Pant Rant in A# Minor

First, I admit it. My credentials in regards to the subject of women’s fashion rest completely upon occasional proximity and infrequent discourse.  But this has still been sufficient enough that I, with great confidence, have been able to identify what seems to be the latest trend in feminine threads. Now despite the potential for profit, particularly for one such as myself, I am happy to share this information with any and all who might care to hear it. Why? I harbor a vain hope that someone, anyone, will be able to explain to me the cognitive process that leads so many of my female contemporaries to own sweatpants bearing writing across the arse.

So…if I say you have a butt like a billboard, would it be considered a compliment, an insult, or a statement of fact?

Qualifiers are in order. Being an introspective sort, I admit there is a potential this is not a new trend, and that it is possible I have just noticed. Being a heterosexual sort, I also admit that there is a possibility these unusual trousers exist for males too and I have not noticed. Those two points aside, I believe I first became aware these things existed when, upon climbing a tightly packed staircase on campus, I realized that floating at eye level three feet in front of me was a pair of sweatpants bearing the college’s name swaying to and fro. I’m also fairly certain it took an additional flight before I realized that our own campus bookstore likely retailed the pants I was seeing.

Let’s begin with the obvious – there is no tactful way to read the lettering on these pants. Thankfully, I possess no bizarre reading habits such as sticking out my tongue, lipping the words, or commenting to myself about what is written. If I did, it would endanger my person when I am…gifted…with reading material on my way up the steps, across the plaza, or in any situation where I’m within earshot or visual range of the owner of the item.

Now, for comparison, I submit what one does upon coming across an individual wearing an intriguing shirt.  You know, one with lettering on it.  If the position of their arms is such one cannot read the shirt, it is socially acceptable to request they move their arms so one might finish the reading, compliment the wearer, and move on with life. In the case of an individual with a wedgie which is preventing full appreciation of the text on their trousers, I am forced to conclude that there is no polite way to ask said individual to bend over so I can finish reading. And don’t even get me started about what might be an appropriate compliment…

Does it seem odd to anyone else that, by purchasing a pair of these pants, one is essentially paying for the privilege of allowing some other company or organization to use one’s own derrière as a billboard? To my way of thinking, it seems the companies doing the advertising should be paying per column inch for what many would argue is premium space. Then again, this sort of advertising possesses certain disadvantages as well. With the exception of canines and high school dances, “rubbing with butt cheeks” and “sitting upon” are generally not considered acceptable or hygienic ways of showing affection or respect. In addition, as was already hinted at, the only way to really display whatever might be advertised across one’s keister involves all the motions, minus one, most commonly associated with mooning. Finally, if anyone happened to follow up on the ad by, say, clicking for more information, methinks it would result in a potential customer being sent to jail.

To summarize, there’s really no way to talk about someone’s butt without the above coming up.

Regardless, advertising does not seem to be the central purpose of these lines of apparel. In fact, I think the central purpose of a few of them is to boggle the English majors. My favorite example comes from a trip to the cafeteria where, upon climbing some stairs, I found myself behind a girl wearing blue pants. On the back of these blue pants, in green letters, was the color-word, “PINK.” Allow me to reiterate: her pants were blue, and she had “PINK” written across the rump in green letters. Barring one funky washing accident, no PINK was ever involved in the production of those pants. All I really want to know now is whether they make a model that, instead of “PINK,” reads, “War is Peace.” If so, it may justify seppuku.


Outside of pants for the delusional, they also make pants that, as opposed to words and phrases, have hand-prints in the same general location. If the goal was to illustrate the difference between good touch and bad touch, labels might be in order. And finally, I have also seen one individual of formidable girth wearing sweatpants with XXXL written you-know-where. Apparently, they’ve stopped putting tags on the inside.

In days of old if one wanted to make a point, they had said point tattooed on some prominent bit of anatomy. In more modern times, one wore their opinion on their sleeve. My generation, it seems, has pioneered a new and previously underutilized method of self-expression – the rump.

I wish I could say I’m proud.