All Strings Underwear

Friday, June 11, 2004
(A round-up of recent news events in the world of underwear.)

A, er, string of lingerie-related controversies have, ahem, exposed the sensitive social ramifications of undergarments. First to Britain, where a crusade against public displays of underwear is in full-swing.

Religion of 2-Piece

A British Muslim group is complaining about the placing of an eye-popping, G-string-touting billboard advertisement near two local mosques. BBC reports:

Underwear ad's placing criticized

An advert for women's underwear has been criticised after it was put up on billboards near two mosques.

The poster, for Wiltshire-based company Sloggi, shows four women wearing only G-strings and high heels, alongside the slogan "It's string time".

But complaints were made after the image was put up next to mosques in Leeds and Bury, Greater Manchester.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received two complaints but ruled it was not meant to cause offence.

The ASA said the "nakedness shown in the poster" could offend Muslims if placed near a mosque or a place of worship.

[...] A spokeswoman for Sloggi told BBC News Online the posters have been taken down.

"It is certainly not our intention to offend."

Sex Idol

Also in Britain, a London deparment store has been forced to apologize for a line of Hindu goddess-themed underwear that elicited houls of protest from Hindu activist groups - and brought delightful new meaning to the term "sex idol".

Harrods apology over Hindu goddess bikinis

Luxury department store Harrods has apologised to customers for selling a women’s underwear and swimwear range featuring images of Hindu goddesses.

Managers removed the range after a protest by a Hindu group, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

According to Hindu Human Rights spokeswoman Sheila Church, the Roberto Cavalli-designed garments were an insult to their religion.

“When we heard that Harrods was selling such garments, we registered our protest,” she said.

“Our goddesses are revered by millions of Hindus.

“How can somebody use them for such purposes?”

Hindu Human Rights became aware of the offending range when Indian human resources executive Amitabh Soni saw in-store mannequins wearing the brightly coloured garments on Sunday.

[...] Controversies relating to Hindu icons are not new.

Hindu Human Rights is also protesting against the new film by Ismail Merchant, Shakti, in which rock singer Tina Turner plays the role of goddess Kali.

Last year another department store had to apologise for selling toilet seats with images of a Hindu deity.

Selling slippers with Hindu symbols created trouble for a third London-based retailer.

A number of designers have been attracted by the richness of Hindu iconography and the fad for exotic ethnic patterns.

The Soccer Player Has No Clothes

The British are also miffed about the indecent exposure of their beloved soccer star, David Beckham, who in newly released paparazzi photos is shown wearing nothing but his underwear. The English Football Association has strongly condemned the pictures, which depict Beckam grabbing his genitals, and have lodged an official protest with the Newspaper Publishers Association.

Becks caught in his underpants

Lisbon, Portugal - England soccer officials are angry at paparazzi photos splashed across British tabloid newspapers of star captain David Beckham in his underpants.

The Sun and the Daily Star newspapers printed the photographs on their front pages on Thursday.

The English Football Association warned British newspaper editors and sports reporters in Lisbon ahead of England's opening match with France on Sunday that it considered the pictures "an unjustifiable intrusion into his private life".

[...] Beckham is pictured wearing only underpants and sunglasses. [...] "I've not spoken to David about it," Neville said. "Really, the way that football is going now with the high profile players, it's something that you probably can't do anything about.

Commando Kravitz

In what could be the rumblings of a disturbing new fashion trend, Lenny Kravitz, world famous rock star, has openly renounced the wearing of underwear; and Johnnie Depp is selling his - for charity.

I don't need underwear! says Lenny Kravitz

Rock star Lenny Kravitz has revealed that he prefers staying without underwear because he is just not bothered to wear any.

Lenny, who has dated pop star Natalie Imbruglia and more recently actress Nicole Kidman, disclosed that going without underwear saves him from unnecessary hassle.

"Underwear is just an extra thing I don't need. I like to keep things really simple," The Mirror quoted Lenny as saying.

Johnny Depp to auction his underwear for charity

Hollywood heartthrob Johnny Depp has found a new way to donate to charity, the "Edward Scissorhands" star is going to auction his briefs and the earnings will go to charity.

He is giving away a pair of black undies, described as a Y-front/boxers cross at an auction, the proceeds from which will be given to Helen House, a home for seriously ill children.

Granny's Fanny

Can't they just stick to sweaters?!

Grandmother knits art genitalia

A 72-year-old grandmother could stoke the "shock art" debate by contributing knitted ladies' underwear in the shape of genitalia to an exhibition.
Mary Gee's colourful creations form part of the Will and Testament exhibition in London, where the age of the artist ranges from 72 to 95.

The show, supported by Help the Aged, aims to uncover a Tracey Emin or Damien Hirst of the older generation.


China Daily:
Organic food, yes, but organic underwear?