“But could your undies be causing you serious health problems? And is there a real case for eschewing them altogether?”

i don’t even know, ya’ll…

except that, when i awoke this morning, this was the lead news story on the daily mail‘s main page. 

NEWS, people. on election day, no less. it’s moved down the page a bit now, but it’s still pretty prominent.

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full disclosure: i’m not good at writing on demand, but there’s been a demand…

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so i’mma attempt it and we’ll see how it goes.

firstly, MY SWEET LORD, what kind of underwear does the daily mail imagine we are wearing that it is constricting our ability to eat?!

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like, spanx 24/7??

secondly, THIS IS THE GREATEST LINE OF INQUIRY OF ALL TIME.

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seriously, if ever i can find a way to write an academic article about the lunacy of the reporting of the daily mail, title = there.

it’s got everything. serious health problems! stemming from underwear! so give them up altogether!

also the specification that there is not just “a case” for eschewing underwear but “a real case.” because #serioushealthproblems.

this is an amazing rhetorical feat. especially given it’s posed as a series of questions that seem to be uncertain about themselves (“But could…? And is…?”)

so obviously we’re all eschewing our underwear now, non?

true story: this may be the least self-aware article the daily mail has ever published. a conclusion i have reached a mere THREE sentences in.

exhibit a:

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be real. is there any less appropriate meta word about a daily mail main page news story on giving up underwear for health reasons than the adverb “quietly”?

there’s something disingenuous about appearing in a daily mail article about not wearing underwear and trumpeting the fact that no one knows you’re not wearing underwear. because, obviously, now we all know.

also, be honest with yourself- does anything about this story strike you as “extraordinary”?

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the word choice here does not seem to chime with reality.

so why are we giving up our underwear?

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BECAUSE OUR UNDERGARMENTS ARE KILLING US!!!!!

i know that i, more often than is probably socially acceptable, like to remind everyone that we’re all going to die and that, in living, we are actually in the process of dying every day, but still. how much easier would our lives be if we could accept this? in a world where we accepted this, would the daily mail even exist?

anyhoo, i am not equipped to discuss with you the probability that a pair of underpants could lead to organ prolapse, but somehow this seems unlikely. surely, SURELY, there was a preexisting condition. surely a $3 thong from target is not to blame.

yes, our bodies are fearfully made, but i cannot accept that matters could escalate that quickly.

alas, this is something the article does not explore. instead of illuminating the link between underwear wearing and organ prolapse (which seems a waaaaaaaaaaay more pressing line of inquiry), we pivot to an anecdote about how thongs are uncomfortable.

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pitty

except not really at all, right?

women’s clothing is uncomfortable! this is not shocking new news.

but, in light of this fact, gemma cromwell gave up wearing underwear.

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the central tension of this article is, for me, the repeated assertion that (1) this is an extraordinary circumstance and (2) that “nobody else would know.”

because it is in no way extraordinary and because, obviously, now we all know these women are not wearing drawers.

again, totally fine. and not even a question of “did we need to know that?” but rather, a question of: why does this qualify as news? (i did just check the byline to make sure this wasn’t written by a man. it wasn’t. becky dickinson, i mean, COME ON.)

there are, of course, some challenges to eschewing underpants…

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which makes me wonder what grant would have to say re: all this

(via the daily mail)

(via the daily mail)

do you think grant is sitting in his parlor drowning his sorrows at this loss of lady-likeness in goblets of noon-time wine?

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there’s a message of empowerment to be found here, in comments scattered throughout the article:

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there’s also loads ‘o scare-mongering…

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and this memorable medical advice from a rando dude at a fertility clinic:

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i find myself most troubled by the deeply strange emphasis on ass-shots…

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which, i guess, is intended to remind us of the horror of visible underwear lines? but winds up making everyone look like they’re in some sort of marks & spencer’s-sponsored pin-up calendar. which is, i think, something we can say with conviction we will none of us ever need.

it’s maybe worth mentioning that not wearing underwear is presented here as “the key to good health.”

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like: forget eating 12 prunes, 20 blueberries and a handful of almonds a day, running 10 miles, drinking a glass of wine, drinking 8 glasses of water, 2 cups of coffee, and doing yoga. ladies, it is your underwear that is holding you back.

this seems somehow reductive, no? i can’t decide if they’re making a broader claim that an avoidance of “‘ladies’ problems” equates to perfect health, or if they just want us all to doff our knickers (despite the disastrous effect this would have on fashion retailers).

and obviously, this article tells us nothing about the status of men’s underwear. should men eschew too?? we’re given no clue.

however, looking into my crystal ball and based on these quotes:

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i am quite sure that, within the next fortnight, we’ll be treated to a companion article… THE WOMEN WHO SAY THEY DON’T ALWAYS WEAR BRAS (AND SOMETIMES WEAR BANDAIDS WHEN A STRAPLESS DRESS CALLS FOR IT)… IT SOUNDS WILD BUT- SURPRISE!- IT HAPPENS- AND IT COULD KILL YOU.

2 thoughts on ““But could your undies be causing you serious health problems? And is there a real case for eschewing them altogether?”

  1. I feel like it’s been proven that men’s underwear actually has more potential “health risks” than women’s, because anatomy. but that being said, I’ve blamed Spanx for a yeast infection before.
    more troubling: the Mail loooooves these entirely anecdotal pieces.

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