Unpopular Opinions: Butt-Eating Pants
They Look Like Your Butt Is Eating Your Pants And I Cannot Emphasize This Enough
So these are somewhat dark times. Originally, when I saw the 'Unpopular Opinions' contest, I thought I should write something poignant on the nature of humanity ---- something grave yet strangely hopeful. Something that would turn the spirit nobly upwards and cause the reader to reflect, then to smile, fortified by the promise of that which is yet to come. You know, something Aunt Linda would forward you on FaceBook, accompanied by a thoughtful cat gif.
And then I saw yet another advertisement for butt-eating pants, and was consumed by the desire to make jokes about them. And here we are.
For those of you who don’t know (and didn’t look at the giant header image), I’m talking about a specific type of ‘workout pant’ intended to give the butt a boost by Moses-ifying the cheeks ---- you know, divide and conquer. Separate to levitate. Split up to fit up. To do this, designers introduced ruching along the center seam of the booty area, causing the seam to retreat upwards into the buttocks like somebody just tried to sell it discount car insurance. The idea, of course, is to present to the world your very best butt while running, or at the gym, or in yoga class, just so you can bask in self confidence and feel really really superior to that girl who’s always popping her leg back while taking mirror selfies to make it look like she has a butt. Sure you don’t have a butt either, but now, thanks to technology, you look like you do.
This particular technology, of course, isn’t a new one. It’s been around for years, mostly in underwear and bathing suits, all in service of creating that perfect bubble butt (as seen in rap videos, pop videos, and suspiciously-edited Instagram shots everywhere). They do look kinda weird — but definitely not as downright alarming as the butt-eating pant.
Now, of course, we’re getting right down to the dark heart of the matter. The road so far left untaken. The shot of light in a dark (dark) place. And that is the simple truth that these pants, usually called ruched leggings or, more playfully, scrunch-butt pants . . . they look like your ass is eating them. Like, very distinctly. I have literally never seen a pair of these pants and not thought ‘Oh wow, it looks like her ass is literally eating those pants’. It’s impossible to escape. There are exactly three things that these pants look like, depending on the style, and I’m going to lay them out for you:
#1. The Classic Model
With the classic model, they look like the butt is eating the pant. So yes, more pant-eating butts than butt-eating pants, but let’s not get too hung up on trifles here. This design looks like the model started off wearing perfectly regular athletic leggings, just as the Good Lord made them, and then the butt suddenly went rogue and started sucking the fabric into its dark chasm like something out of H.P. Lovecraft’s finest.
#2. 'The Inside Job'
With this next style, they look like (and bear with me here) the actual interior of the butt is expanding outward, seeking a hostile takeover of the Butt Proper. This is probably the most disturbing take on the Butt-Eating Pant; while the first option is intriguingly Lovecraftian, the second is more traditionally horror-styled. It’s the one the viewer feels most compelled to interfere with ---- probably in the vein of drawing the wearer aside and quietly going, ‘Uh, do you know how your pants look?’.
#3. 'The Black Hole'
The ultimate level, the Black Hole Butt. Sure the other two options look strange and also seem extremely uncomfortable, but they can’t hold a candle to the Black Hole. In this edition, the butt appears to have lost all sense of decorum (and indeed of physics) and is simply hauling all nearby fabric inwards as far and fast as it will go. I saw somebody wearing a pair of these in the gym recently, and it was amazing to watch her attempt to work out while having approximately eight pounds of fabric wedged solidly where Fabric Should Not Go. Yes, this does make your butt look more defined, sort of how a really terrible toupee does give the indication of hair ---- but is extremely obvious, and makes everybody else feel vaguely embarrassed on your behalf.
Even disregarding the aesthetic side of things, doing actual gym-related activities with a spelunking back seam would presumably be an exercise in futility (and chafing). Imagine doing squats in them. Or a stepper machine. Or, God forbid, running. It’s hard enough to work out if your pants keep riding up, it would be infinitely harder if they were literally designed to give you a wedgie more impressive then any ever delivered by even the most dedicated middle school bully.
And yet, despite all these examples of why Butt-Eating Pants shouldn’t be a thing, here they are. They’re everywhere. Facebook ads, email ads, and on the hopeful bottom halves of people at your local gym, all seeking a better class of ass without actually wanting to just do a bunch of squats like some kind of pleb. The last few times I’ve come across ads for them, I’ve checked the comments, and said comments are always filled by enthusiastic queries about sizing and the suggestive tagging of parents or romantic partners. Granted, the comments are no doubt heavily edited by companies, but it’s truly ass-tonishing how many people look at the Butt-Eating Pant and go ‘Man, those are amazing! I need my ass to look like it’s physically consuming a pair of athletic leggings STAT.'
So it looks like Butt-Eating Pants are here to stay, at least for the moment. Whether or not they shine a brief second in the spotlight before going the way of full denim outfits, the mullet, and eagle’s-nest-sized bangs ---- well, that’s yet to be seen. (One can hope).
All things considered, of course, one thing that can be said for the oncoming butt-nami is that it definitely gives the rest of us something to get behind. They say laughter brings us together, and, even if it takes a little extra on this particular occasion, the old proverbs still hold true. It’s not poignant, it’s not a meditation on the nature of humanity, and it’s certainly not something your Aunt Linda would ever send you, but it’s something.
Butt-Eating Pants: divide the cheeks, unify the hearts.
(Pants credit: If you read this and are thinking 'jeez, I gotta get me some of those', the pants pictured are from Alibaba, LeLoye, YICN, Cross1946, and on Amazon. Go live your dream. Or Lovecraftian nightmare. You do you).