So, today I was driving down Brown Street when two otherwise attractive, athletic looking young men stepped off the sidewalk in an attempt to run across the street before traffic impeded their path. What caught my attention was not that two pedestrians were suddenly in the road but that they waddled in such an awkward manner I thought something was wrong with them. Then, I saw it.
A tuft of billowing cotton ballooned out of the back of each man’s trousers. The one with a fluffy cloud of green plaid poking out his behind appeared to have a little more coordination than his buddy, who had clearly been accosted as his pants were so far down that his entire buttocks were exposed. A great mound of white cotton puffed up behind him. Surely, he was disoriented, still in a state of shock having just been mugged. But as they reached the other side of the road and continued on their way, boxers softly swaying in the breeze, I realized the underwear expose was intentional.
I had to concentrate to stay on the road. “Green undies” was a little distracting but “white undies” was cause for great alarm. While white undies had to walk in a weird John Wayne meets my Uncle Luster manner (Uncle Luster fell off a ladder in his 40s and always leaned to one side and swung his arms in an exaggerated fashion to keep his balance), I was looking at a young man who was doing untold damage to his hips. Because his gait was so unnatural, he was (is) causing long term damage to his skeletal system.
I am aware of what saggin’ or jailin’ is but, honestly, it is so 1990s I had not realized that anyone still did it. As my car drew nearer, white undies’ backside seems to grow disproportionally and I suddenly thought of my old horse, Sammy.
Sammy was a beautiful Paint horse, nearly 16 hands with wide, wide hindquarters. For the most part, Sammy was just a regular guy. He was a smart, athletic, funny horse but when the ladies came by (two mares down the street), Sammy would run to the edge of our pasture and stamp he’s feet impatiently until the mares (and riders) came upon us. Then just as the mares came to the edge of our property, Sammy would swing around, putting his backside to the gals. He would look back at them as if to say, “Heeeeey, ladies. Check this out.” It was funny, if not a little embarrassing, to watch but in horsey world having a super wide rump is super sexy.
Is this why “white undies” and “green undies” puffed up their undergarments for us? Were they hitting on me? Could this be the reason that innocent, normal underwear wearing people have been forced to look at young men’s pluming boxers for the last decade? Well, let me clarify right here and now that there has been a horrible misunderstanding. Dear “white undies,” at no time in the history of womankind have we ever been heard to utter, “Oh, yes, I love a man with a wide, wide, fluffy bum.”
Sadly, however, there may be other reasons for “white” and “green undies” to reveal themselves to us in the way that they do. It is not just for the love of women (I’m telling ya, kid! No woman wants to see your under-roos!) but for the love of rap music. It was in the ‘90s that rappers popularized sagging pants as an act of defiance (translation: stupidity) against the system (translation: prison) to show they could not be brought down (translation: belts are not issued in prison and with the typical one-size-fits-all pants issued to prisoners, they often deal with sagging pants). In rapper world, this is incredibly important because you cannot be “legit” until you’ve done time. Ah, yes. And so we should all aspire to be a drain on society, needlessly use federal funds, lose the right to vote and severely decrease our chances of any employer ever wanting to hire us. But we have wide fluffy bums!
Even more mystifying than all this, however, is the rumored origin of the saggy pants. It goes like this. Sagging pants is thought to be a symbol (in prison) that the wide, fluffy bummed guy is sexually available to other prisoners and/or has already been taken by another inmate. Although the rumor has been dispelled by many, it continues to float out there which begs my question to “white” and “green undies.” Dear “white” and “green undies”: Despite distracting countless drivers with your wide, fluffy bum, why would you risk sending suspect signals to the criminal element?
Throughout time there have always been fashion trends that raise eyebrows. We nearly killed the women of Victorian times with rib crushing corsets and how many pioneer women either drowned or died of heat stroke because of the layers upon layers of undergarments. In more recent times, the embarrassing Flashdance leg warmers of the ‘80s were matched with the men’s mesh “wife beater” shirt which was a pointless draping of cloth over ones back and partial chest. But nothing, no item of clothing in all of humankind, no style, no trend, not even a Halloween costume is more purposefully stupid than taking a perfectly good pair of pants and belting them under your buttocks with the sole intent of 1) showing off your wide, fluffy bum while 2) simultaneously displaying your inability to walk right (much less run) so that you can 3) look forward to years of physical therapy later in life because you have so screwed up your lower back, knees and hips while 4) ensuring no employer, professor or other adult will have any respect for you all because you felt the need to copy how an artist dresses.
Seriously. I like the singer Katy Perry but I don’t feel the need to dye my hair blue and wear a tube top.
Dear “white” and “green undies”: To truly make your mark in life, to be an independent, free-thinking spirit, to show not only yourself but the world that you are confident and strong, do not belittle yourself with ridiculous, self-mocking style. Dress with style and class and remember … no one wants to see your wide fluffy bum.
PS – Much to Sammy’s disappointment, not even the mares were impressed.
Now residing in “the nicest city in Texas,” Alexandra Allred is the author of numerous books, including White Trash, Damaged Goods and the Allie Lindell series. Visit her website, www.alexandratheauthor, or Twitter @alexandraallred but always check out her column the WDL as she ponders all things Waxahachie and beyond its borders.