Who was the person who thought putting a piece of string between your butt cheeks would be a good idea? Did it have to do with panty lines, looking sexy, or something perhaps more practical? We were curious, so we looked into how the thong came to be. After the jump, a brief history of the teensiest garments in your underwear drawer.
- The thong has been around for ages. We’re talking thousands of years ago. So, like anything that has such a long history, it’s hard to say exactly when and where the thong came from, and which culture had really formalized the idea. What we do know is that thongs were originally designed for men. They evolved from the loincloth, a rudimentary undergarment designed to protect male genitalia. (Now, loincloths can be seen in Pocahontas-themed pornos and at Chippendale’s.)
- Thongs for men have been noted to have been present in Ancient Egypt and Africa as well as Greek, Roman, and Japanese cultures. (It was the standard uniform for sumo wrestlers, and still is.)
- Most sources concede that the modern thong was introduced in 1939 when NYC mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, demanded that nude dancers cover themselves a bit more.
- But the designer to really put his name to the style was Rudi Gernreich, who created a thong in 1974.
- Sources note, however, that thongs were extremely popular on the beaches of Brazil and with the country’s exotic dancers for years, and that the style only came to the United States in the ’90s. From there, it became a standard piece of lingerie, and all of a sudden Britney Spears’ g-string was hanging out of her pants and people were making songs about them.