Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Story of, Oh!

Can we talk undies? Or less specifically, can we talk underwear (as in, bras included)?

I know this topic may seem frivolous, but it's something I've genuinely been thinking about a great deal--well, that and pubic hair, but for now I'll leave that one alone. I'm totally content to wait until another time to talk about the hairless trend that suggests nothing to me but pedophilia and a disturbing chasm between what is natural and what we, as a people, have become.

For now, I'll just talk undergarments.

Specifically, women's.

Specifically, women's undergarments of color.

Of course there's a story:

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend who had recently gone to the doctor. As she was relaying some information about the visit, she told me, seriously horror stricken--and I mean seriously horror stricken. Mock horror was nowhere to be found--that she hadn't been expecting to take her pants off and was wearing (gasp! Horror of horrors!) purple panties!

That's right, you read that correctly. She was wearing (gasp! Horror of horrors!) purple panties.

Panties that were PURPLE!

Are you horrified?

If you're not, perhaps you're not getting what I'm throwing down.

This woman went to a doctor's office and disrobed to reveal undies that were not white, nor beige, nor brown, nor even an inappropriately girlish yet semi-respectable pink, but rather purple. Throw-caution-to-the-wind, high-falootin', devil-may-care, may-as-well-admit-you've-blown-the-whole-football-team purple.

And of course I believe none of this to be true.

For sure, the story of the purple panties is true, as well as is my friend's horror and embarrassment over the "incident." But my feelings about it actually run more from shock and horror to an unbelievable lack of caring. Who the fuck cares what color underwear somebody wears?

At the time of her embarrassed confession, I chalked it up to her being much older than I am and therefore, having different ideas of what's respectable and permissible and what is not. Months passed, and I pretty much forgot about the purple underwear incident, but a few days ago, I got to thinking about it all over again.

There's a story, of course:

I was in my classroom talking not to somebody twenty-something years older than I, but a few someones twenty-something years younger, and the topic of underclothes color came up again. One of my former students, a girl of seventeen, said something about how having a hot pink bra named (I'm sorry, but I don't remember the bra's name) was absolutely the best thing ever. She kind of caught me off guard, because, really, how often does somebody make an announcement about a bra that has a name? so I said something like, Huh? and she repeated the exact same thing. I won't say it was contrived, but I will say that this girl definitely wanted to talk about her bra, and I'll also say that the fact that it was hot pink was definitely crucial to that desire.

We shared some words, I don't remember which ones, but they definitely reinforced the notion that this girl's bra being hot pink was significant, at least to her, and then two girls next to us joined the conversation. What was she saying about bras? they wanted to know. And so the hot pink color once again came up, as well as the name and the fact that she got it from Victoria's Secret, and then the girls did something shocking. The girls acted...shocked.

Hot pink? one asked.

Hot pink? repeated the other.

Bras in colors are fun, said the girl who was most likely, at that very moment, wearing a hot pink bra under her probably-not-so-coincidentally-hot-pink tank top.

I don't know about a hot pink bra! one of the girls exclaimed.

You could see it through your clothes! exclaimed the other.

It's pretty hard to hide a hot pink bra! came from girl number one.

Yeah, it'll show in anything you wear! came from the other.

The owner of two hot pink bras, plus however many black ones, polka-dotted ones, and who-the-fuck-cares ones, I felt like I was in an episode of The Twilight Zone. Were these seventeen-year-old girls seriously having a conversation about hot pink bras as if they were in some way risque or inappropriate? What kind of alterna-world had I stumbled into?

Apparently it wasn't an alterna-world at all, and after that conversation, my previous purple-panty conversation was, naturally, on my mind. After having been privy to both conversations, I had no choice but to come to the conclusion that this line of thinking may not be so anomalous, and it got me wondering. Am I the weird one? The questionably moral one? The one who doesn't know appropriate from not, just some harlot strutting around in her purple panties, hot pink bras, and nipple clamps?

Okay, that last one was a jest, but seriously, it's 2014 and women are shocked and/or ashamed by the color of underclothes?

It all equates to sexuality, of course, as well as societal expectations of women and what we've been taught is acceptable and unacceptable in terms of our "brazenness" in the bedroom and in all matters in any way connected.

It all equates to good girls don't but bad girls do.

Purple panties on a sixty-year-old woman suggest the idea of a sixty-year-old woman who is not chaste.

A bra that is apparent, be it the hint of a hot pink strap or the entire outline of hot pink through a lighter-than-hot-pink shirt, suggests the idea of breasts.

And you all know what not chaste and breasts mean:


And you know what sex means.


I'm sorry, I thought I said it was 2014.