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The Evolution of Underwear - What Part of Underwear is 'Under' Anymore?
Lee Hinkel

It used to be that showing your underwear in public was reserved for plumbers or in those stirring nightmares of showing up to school wearing only your underwear. Things have changed. In recent years, the public display of underwear has not only become acceptable, but a fashion statement. With the fad of "sagging" (we hope its just a fad) oversized pants in the last few years has come the marketing wars of companies who produce underwear in a variety of styles and statements. This year's MTV awards witnessed Britney Spears displaying one new trend for young women wearing thongs. Wearing thong underwear is certainly not new-- letting everyone else know you are wearing it is new on the scene. In the female version of "sagging" it is popular to pull the sides of the thong up over the outside of pants in order to let everyone else in on the shade and design being worn. So popular is the trend that Victoria's Secret (not many of those secrets left) is selling "Thong Clips," which assist in keeping underclothing on the outside of the clothing. In an attempt to bring the market share of "tidy whities" back on the scene the company who produces "Jockey" underwear recently unveiled an ad campaign with a set of handsom young men with their pants dropped to their ankles to let the world know they prefer a more traditional style of underwear. Not to be left out of the display window, bras are revealed for the world to admire by ladies (young and not so young) with unbuttoned blouses. One has to ask the question, "What part of underwear is under?" The possibilities are under consideration.

How does a teen, young adult, parent, youth worker, or teacher deal with this acceptable trend in society and hold it up to the "Light?" It is difficult. However, it is an excellent discussion opportunity for spiritually mature adults to address these fashion issues with the teens and young adults in their lives. A study of the first nine chapters of Proverbs should address most of these issues and answer King David's question in Psalm 119:9, "How can a young man keep his way pure?" Jesus addressed the umbrella of this issue in Matthew 5:27-30 by stating that even the thought (or creating the grounds for such thought in someone else) is the same as the action. Admonishing students and children to change their attire by punishing or threatening reduced privileges has its place. However, we have all experienced the concealment of appearance until out of our sight principle. Show up at school, the party, the movie, or the mall dressed differently than when they left. The issue is in changing the mindset from the pressure to be in style to making sure the heart is changed. Ps 51:10, "Create in me a new heart, O God." Challenge them to set a new style as in 1 Timothy 4:12, "set an example for all believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." 2 Timothy 2:22, "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace…" The Holy Spirit is the only "change" agent for their heart. Be sure to approach this issue on purity from a pure heart yourself and change more than the "outer-wear" fashion.