Helping the Minoritized Achieve in Academic Science

Women’s Issues: VPL

Warning: This post is meant to be funny, so don’t take it too seriously. We all need a laugh every now and then.

Illustration of string underwear with V inters...

Illustration of string underwear with V intersection at the back and strap sides (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the subject of what not to wear, how do people feel about VPL? What is VPL? Visible Panty Lines. This subject is strictly women-only. I don’t think there is a man alive who thinks about or cares about VPLs. If I look at my husband, he doesn’t even care when half his boxers are hanging out at the top of his pants. Sorry, honey, but it’s true.

So here is my dilemma. What do I wear when I am teaching? I like to wear dress slacks, and those are the worst for VPL. I spend a lot of time standing in front of a class. If I write on the chalk board, my back is facing the audience. So, I think a lot about what my butt looks like. I feel even more pressure when the class is mostly men.

Some might say to wear underwear that do not have panty lines – like a thong. Here is the problem with that. If I had on a thong, I would want to pick it out all during class. And, it would be annoying and worse than having VPL. So a thong is out.

So, I wear regular underwear and have VPL. That might seem bad, but then I feel like, maybe I want people to know I wear underwear. Is that weird? Like, because what kind of scientist doesn’t wear underwear? This kinda relates to the last post. I have this inside feeling that WomenOfScience can’t be pretty or sexy. And thongs are sexy, so I should wear granny panties, because that is what WomenOfScience wear. By Robin Sellinger is right. WomenOfScience can be sexy. And funny, and cute, and wear high heels, and bright colors!

Of course, all this is moot, because I end up wearing jeans to teach, and you can’t see VPLs through stiff materials.

So, what do you think? Have something funny to say or share? Comment or guest post!

Comments on: "Women’s Issues: VPL" (3)

  1. No need for a burka. The graceful drape of a blazer or cardigan obscures the profile of curvy lady parts and provides an extra layer of protection between you and the world. Wear an extra layer that hangs below the waist and face your students–or the blackboard–with confidence, knowing your VPLs are not on display.

    Even in warm weather you can wear a short-sleeved cardigan in a light weight knit, or consider a lightweight blazer, unlined, with 3/4 sleeves. Bright colors in solids or subtle patterns are perfect for summer.

    The reason to cover one’s curvy lady parts when teaching or giving a talk is simply to minimize potential distractions. Both men and women will look at whatever you choose to show them. People are sexual creatures and it’s just human nature.

    I also try not to wear dangling earrings when teaching. Young children in particular find it distracting when earrings waggle back and forth, but I’ve noticed the effect with adults, too. (I teach music to kids at religious school.) If you wear your hair down and the earrings’ simple harmonic motion is heavily damped, then they’re probably fine, but under-damped earrings swinging to and fro can be a potential distraction. Not as upsetting as VPLs though!

  2. I love this comment, Robin. You are so funny!

  3. The Crepe Caper said:

    Okay, on a slightly more serious note, I have some practical advice for anyone avoiding VPLs but who also hates thongs (the sensation of a string betwixt my cheeks drives me insane). There are a few pretty solid no-show, non-thong panties out there. The ones from Victoria’s Secret have never let me down (my favorites were lace-back bikinis, which they monstrously discontinued). VS can be pretty expensive, but their sales are pretty dope.

    Now, if I can only find some hidden supply of those lace-back panties…

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