Saturday, September 25, 2021

From Hailey Baldwin (18) to TikTok: A History of Teen (Cheeky) Thongs

Back in 2015, Lucy Mapstone posted on the Daily Mail: "Hailey Baldwin looks stunning in tiny polka dot [cheeky thong] bikini on yacht [...]" And in the post, Mapstone opined: "The 18-year-old model displayed her impeccable bikini body [...]"

Unlike Mapstone, I was shocked to see teen Hailey Baldwin in a cheeky thong. And I asked, "When did teens start wearing cheeky thongs (in public)?"

Let's attempt to answer this question by looking at the history of the bikini. According to Rupert and Lichfields' piece in The Independentgarments resembling the bikini date back to 4500 BC; however, they were worn for active wear and not for swimwear, which was done in the nude. 

Hailey Baldwin (18) in Cheeky Thong

The modern bikini was introduced in 1946 by Jacques Heim, a French designer, and Louis Réard, an engineer who happened to be managing his mother's lingerie business. Interestingly, Réard hired Micheline Bernardini, a 19-year-old nude dancer, to model his bikini when it was introduced. The press and public were shocked, because it was the first swimwear design that exposed the navel

Hailey Baldwin (18) in Cheeky Thong

According to Time's "Evolution of the Bikini":
Bikinis were banned from worldwide beauty pageants after the first Miss World Contest in London in 1951. As the tasteful one-piece continued to reign supreme, the bikini was later also banned in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Australia, and it was even declared sinful by the Vatican.
19-year-old Bridget Bardot (1953\Cannes)

However, after the bikini was worn publicly by actresses like 19-year-old Bridget Bardot, who was seen on the cover of popular magazines like Sports Illustrated and featured in blockbusters like James Bond's Dr. No (1962), the bikini became more and more accepted around the Christian world. (By the way, 14-year-old Bardot had an affair with 22-year-old Roger Vadim, the director of Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971), which was based on Francis Pollini's shocking teacher-student affair themed novel.)


Thongs were initially worn as underwear, but by the turn of the century, women started exposing their thongs via low-cut jeans and now they're being worn in public as swimwear - even by nymphets.  And they're worn by nymphets, thongs must be sold to nymphets.

In 2002, Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) started selling thongs for pre-teen nymphets emblazoned with the words "wink wink" and "eye candy". In response to the controversy surrounding the items, A&F responded: "The underwear for young girls was created with the intent to be lighthearted and cute. Any misrepresentation of that is purely in the eye of the beholder." [Emphasis added]

Per Ariel Levy in Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, the thong was invented in New York City to "cover" exotic dancers during the 1939 World's Fair:
The thong is a literal byproduct of the sex industry. In 1939, New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia insisted that the city’s exotic dancers cover their genitals for the World’s Fair, and the thong was born to placate his decree while exposing the maximum amount of skin. 

Ariel went on to relate that, as we know, thongs are no longer relegated to (professional) exotic dancers but that thongs have become the "underpants of choice" for nymphets:

Now they are the underpants of choice for pubescent girls. I saw Hello Kitty thongs for sale at the mall; Abercrombie & Fitch—which markets to seven- to fourteen-year-olds—makes a thong that says WINK WINK and another that declares EYE CANDY; the teen chain store Hot Topic sells a Cat in the Hat thong; Delia’s has a little cotton thong with Bart Simpson on the front and another that asks FEELING LUCKY? with a green four-leaf clover stamped on the crotch. The urban youth Web site Dr. Jay’s has rhinestone Playboy bunny thongs with matching camisoles. 

Abercrombie & Fitch's Pre-Teen Thong

In an undated post, the Daily Mail reported:
High Street chain Argos has been branded irresponsible for promoting a range of sexually provocative lingerie designed for primary schoolgirls. The underwear, which includes tiny G-string pants and padded bras, is advertised in the store's catalogue for girls aged between nine and 16. The Tammy range, sold for as little as £5 for a pack of four thongs, also includes a 'loveheart' underwear set in pastel pink and thongs with I Love Me emblazoned on the front.

And the Daily Mail reported in 2008:
Parents have condemned Bhs for selling nipple tassels, edible G-strings and breast-shaped stress relievers alongside toys. The retail chain, owned by billionaire Sir Philip Green, insists the raunchy Christmas gifts are 'harmless fun', but it has been accused of sinking to crudity in an attempt to boost sales.
Yet, some parents don't mind that their daughters wear thongs. For example, Kate Strathearn's daughter attended Hamp Junior School in Bridgwater, Somerset. Strathearn shared in a BBC article: 
"I have not told my daughter not to wear them and I do not ask her in the morning what she is wearing. She is 11 and she has a good head on her shoulders."
My Father the Hero (1994): Katherine Heigl's (14) Thong

Let us be clear, we've seen teens, like Katherine Heigl and Bella Thornein thongs in non-fiction scenarios. Even Jenny Humphrey, a ninth grader at Constance, was encouraged, while shopping at Barneys in the first volume of Gossip Girl, to: "Throw in a pair of kitten heels, a thong, and some Chanel Vamp lipstick [...]" But back in 2015, Hailey Baldwin was possibly the first teen seen (openly) in a thong, but fast forward six years later and there are teens in (cheeky) thong dancing all over TikTok. 

TikTok Teens in (Cheeky) Thongs

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