Wise up Rihanna and Miley Cyrus - high-cut shorts are not a good look
It's been an educational week in my world of fashion, a week in which the term 'underbutt' entered my life. An underbutt, to the innocent uninitiated, as I was just a few days ago, is what happens when a woman or girl wears a pair of shorts deliberately too small. So small that the bottom of her bottom hangs out the bottom, like two half moons.
Apparently we have the likes of Rihanna and Miley Cyrus to blame for this nasty high-cut look, which has the deliberate aim of showing off as much of your 'bum crease' (another new term) as possible without getting arrested. But what might look cool on the pert derriere of Rihanna as she cavorts in a music video or through the pages of Vogue, doesn't quite translate to the millions of bottoms around the world who seem to think they can pull it off too.
Not many of us have a bum like Rihanna's or Miley's and some things from the celebrity world really aren't meant to work in the real world anyway. Exposed bottoms are definitely one of them.
So how did I discover the existence of the underbutt? I was out for a walk along a busy Belfast road on Saturday evening when I was overtaken by two young girls – probably no more than 15 but tarted up like two ladies of the night – wearing ridiculously short shorts.
"Oh dear God, those poor girls," I thought. "Why did no one tell them how much you can see? They clearly don't know ..."
The obscenity was exacerbated by a bad fake tan job which left the half moons bright orange and streaky.
Then it occurred to me how odd that they both made the same fashion faux pas at the same time? Could they not have told each other? Surely, it's not a conscious fashion choice? Surely not ...
On I walked when about half an hour later I was confronted with the sight of three more young girls – again all no more than 15 – also with their bum cheeks hanging down for all to see. All three were standing shivering at a bus stop on a crisp autumn evening in identical denim cut-ups. All three had unsightly mottled half moons on show, as if this was a perfectly normal way to dress. Only one of them had the grace to look embarrassed as she hoiked at her tiny shorts and tried to cover herself up with a bag, clearly having got dressed under peer pressure. The other two thought they looked amazing.
"What on earth is going on?" I wondered. "Is there a denim shortage? Has there been some sort of weird pact among all 15-year-old girls in Belfast to forget their shame?
"Why don't they just be done with it and walk around in their underpants?
"Which poor people have to sit on their seats on the bus after they get off? Surely their mothers did not see them leave the house like that?"
W hen I later mentioned these baffling events to a friend she replied: "Oh that's the underbutt. Like the underboob, only your bum."
A what? An underbutt? There's an actual name for it?!
So now I know. It's a fashion trend, a conscious choice to expose the bottom – whatever shape, size or colour – to the world with the apparent aim of looking good.
Peer pressure among teenage girls is immense. I remember well the feeling of not wanting to look like a square while my friends pushed the boundaries of what you could get away with wearing.
But we never, ever let our bits hang out. And we would have been killed by our parents if we had.
Let's be Scot-free for a few days
Hoots mon, it's here at last. The Scottish are off to the polls today for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to break free from the Union.
Whether they stay or go, it feels like the referendum debate has been going on forever – so long that we ran out of seasoned experts to comment and had to plunder the box of 'Random Celebs With Nothing To Do With Scotland' instead.
Out came David Beckham, Bob Geldof, Eddie Izzard, Mike Myers and Emma Thompson.
When you have Shrek telling you what he thinks, it's time to just get on with it. At least he's Scottish, I suppose.
Surprise Surprise Cilla can also sing
It's easy for people of my age to forget that before Cilla Black was the mainstay of Saturday night television in Surprise Surprise and Blind Date, she was one of the biggest selling recording artists of the 1960s, having 17 hits and hanging out with The Beatles.
With a three-part biopic of her life currently being shown on ITV, it's a timely reminder of an incredible singing talent that has been eclipsed for younger generations by her huge success on TV. If you've any doubts, watch her version of Anyone Who Had A Heart on YouTube, it deserves a lorra lorra appreciation.