Being alive in the modern day is so exciting for a lot of reasons. Kids are always finding new ways to try and have sex over the 'Net, we're constantly learning new stuff about dolphins, and, best of all, basically every month we all suddenly come to a consensus that a new part of the body is okay to show in public. It's like a roller coaster of bare erogenous zones! Which one will be next?
Less than a month ago, we posited that "topboob" or "full-on nipple boob" would be the Next Big Thing (via running out of boob areas to expose). No, not yet; today is not the full-on-nipple boob's day, decided the universal unconscious: so welcome to the Age of Underbutt.
The exposed underbutt may not be new, but, recently, it seems ubiquitous. New York City in the sweltering heat appears as a sea of exposed ass cheeks roiling about, mostly thanks to the so-called "cheeky shorts" being marketed by Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal, et. al. A "cheeky short" is like a regular short, only it's angled up at the sides so part of your bum dangles out. Cheeky!
There are quite a few pluses to the underbutt: it's really, really hot all the fucking time; you're young and carefree, so why not; they're probably more inexpensive because they contain as much fabric as your typical bucket hat. In addition, whenever I wear short shorts, I spend all my time frantically adjusting and tugging on them, taking on the appearance of a bipedal dog with an intestinal parasite. With cheeky shorts, you don't have to spend any time worrying, "Is my butt showing?" You can just walk around thinking, "What of it. This is my butt." That's probably really relaxing!
There's something perplexing about the garment, though. "My friends and I were talking about it this weekend and saying this was the first time we really felt like old people who didn't understand a teenage trend," said Katie, one of my coworkers, when the topic was broached. "I am 25! I SHOULD GET THE TRENDS. But I don't."
I don't really get it, either — nor does anyone I asked. Not even Chloë Sevigny! Okay, I didn't call her and ask myself because I'm kind of busy today, but she did made a grumpy comment to The Cut last month. Is our resistance to the underbutt the first symptom of descent into crotchety lameness? Are we, like, a step away from wheezing from our rocking chairs, "I don't like that Tweeter site because it seems pointless and self-indulgent! Have you kids heard of the band 'Train'?"
Here's a really abridged 95 Theses Against the Underbutt: 1. Your BUTT gets on the SUBWAY SEAT, which is where very drunk people go to poop their pants. 2. You might need to wax your entire body to wear them (a writer at xoJane, who is hugely enthused about the clothing item, put it thusly: "[To] wear shorts this short... you should probably get rid of all your pubes BUT I'M NOT SAYING YOU HAVE TO."). 3. If you don't arch your back all the time, they kind of look like diapers. 4. It seems like they would chafe a lot.
Whatever, though. For all I know, the children of the future (who will definitely live on a very hot post-apocalyptic rubble heap) will look at daguerreotypes of us and say, "What are these garbage clothes! Did they even have butt cheeks back then?"
In the future, everyone will be wearing Rihanna's denim thong.