Hissy Fit - July 2024 - Cover Your Ass: Butt Why?

...because everyone needs one every once in awhile


July 2024 Issue
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen

Have you been to the beach lately? As part of my “summering” that I promised to do in last month’s Publisher’s Note, I recently enjoyed a beautiful, relaxing day at Coligny Beach on Hilton Head Island.
Though the ocean delivered as promised—the gentle waves, the balmy breeze, the healing salt water—humanity flooded the shore amidst its own storm. The girls in particular.

We need to have a discussion. In fact, I have had many discussions since my sunny beach day about the giant elephant in the room—female bathing suits that show girls’ entire bums. That’s right, a thong right up the crackadoodle with both butt cheeks fully exposed to every person on the beach. We used to call this “mooning” and it was illegal. I don’t know what to call it now. Normal?

I have had conversations with numerous people to try and understand what’s happening. I still don’t get it, but I understand there’s always two or more ways to look at it. And look at “it” I did, along with everyone else. In fact, you couldn’t not look at “it” because “it” was everywhere—hundreds of bare bums for as far as all could see.

My first conversation was with an 18-year-old boy who happened to be at the beach with me and his father that day. He immediately declared us judgmental. He didn’t care what they wore he said, claiming it wasn’t up to him to tell girls what to wear. Of course, he got defensive because parents don’t know anything…and we’re too old to think straight. Duh!

No pun intended, but the bottomline is that showing your whole ass sends a message, whether it’s intentional or not. I may sound prudish (or maybe just like a mom, and where are these girls’ mothers?), but I don’t like this trend. There are female body parts that are absolutely sexual, and a bare ass is at the top of the list.

If you think about it beyond the “we can do anything we want and you have to go along with it” mentality, no one should be happy about the bare butt beach strut. Girls are so competitive when it comes to looking good and having good bodies. The more you show, the more competitive the game gets. And it is a game—a harmful, self-degrading, head game. Now, if a girl wants to be a part of the “in crowd,” she has to worry if her bum is Kardashian-worthy. However, I assure you there are all kinds of butts out there, and I’m going out on a limb to say they ALL need to be covered more. This is not a size issue! This is a societal issue. Why do young women feel they have to overexpose themselves? When did showing your whole ass move from indecent exposure to A-OK?

Some say it’s empowering, others declare it’s degrading. I haven’t spoken to a woman over 38 yet who thinks it’s acceptable. Traditionally, thongs are either sexy underwear, sexy lingerie, or synonymous with strippers, and last I knew, very few moms raise daughters with the hopes of them being swallowed up into becoming a stripper. Has the relational aspect of sex been watered down so much that it’s acceptable for any and all boys/men/dads/granddads/sex traffickers to be privy to what once was considered a private part?

What was extra disturbing, were girls who put on their t-shirts, but the t-shirt wasn’t long enough to cover the bottom third of their bum. Therefore, it created the dreadful look of wearing no bottoms at all. (Sadly, I’ve seen this look at a nursing home, but it wasn’t on purpose) If photos were taken and shown to these girls, I think they would be mortified. (And don't think for a minute that strangers aren't taking pictures.)

My daughter was in middle school on the Volleyball team when she started the argument for thong underwear. “Mom, all the girls in the locker room wear thongs.” I didn’t care. What middle schooler needs thong underwear? “But Mom, they are more comfortable!” Ha! If I were selling bridges in Florida, she could have been my first sucker.

So here, about 12 years later, the thong has gone from the “popular” girls in the locker room to mainstream on the beach. This is where all the boy moms should be concerned. Boy moms know what makes their teenage and young adult sons tick—testerone! Looking at nudie magazines has been a way for boys and men to get turned on for eons. Now, the beach has practically become a live nudie magazine. How does a boy not get sexually stimulated when surrounded by so many public private parts?

Can women have it both ways? Flaunt their nakedness and not have men react? I’m definitely not saying it’s ok for boys/men to cross the line, or that “she dressed that way so she’s asking for it”; I don’t believe that at all. My point beckons the question is she protecting and serving her body by exposing her private parts to the world? Is it empowering to expose yourself? What is the thought process? Rebellion? Simply a trend? Bad-assery?

I wouldn’t know because I don’t have the courage, self-confidence, or the behind to even consider wearing a thong on the beach. However, I also don’t have respect for the girls/women who do. I believe less is more, and in this case, I’m referring to less nakedness. I don’t want my daughter to feel she has to show her ass in order to fit in. Honestly, the whole thing is pretty ridiculous, with families next to college students, all pretending like naked butts are nothing to look at.

Almost every choice we make should be centered around protecting and serving our best selves. Whether it’s how you make yourself look from the inside out, or outside in, take care of yourself—mind, body and soul. Your body is your temple, the vessel of your life, make sure it reflects and serves the person you want to be.

However, one must not forget,
it has always been a good rule of thumb to cover your ass.