A “Short” Musing About Men

The Olympics has re-ignited a question that has plagued me for years. What happened to men’s shorts?  When I  cast my memory back I wonder, am I going mad?  In the 1970s and 80s,  I recall boys, men, professional tennis players and everyone really, wearing shorts that were, well, short.  This was normal. Men in the 1950s were less self-conscious and shy about showing some leg than millenium men of today as evidenced by the photo above!

Pantone Speedo-I’m sorry, there is nothing wrong with this!

Many even wore Speedos on the beach (gasp).  A man’s, shall we say, package, was just that, nothing more, nothing less.  Not unlike women’s breasts, they protruded a bit through clothing. Yes we all see them, but we move on with our lives.  The Olympics reminded me that I was not going crazy, that Speedos and similar swim suits are indeed used and considered quite normal.  I have several European men as Facebook friends and they never tire of posting photos of themselves on boats, swimming in gorgeous places or playing games on the beach, always sporting a Speedo.  And, they look good. Even guys with some weight to lose look better in shorter trunks (why are they called trunks?)  What is with the American male and the Victorian hemline that continues to grow? I remember suits getting a bit longer, to mid-thigh, then above the knee and now more men than not are wearing Bermuda length shorts and bathing suits.  When surfers wear them, they are called board shorts. When guys wear them outside of the ocean, they are Bermuda’s, sorry guys.   Why are 20-year-old wearing Bermudas?  When did men become such prudes and what are they hiding?  Surely they can contain themselves within the confines of a normal pair of shorts, no?  And, is this what’s next?

Are men so modest that they must be weighed down by another foot of fabric?  Take basketball players:

1970s

What’s wrong with these?

2000s

Look at all that fabric being dragged around on the court!
Photo Credit: Brandon Rush

They look like they are wearing skirts and they look absolutely ridiculous!  I’ve noticed the same disturbing trend in Tennis and British Football. Through the decades there seems to have been a movement going on underground that has systematically and continuously lead to longer shorts.  Have I been unaware of the mystique and taboo of the male knee which must now be hidden at all costs?  Are those with a puritanical bent paying off fashion designers to create these monstrosities?

Men's Tennis Team, 1975

Wow look at all those legs, guys today would be horrified!
Photo Credit: Duke Yearlook/flickr

Meanwhile men are defending the women’s beach volleyball “outfits” if you can call them that, to the hilt. “Oh, they can’t be encumbered, they have to wear swim suit bottoms 3 sizes too small.”  By the same token then, it would stand to reason that men in the same sport would wear Speedos right?  But no, they are wearing at the knee or below the knee mega shorts.

But seriously, lighten up, people, literally!

19 Comments

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19 responses to “A “Short” Musing About Men

  1. “…when the first penis presented itself. I screamed!” — I love it! This is an interesting trend indeed, men’s bathing suits getting longer. Ridiculous!

  2. I remember shorts and you’re right, I am not seeing those anymore. I am seeing pants that sag down to the butt line though…what’s up (or down) with that? LOL Not attractive though a nice looking leg on a man (and they do have them, yes they do) is quite nice to see. Re the male genitalia and the media, well, I had the same experience in England (but not the screaming…probably more of an intake of breath in my case) and agree with equal opportunity for penises, but I am not sure showing the full body is necessary to most story lines…personally, I am not in favor of the current trend toward overtly sexual clothing for women either. I remember Bill Maher’s great quote “I feel sorry for prosititutes. These days they don’t know how to dress to set themselves apart.” (i’m sure I am paraphrasing…but you get the drift…) There’s nothing wrong with covering up a little and giving someone a nice surprise if they are worth it…:)

    • You crack me up! I love the Bill Maher quote, so funny! I agree, too much skin out there! Thanks for reading as always :) When are we setting up your WP blog?

  3. ROFL….did you say I was funny? I have long version and short version comment for this. Short version is, never fear Dana, there will always be amateur and pro cyclists. We’ll never let you down…lol

      • naaaa, medium version should be good enough :)

        I actually know a thing or two about this transition that you speak of…lol.
        I grew up wearing such pants as Zubaz, original Umbro short shorts, and original Skidz pants. As you may recall these were either very short&baggy, see through, or so thin that it ended up highlighting features that you didn’t even know you had. You may also recall these pants came in very happy colors; yellow, red, lime, pink, etc… I wore full colors of the rainbow, and I wore them proud. During its height, only cool people wore them, tough guys wore them, wife-beaters wore them…lol. First time I noticed a change in the wind was when friends & acquaintances started saying things like, “why you wearing those fag pants?”, “that is gay”, “that’s what homos wear”, etc. I guess this was in the period when gay lifestyle wasn’t as mainstream as today. My leopard and animal print Zubaz were first to go :(, then followed by my sheer thin Skidz pants, finally most of my Umbro short shorts. I did have one blue colored Umbro shorts that I wore for a long time. It immediately was retired after I wore it for my “final” party…lol.

      • Cracked me up! Animal print first to go, I should think so!

  4. Rita

    I absolutely agree! I can’t understand this trend or why it’s lasted sooooo long. Since this trend started I always thought it was very unattractive. And since women mostly buy their mates clothing are they wanting to keep other women from noticing their guy? It’s been about 100 years now that men’s clothing styles have hardly changed at all while women’s styles change constantly, even if it’s to go back and forth between one or two decades apart. Men’s clothing designers need some new ideas because I’d also like to see some imagination in their everyday wear designs…it seems they just keep showing the same styles with minor adjustment or every so often they come out with something silly that hardly anyone would wear, like skirts or vividly colored capris. In any case I’m happy that you brought light to the subject maybe it will give the guys something to think about and stop buying those baggy drawers so we girls can have some eye candy too!

  5. Hilarious post and very true!! :)

  6. Funnnny! I love your blog and have nominated you for two awards at once – the Versatile Blogger award and the Beautiful Blogger award. Check out the details at http://countryliving4beginners.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/beautiful-versatile-awards/ .

  7. Interesting observations! Without getting too involved (because I, too, and pretty interested and fairly observant of these things), I would argue that the trend is beginning to reverse itself for many. The past 1-2 years mens’ shorts and swim attire have actually begun to creep back up. I’d say that they were at their longest during the early-mid 2000s. Tighter (even apart from the “skinny”) jeans and pants are also back.
    Overall, though, I love that you pointed it out!

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