Why Do We Keep Coming Back to the Exposed Thong Trend?

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You may have noticed that exposed thongs have been resurrected from the ’90s and are back in our Instagram and TikTok feeds, worn by some of the internet’s biggest celebs.

Exposing thong underwear, also known as the “whale tail,” was a fashion phenomenon that gained popularity in the late ’90s and early 2000s. It all started on fashion runways, where models walked the catwalk in low-rise pants and skirts paired with thong underwear peeking out from the back. Celebrities like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Paris Hilton quickly picked up on the daring trend, making it a must-try style.

Interestingly, the trend wasn’t entirely new. Burlesque dancers in the 1930s also flaunted revealing costumes that included high-cut panties or G-strings, which showed off their curves and legs. However, the trend didn’t gain widespread popularity until the late ’90s.

The “whale tail” term comes from the shape of the exposed thong, which resembles the tail of a whale. The trend was considered provocative and was associated with sexuality and seduction, making it a bit scandalous at the time.

And now, celeb fashion babes like Dua Lipa, Hailey Bieber and the Hadids, are wearing this trend like it never went out of style.

Both out in the wild and on the red carpet, the “whale tail” trend is officially an “it” girl fashion choice. TBH, we kind of love it.

Blending overt body positivity with high-fashion, wearing an exposed thong with a pair of low-cut pants or backless dress, can add an element of sultry to any outfit. Plus, it adds hip cut-outs — which can make an outfit look more layered and complex.

This trend fits right into the re-emergence of Y2K styles, in new and refined ways. With a refreshing lens on female empowerment and size inclusivity that didn’t exist back in the ’90s and early ’00s, wearing an exposed thong in 2023 has an entirely new meaning attached to it.

And it’s one we can get behind.

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