It’s not an accident that when I rummage through my underwear drawer on laundry day, the only pair I can find is a lacy red thong or a silky black G-string. I wear my favorite intimates first, and am then left with the rest as a last resort. But in my case, the last resort is what other people would call “sexy lingerie.”
Yes, I’m a lover of granny panties.
Back in high school, I joined in with the rest of my friends were trying on tiny undies and thong shopping. This is the only reason I own “sexy underwear” to begin with — they’re left over from my experimental days. As I grew up, I came to two conclusions. One, granny panties are fucking comfortable, and two, the only person I should worry about impressing is myself.
My pals who know about my panties secret tease me whenever the subject comes up. I’m compared to “30 Rock’”s leading lady, Liz Lemon, who expressed excitement about packing underwear that “wasn’t grey” for a romantic weekend visiting her boyfriend. My own actions mirror this same quality: valuing comfort over typical assertions of sensuality.
It wasn’t until I was sitting in my senior Women’s and Gender Studies seminar — please excuse the stereotype — that I didn’t feel so alone in my passion for ‘granny’ fashion. “I don’t understand how girls think it’s comfortable to wear a piece of string up their ass,” one of my classmates lamented. Finally, an opinion about underwear from one of my peers that I could stand behind!
Young women often consider their sexual partners and what they think will embody “sexuality” when on the prowl for a new pair of intimates. There’s certainly pressure placed on us by the dominant narrative of young men who make their desires clear, but this is also perpetuated women who feed into the negative stereotypes about “granny panties” and how truly awful they are. Sure, some individuals claim to like thongs because they find them to be comfortable in their own way. Yet this idea of authentic comfort is complicated when notions of “sexiness” and VPL (visible panty line) are rooted in extensive marketing tactics and cultural norms that determine our underwear fate.
Panties might seem like too small a problem — and a personal one at that — but the politics of underwear is important and relevant. Even the language and rhetoric around “granny panties” is problematic. The underwear I purchase hardly resembles something that my own grandma wears because they contain more material than the average underwear and therefore fall into the same category as old-lady attire.
The truth is, I love my granny panties because they are the exact opposite of awful. Just because a pair of underwear doesn’t fit into the thong category doesn’t mean it can’t be sexy — there are plenty of styles and options that offer sex appeal as much, if not more, than your average thong does. I love my granny panties because they’re comfortable and comfort, I’ve found, can be the sexiest form of self-confidence.
And that’s why I don’t listen to my complaining girlfriends: at the end of the day, I wear my underwear for me, myself, and I only. Rocking my granny panties make me feel confident, comfortable, and sexy — and if that’s not enough to impress someone, they shouldn’t have the privilege of looking at my underwear in the first place.
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