"Plumber's butt." You know, that blindingly pale patch of derriere that peeks out from between a shirt that rides up and pants that slide down. Most commonly seen when a beefy plumber or other worker reaches or squats while on the job. Most common until recently, that is. The effect is no longer just a boy's club, as women are baring their posteriors - sometimes intentionally, sometimes not - in the name of fashion. Low-rise jeans have booty poppin' out all over the place. Everyone is getting cheeky. Call it the new cleavage.
At Bee Clean Car Wash in Mason, Ohio, Annamarie Minturn and Cassie Thierauf, both 19, are baring their butts (albeit unintentionally) every time they lean over a car, bend down to vacuum or wipe down a tire. Thierauf's rhinestone-studded thong is there for all to see. She doesn't mean to, but when your pants hug your hips, it's bound to happen.
"It's not that I have them low so my thong can hang out," explains Thierauf. "It's a product of the pant."
Indeed. The space between Thierauf's belly button ring and the top of her jeans is at least three inches. She says the distance is greater on some of her other pants.
It's virtually impossible to find jeans to cover your hipbones these days, and finding them to cover your cheeks continues to get harder. When Sisqo rapped, "Let me see that thooooong," he probably didn't have to look very hard.
The thong is an absolute must for Latresha Lane. She runs a modeling company and without the thong, she and her models would be out of business. Visible panty lines (or VPL) are not an option.
For many women, low-rise, hip baring jeans are causing all kinds of VPL. Some jeans are so low there isn't enough room for a zipper, as is the case with Levi's Too Superlows, which feature two snap buttons instead.
Technically speaking, the "rise" of jeans is the distance between the crotch and waist. The average rise is about 10 inches. But on low-rise pants, it can be as little as six inches, depending on the brand.
Recent college graduate Marianne Pusz, 23, loves low-rise jeans. She won't wear anything else and says they are a "godsend to women with big butts."
"They show off your waist," Pusz says. "But if you don't have a butt, it's not going to make you look better by having your butt hang out. Older women wear the waist-high jeans, and it doesn't matter if you're the skinniest woman on the planet, they are going to make it look like you have a butt the size of Texas."
A dogged advocate of keeping cracks and thongs out of public view, Pusz buys Victoria's Secret low-cut bikini briefs (LINK). She tried going "commando" (sans underwear), but says it was "excruciating." The low-rise jeans phenomenon has led to a low-rise panty phenomenon.
Pusz is unbreakable in her resolve against panty showing, and she quickly decides only Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani can get away with it.
"Don't give me that, 'Oops I did it again, my thong is hanging out,' " says Pusz. "Unless you are Britney Spears, forget about it. If you are wearing low-rise jeans and regular underwear, you should be carted away. Panty lines plus showing your underwear is the cardinal sin of low-rise jeans."
Big shocker that Ryan Nesbitt doesn't mind, though. An 18-year-old, he has nothing against a half-inch to an inch of butt cleavage on a "Tara Reid-type" woman. "Bootylicious," he says.
All this butt cleavage has school administrators and some parents reeling. Not everyone wants to see the gluteus maximus in school, not even in anatomy class.
For schools, the styles pose the expected dress code issues.
Still, fashion comes and goes, so enjoy it now, as this butt-baring might be outdated by fall. Don't fret, though. There's still plumber's butt, unless Joe Schlueter has anything to do with it.
The owner of Schlueter Plumbing Inc. in Cincinnati has been in the business for over 35 years. He has worked hard to shed the plumber's "showy" stigma. His plumbers wear uniforms.
"I can't guarantee you won't see a little butt crack," Schlueter says. "Plumbing does involve bending over a lot ... But we are conscious of it and we want to put someone in your home that you feel comfortable with."
And that's just better for everyone.