What Tale Does a Whale Tail Tell?

The everlasting folkloric Y2K trend is dimensional enough to be whatever you need it to be.

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Photo: Victor Boyko, Degrassi, Sreve Granitz (Getty Images)

The looming threat of returning Y2K clothing trends stalks us beneath the surface of the zeitgeist like a bloodthirsty shark. No trend is more cautionary than the whale tail.

A whale tail, also sometimes called a “longhorn,” is when the strings of the thong peak out above the waistband of the pants, “like the fin of a majestic orca rising out of the vast ocean of your ass.” If you’re old enough to remember Motorola Razrs, then there’s a strong chance you participated in or at least witnessed this trend. Everyone remembers their first whale tale sighting—a stretch of nylon splashing up onto tramp stamp territory. An unnatural beauty to behold.

Seemingly every few months, the fashion stunt is declared “back,” to the point that it feels like we’re living in a constant red alert. And the ensuing discussion brings up recurring points: This style is not comfortable; it’s slutty; it will terrorize your vaginal bacteria levels. So, in order to break free from the tyrannical and taut pull of the g-string in our mental cracks, let’s examine just what it is a whale tail communicates.

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