As per usual, the Daily Mail sidebar of shame has wisdom to impart and this is it. What do you think about when you put your underwear on in the morning? Is it a date day? A home day? An out with friends day? Should it be lacy; racy; black; blue; secret; or to be seen? Oh the indecision that twenty first century women must grapple with!
Written by women who are either, presumably the intellectual equals of some kind of polyp, or have presumably been reduced to that by years of tedious features meetings, the intellectual hand grenade that is the Mail’s Underwear ‘stance’ lumps us into two groups based on our underwear choices: sloth or slut. There is no middle ground, no trusty comfort pants. You’re either Bridget Jones or Busty Belinda. Your shaved area is either sheathed in silky satin or swimming in crusty discharge.
You may have always assumed your choice of underwear to be personal and unimportant in the grand scheme of things. It may even be something that you don’t think about at seven o’clock in the morning when you crawl out of bed and sluggishly begin to prepare yourself for the eight hours of mind-guzzling, soul-eating tedium that stretch out before you like a corpulent tapeworm being unraveled on a laboratory counter.
But YOU WERE WRONG. In fact, your pants and how they reflect you are as important an issue as European debt or African famine; or Frankie from the Saturdays wearing a tight t-shirt.
Amanda Platell examines this in her column today (Mail Online 23rd Feb). Amanda owns 36 bras. She asks “what kind of woman could only own 9?” It’s a bra-off the likes of which has only been seen on page 3.
What kind of woman indeed? Bearing in mind that a week generally consists of seven days, and the majority of women have only two breasts, 9 seems, to me, a perfectly reasonable number. I know people who get by on 3. Amanda, however, has so many bras last week she gave away six to a friend. How lovely. It’s good to know that the Mail is taking the deprivation wrought by the recession seriously. Apparently, her poor friend has lots of kids and little money, so will scoop up any bra going even if it is two sizes too small. So what kind of woman has only nine bras? A slob, it seems, and one who’s totally fucked financially, and probably rues the day she made a friend like you, Amanda, who feels the need to reflect on her underwear-related philanthropy on the pages of a national newspaper.
Platell wouldn’t be a Femail journalist if she didn’t refer to the eternal goddess, our Saviour, the shining sun of humanity that is Carrie Bradshaw. This fictional totem that’s been telling us what we already knew for the best part of the last two decades, the woman who views shopping as a kind of creativity, enjoys regular, no-strings attached sex and owns a preposterous quantity of designer footwear despite the fact that she works from home as a freelance journalist. On one hand, the slobby single mother. On the other, a sexually liberated ‘slut.’
So that’s the choice ladies. Slob or slut. The thought of being dictated to about what type of underwear I choose to put on in the morning is a terrifying thought. Literal body snatchers, fabricated from flimsy elastic and cheap fabric, are marking me out as belonging to one tribe or another. If a pair of novelty knickers found their way to the top of my underwear drawer, perhaps featuring a lovely reindeer motif, I’d put them on. In June. Like the season-less hussy that I am.
And then I’d tell anyone who dared criticise my choice of pants to FUCK OFF.
By Kate Bellamy