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Ban The Budgie Smugglers

By Rupert Truscott-Hughes on November 17, 2016 in Other

The kind of kids everyone loves to hate.

The kind of kids everyone loves to hate.

While I generally leave calls for the banning of particular pieces of clothing to the red necks and racists with a vendetta against various forms of religious headwear, recent happenings have led me to jump on the bandwagon. But it’s not burqas that I have beef with. Nor is it niqabs that get up my nostrils. And hijabs are definitely not haram in my conservative little corner of the world. Rather, I would like to see a nationwide ban slapped on the precocious slither of lycra that has seen far too much time in the sun, so to speak particularly, of late. I am, of course, talking about budgie smugglers.

Long before the Budgy Smuggler brand came into being, back in the 1960s in fact, a bloke by the name of Peter Travis designed the original Speedo swim trunks. This man has a hell of a lot to answer for. With the introduction of Speedos, men’s swimming trunks became shorter than ever before, and men’s packages became far more prominent at beaches, rivers and swimming pools around the country.

Adopted by our elite athletes, the limited cloth meant less drag than previous designs, meaning faster times in the water. While the muscular Adonises who generally ruled the pool did justice to this swimwear trend, less athletic types quickly adopted the style and within no time every Tom, Harry and a hell of a lot of Dicks were hanging out with barely a hint of humility.

Thanks mainly to the popularity of less revealing surf style swim trunks and the greater self-awareness of the modern Australian male, budgie smugglers seemed to largely disappear from our public beaches and swimming pools until quite recently. Sure, blokes still whipped them out for training purposes and around the backyard pool, but they became far less prevalent in the casual aquatic environment.

After many years in the wilderness, it took none other than former Prime Minister Tony Abbott to again give dick-stickers the time of day he obviously thought they deserved. That said, I strongly doubt that the appearance of Tony in his tight red loin cloth did anything to spike sales.

In more recent times, the humble swim brief grabbed headlines when nine young Australian males whipped off their outer layers and unveiled undergarments emblazoned with the Malaysian flag at a grand prix event in the notoriously conservative South East Asian country. Needless to say, the group, now better known as the ‘Budgie Nine’ were promptly thrown into the pen with the threat of a two-year prison sentence and a media shit-storm ensued.

While the focus of said shit-storm swayed from criticism of Australians’ behaviour overseas, to white male privilege, to the schooling backgrounds of the nine perpetrators (I still have no idea how a public or private education is in any way relevant to this saga), very few outlets touched on the most salient point of the whole palaver: there’s nothing much to like about men in minimal amounts of lycra, Malaysian flag or otherwise.

So on the back this observation, I’m making a bold call. Let’s ban the budgie smugglers for the sake of our nation!