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The Thong has Gone a Long Way

Sandra Prior
Aug 13, 2008
Seamless, crotchless, backless... never has a piece of fabric - or lack thereof - created as much sensation. The early 90s saw the rise of the thong - a sliver of fabric leading to a sexy V-shape at the back. The thong, or tanga as the Brazilians dubbed it, promised zero panty lines and plenty of sex appeal.

Its successors have included the G-string, bikini, brief, boyleg and high rise cut. But, despite what men's magazines would have us believe, it seems the average woman is no longer baring her cheeks in next to nothing lingerie. We still see women buying conventionally sexy G-strings but these days it's more about comfort. Boylegs are becoming more popular, especially the seamless variety.

Full coverage seamless boy shorts are also now available, ruling out the visible panty line problem. Remember Sex and the City's Carrie walking around her apartment in boyish Y-fronts, Cameron Diaz's boy shorts in Charlie's Angels and Bridget Jones's granny pants? It seems even Hollywood is saying, 'So long, thong...'

Bet your Bottom Dollar

So what's in a thong? Well, there's not much to it. Fabric, that is. But there is big money. In the early noughties, big business caught on to what a hit the lacy skivvies were. So did Hollywood. Sisqo released the irritatingly catchy 'Thong Song' in 2000. The same year Britney Spears released her second album and sexed up new image. As she purred on 'Oops... I did it again', a nation of teenage girls copied her low rise jeans and high rise thong look and imitated the accidentally on purpose thong flash. Two years later, a record 123 million thongs were sold in the US, more than double the number sold in 1998. American retail giant Abercrombe and Fitch even released a line of thongs targeted at 10 - 16 year old girls.

This year, online store cafepress reported that, with regards to political merchandise, thongs that are pro Barack Obama are ahead in sales, while Hilary Clinton has taken the lead in men's boxer sales. Then there's the whole underwear-as-outwear controversy. Blame it on Christina Aguilera. Remember her Dirty music video in 2002, which featured the singer in a boxing ring wearing cowboy leather chaps minus the crotch bit? In 2007 she released a follow up track, 'Still Dirrty', and vowed that she'll still be dirty at 60.

Not all thong wearers are created equal. While Christina might look cracking in a next to nothing leather number, Kim Kardashian might not. Thongs do not support even the slightest bit of junk in your trunk, as Jimmy Fallon sang in his Sisqo spoof 'Please don't wear that Thong: It shows off ya belly roll, don't wear that thong, thong, thong'.

The Future is Slight

Even though the thong may not be as popular now as it was when it first hit the shelves, it seems it's here to stay. Admittedly it's undergone a makeover of sorts - the thong of today bears little resemblance to the one that made its appearance in the early 90s. In 2004 an Australian invention called the backless thong appeared. Unlike the conventional thong, the back straps fit under the crease of the butt cheeks and the side strings fasten like bra straps around the hips.

Then there's the Cstring, which looks like an Alice band except one side has a gusset and the other a string. A built in wire keeps the thong in place, as there are no straps around the hips. It shows no panty line because, well, there are none. It's like a cricket box with a strip up the back. You can see it at Cstringdirect's website.
About the Author
Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at http://bodybuild.rr.nu.
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