The Thing About Thongs
The generation gap between mother and daughter has grown tremendously. Claudia Wallis’s writing, The Thing About Thongs, demonstrates this perspective when discussing the views of something as simple as underwear. The mother rants about her inability to understand while her daughter wants to conform to peer-pressure and “fit in”.
The lingerie department within Lord and Taylor begins this confliction because the daughter wants to purchase a thong. The daughter’s reasoning includes the belief that every girl at school is wearing a thong. The mother’s remark, “But who sees them?” contradicts her assumption statement.
The mother believes in the traditional and doesn’t understand the reasoning for this generation’s pop culture. “She was right about my not getting it. How did a risqué item popularized as a tool of seduction by Monica Lewinsky become the de rigueur fashion for eighth- and ninth-graders? Yet the trend is undeniable” (Wallis). To support her misunderstanding, she uses shocking statistics from a market tracking firm that express tweens spending. “Since 2000, from a modest $400,000 to &1.6 million, according to NPD Fashionworld, a market tracking firm. And there’s nothing skimpy about what girls ages thirteen to seventeen spent on thongs last year: $152 million, or 40 percent of their overall spending on underpants” (Wallis). The mother then explains where she believes that these “inspirations” are coming from – Britney, Beyonce, and The Real World. This supports her view that when a tween wants a thong, it’s most likely because they’re falling into peer pressure. Many younger girls have witnessed some of these examples given and would like to conform. Now, many girls feel the pressure to look sexy, but she exclaims that this may not always be the case that they are sexually active – it is more of a symbol.
This essay may describe the confliction between choices in underwear, but in actuality, there is a bigger picture...
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