First, let me make this clear: I don't care if other people want to swear off underwear. If you want to air your vagina in the honeyed summer breezes of public transportation or your cube farm employer or the law school library, I would never move to interfere with your desire to do that. In America, everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the ability to air out their frilly lady flaps, that's what I've always said. But for the love of everything holy and good, please don't pressure me to skip the skivvies.
According to a piece that ran on Nerve today, clothing cut in such a way that wearing underwear is impossible stands to be the hottest trend of summer 2014. All of the cool kids are doing it. Kendall Jenner is doing it. Malin Ackerman is doing it. Gwyneth Paltrow is doing it. And meshy, cutout-y, high-cut fashion designs that were once appropriate exclusively for the clubbiest of clubs are now cool to wear in the street. "It's official: we are all going commando this season" proclaims Nerve.
This is my nightmare.
Not to give you too much information about my sin hole, but I'm what I guess I'd classify as an underwear devotee. I wear underwear under tights, under running shorts. I wear underwear with tight dresses, under leggings. When I get out of the shower, the first thing I do after I've dried off is rush to put on some underwear. I wear underwear to bed. If something sexy happens before I go to sleep and I drift off without underwear on, I'll wake up in the middle of the night, gripped by a feeling of vulnerability bordering on mild panic that can't be calmed until I've located my underwear and put them on. I've never been prone to any sort of downtown shenanigans (that's the medical phrase for "vagina problems"). I've never even had a yeast infection. I always assumed that it was because I'm always so carefully covered with one of the hundreds of pairs of underwear that I meticulously and regularly replenish.
Turns out, that conclusion has come out of nowhere and I might in fact be kind of an idiot. In discussing my trepidation about the spread of the commando dress with my coworkers, I was more than a little surprised to find out that my clinging to skivvies makes me the weird one, that most women in my small professional circle fling aside underwear like it's something that oppresses them. They sleep sans bottoms, they rely on their gym shorts to provide the crotch coverage they need at the gym. They welcome our cutout side dress overlords with open arms and dropped panties. They're not afraid, at a base level, that if they don't wear underwear, something terrible could happen to their vaginas. A bug could get in there! A sperm could get in! A genie could get in!
I realize that this sounds crazy, but I hope, for the sake of my weird desire to wear underwear at all times even in the shower (not really) that the "commando dress" or "commando skirt" doesn't become the next regrettable trend, the heir apparent to the unfortunate space now occupied in our memories by ultra-low rise jeans.
So take off your underwear all you want. Just, please, don't support trends that mandate the rest of us take ours off, too.