The battle for gender equality is now being fought between the cheeks, if The New York Times is to be believed. Thongs are on their way out, while sales of full-back panties are on the rise. (According to the American market-research group NPD, “sales of thongs dropped by 7 per cent over the last year, while sales of fuller styles, like briefs, boy shorts and high-waist briefs, have grown a collective 17 per cent.”)
How can we explain the ascendance of granny panties, once reserved for our dumpiest, bloatiest “I don’t care about panty lines” moments? The Times points to “the same kind of contrarianism that helped elevate Birkenstocks and fanny packs.” Read: Feminists are rejecting the idea of underwear-as-lacy-oppression — much in the same way we did corsets. A slightly more measured interpretation of the trend suggests ladies are embracing undergarment options as diverse as their body types, electing to wear whatever-the-hell-they-feel like — even if it’s not laundry day. Which is cool.
So whether you believe a vote for the thong is a vote for the patriarchy or you’re just tired of sexy wedgies, be warned: fashion is cyclical, so the G-string will be back in vogue eventually. In the meantime, we have this very, very excellent tribute song to lean back on: