In defense of underwear

I call them underpants. Not panties or thongs (they aren't) or g-strings (ditto). I am not concerned about visible panty line.

In fact, I am relieved when I can see that the woman in front of me in exercise class is wearing underpants while "reaching her tailbone back" in incline seated chair. I have not recovered from the time that I looked at an instructor's form for a flat back fold-over only to see enough to make a reasonably complete gynecological report on her. These days, the parenting books have us all helping our daughters correctly label both their vulva and their vagina from the start. (I have a friend who, upon reading this bit of "What to Expect" asked her husband what a vulva was, to which he responded "I don't know, but I think you have one.") I can tell you, this instructor's Lululemons were thin enough that I saw her vagina.

What is going on with exercise attire anyway? Everything seems to be getting sheerer and tighter. And I can't think of an age where it's appropriate to wear no undergarments at all (don't get me started on the shelf bra!): teenagers? grandmothers? a fifth grader's mother?

I guess you could say I'm a prude, but not really. I rather enjoy and support this video for a tampon company in which a young teenage girl casually tosses around terms like vag and red badge of courage.

But I admit that when an exercise instructor uses the word "rear end" to discuss a certain part of the anatomy, I feel a kinship with her.

I have three daughters. I don't want to stifle them, but I'm also not buying them thongs or clothing with words emblazoned on the rear end. There will be no bikinis and we are not "airing it out" at night in bed. And when they're old enough to go to exercise class, they better have a visible panty line on their rear ends.

This post originally appears ate.The Ill-Prepared Housewife.