Whale Tails, Granny Panties and Everything In Between:
What Is Your Daughter Wearing Under There?
With the rise (pun intended) of low-rise jeans, it’s become a fashion statement to show just a hint of thong, aptly called a whale tail. I confess, I tried wearing a thong once. I couldn’t walk the next day and decided that this fashion statement wasn’t for me. From a sheer standpoint of comfort, I’m not a fan, though many say they find them more comfortable than panties. (Incidentally, thongs aren’t anything new. Usage dates back to ancient Rome where men — not women — reached for them prior to athletic competitions because they found them more — you guessed it — comfortable!)
More and more, teenage girls are pleading with their moms to come into the new millinea and just let them wear thongs! Should you say “yes”? Should you say “no”? Here are some things to consider and discuss with your daughter when the question arises. The answer is up to you.
First, consider your daughter’s health. Wearing thongs has been associated with recurrent urinary tract, vaginal, and bacterial infections. The most common type is a yeast infection, which is nasty and itchy but not terribly dangerous, but some infections can have long-term implications including infertility. One doctor explained that the tiny string of fabric is like a little subway that carries bacteria from (shall we say) the hind region to the forefront. That’s not good. If you decide it is okay to wear thongs, consider not wearing them all the time. It’s important to give the female body some breathing room by trying other styles. It’s especially important not to sleep in thongs, according to doctors. If “granny panties” scare your daughter, try a cute pair of boy-shorts or bikinis. If VPL (visible panty lines) are even scarier to you than granny panties, you could consider Spanx or cheaper versions of the same type garment. (But most teenage girls find them even more frightening. You can, however, make the point that there is more than one way to get a smooth look.)
Second, consider the guys in your daughter’s life. Here’s a fact: thongs are sexy. Seeing a thong — whether it’s through the fabric you’re wearing or because it’s peeking above your low-rise jeans — is sexual. (Incidentally, in case you didn’t know: when a thong peaks up over a girl’s pants, it is called a “whale tail” since the shape looks like … well, a whale’s tail.) No matter what, tell your daughter to remember this. Thongs are underwear. Where are they meant be worn? Under! (Just like a bra strap should be!) Make sure that whatever you wear, it’s concealed. Romans 14:21 admonishes us not to do anything that would cause our Christian brothers to stumble. Ask Dad or an older brother to weigh in on the conversation if your daughter is having a hard time understanding how inappropriate it is to show off your bra strap or whale tail. They’ll tell you many a guy has stumbled over a girl’s underwear.
Finally, be open to their opinion, but use this as a teachable moment to teach respect and submission. Your daughter just might have some strong opinions about this. If she disagrees with yours, encourage her to respect your authority.
One more thing: a whale tail isn’t the only way to make a splash in this fashion-conscious world. (Pun definitely intended!)
Dannah Gresh is a best-selling author and the creator of Secret Keeper Girl. Best-known for And the Bride Wore White and Lies Young Women Believe (co-written with Nancy Leigh DeMoss), Dannah is a gifted communicator whose ministry focus is coaching moms to be great connectors to their tween and teen children. She and her husband Bob are left to run a menagerie of animals on a hobby farm since her three young adult children have flown the coop. Her happiest times are when all the chicks are back in the nest.