This is a post about butts, and for that I apologize. Unlike Olivia, I'm not super fond of my ass -- it's wide and flat, like a snowplow, and it's covered in a disproportionate number of moles which will probably eventually kill me because I can't crane my neck around far enough to check 'em out for cancer.
On the whole, it looks kind of like a half-cooked, lumpy tortilla, and its appeal for me extends no further than its use as a cushion for my near-daily trip-and-fall. But for someone who doesn't particularly like her rear, I sure spend a lot of time showing off the top two inches of it to strangers and compatriots alike.
When I went to my parents' house for Thanksgiving, I entertained myself one evening by sitting at our kitchen bar stools and bothering my mother as she chopped potatoes for the mashing. Every time my dad walked by, he would slap his hand on my lower back and growl, "Pull up your pants."
Because my dad and I have synchronized short tempers, I'd get irrationally angry. "I'm wearing a belt," I'd hiss back at him.
"I said, pull them UP!"
And thus it continued. Eventually, I passive-aggressively made a Spotify playlist called "My pants are too big" and stomped over to blast it while sitting on the couch. Low-rise jeans, man -- who knew they'd cause more family conflict than the presidential election?
Unfortunately, my lower half is shaped as such that it is really hard to find on-trend pants that don't end up halfway down my ass by midday. Since my waist isn't that small in comparison to my hips, I tend to buy pants that button comfortably but give me what one of my housemates calls "diaper-butt." Apparently I picked up some trouser-habits from my brother when he was going through the Dread Sag of Boys Aged 12.
This gets even worse after I wear my pants a few days in a row, which always tricks me into thinking I've lost weight but really means that my cheap-ass H&M jeans are succumbing to the stretch-power of my quads. Again.
Because I'm twitchy as hell, walk up a lot of hills, and tend to curl up in weird positions while sleeping on public transit, I generally end up exposing some severe ass-crack (or, if I'm wearing my Sexy Target Underthings, at least a strip of panties). Somewhat counterintuitively, like Emily, the prospect of upskirt flashing doesn't really bother me -- it's just the Mario Brother-style coinslot action that I feel self-conscious about.
Even though I'm not sure, in theory, what the aesthetic difference really is between tit-cleave and butt-cleave, from a professional perspective I'd like to minimize the amount of wriggle room I'm giving myself back there.
Last week, I tried the TUMMYBAND, which purports to solve this problem by making it look like you have a tank top tucked into your pants whenever you feel the need to do spontaneous office yoga. I decided to wear it to improv class, where I often end up rolling around on the floor and generally exposing my ass even more than usual.
Alas, my Terrible Body Shape struck again. By the middle of class, the thing had worked itself up to my navel and was forcing my muffin top into a hilarious saucer over my hips. Worse, when I tried to yank it back down, my friend Douglas spotted me wriggling and scream-asked across the room whether I was adjusting my "giant underwear." Charming.
For people who have more common hourglass shapes than my "slowly melting wax candle" figure, I bet something like the TUMMYBAND would be more successful. I, on the other hand, eventually squirmed out of it while still otherwise clothed in the bathroom and then walked back into class with it -- like ridding oneself of one's shapewear at 9 PM is a perfectly normal activity.
I guess tucking tank tops into pants isn't really something people do anyway, considering that when I tried to do that a few days later it bunched up in the back and gave me the world's most unconventional wedgie.
Struck by the spirit of the TB, I tried to wear bike shorts under my jeans the next day, but I ran into the same problem: my pants still fell down, and the slick material of the spandex meant that the rolling hills of my ass-landscape were even more evident than usual.
Tights, too. Jeggings tend to be a little better, but the friction power of my inner thighs has largely destroyed my favorites and the ones I have left are way too thin to pass the camel-toe avoidance test. Belts suffice for a time, but it's either cinch them around my waist to the point of active discomfort or just let them slowly work themselves looser until I might as well have tied my pants up with a shoelace (something I have contemplated doing).
For a time, I even channeled my more-butch self and wore boys' boxers underneath my jeans, but trying to stuff wads of cotton down a pair of tight Forever 21-brand pantaloons is a recipe for weird sidewalk-looks.
I hate to be my own mother about this, but I'm seriously considering digging out my fasten-at-the-braline flannel-lined LL Bean jeans from my first foray to upstate New York and wearing them until it's shorts-and-leggings weather again. Otherwise, short of buying maternity pants in a size too small or constructing an elaborate suspenders-around-the-neck contraption, I'm not really sure of my next move.
I know I'm not the only one who suffers from Prolonged Buttcrack Exposure. Do you guys recommend any pants styles or brands that will hold up under the combined forces of gravity and my leg-meat? Or should I just hope for high-waisted elastic trousers to be the next wave of the Skinny Jean Revolution?
Kate is Tweeting about butts at @katchatters.