic sticking out from the small of the back. Thousands of mortified women walk very oddly into casualty departments each year, to have the infernal undies surgically extracted from their terribly embarrassing bits.

Amongst all the perfectly reasonable sniggering, there's been some thoughtful stuff written about the struggle for women to find a happy place with regards what they cover themselves with - to look stylish and yet be free from the tyranny of prodding wires and pinching waistbands. We've had a bit of interesting discourse on the evolution of underwear, from voluminous chastity-protecting pelvis-huggers to preposterous cobwebs with as much credibility in clothing terms as the Cheeky Girls in Carnegie Hall. From thence you creep into the domain of the conspiracy-truffle-pig: for those who saw Kylie's cancer as
society's punishment to the glamorous child-free popette, the decline of the thong is a giant big-knickered step back towards Victorian repression, or at least Doris Day-esque subservience with a smile. Who would have thought there'd be so much mileage in so little fabric?

So another contentious consumer durable has had its day, taking with it the physical and psychological discomforts of thousands of self-conscious, slightly itchy or just bored women who may or may not be desperate not to look slutty. Since TFT has no such inhibition, we will be happy to accept all your cast-offs. Or you could just make them into hammocks for kittens.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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