Caution: An Exposed Hoo-Ha May Be Harmful to Your Self-Esteem

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

We saw it first on Carrie Bradshaw, and it was enough to distract us from her runway spill. Beyonce rocked it for her MTV VMA performance; Prada showcased it in a collection;Rihanna had the cojones to don it at Paris Fashion Week; Lady Gaga's its biggest cheerleader.
The no-pants trend seems to be all the rage. I'm just wondering how the eff we're supposed to respond to it.

My confusion over glossy-endorsed crotch shots isn't a mark of modesty, believe you me. My daily uniform consists of cutoffs-over-tights and boots. If that's slutty to some, pardon me for not giving a shit -- you can't take the Jersey out of the girl. Why not take it to the next level and don underwear over tights instead?

The only style rule I believe in is this: If you feel comfortable and confident wearing it, it's In. If you've got an entourage cooing about how faaaahbulous you look dahling, then yes, it's possible to feel secure without being fully dressed. Pay enough people to tell you so, and it's possible to feel secure in a muumuu too. Maybe some of the runway can be adapted to real life. I'm just not sold on the idea that a real, live woman can expose the outlines of her hoo-ha and still feel good about herself.

For performers, leotards are a costume, a mark of showmanship. For celebrities, bodysuits might be a means to iconic status in fashion. But for women with no audience and no bodyguards, not wearing pants isn't a groundbreaking style choice: it's asking for trouble.

I'm not saying if you say no to pants, you risk being judged -- that's always the case with trend experimentation. I'm merely questioning what your outfit says about you when the only things covering your bottom half are full-bottomed underwear and thigh-high boots. There's a big fat difference between dressing to feel sexy, and dressing to ask for sex.

I realize my pro-pants stance might reek of hypocrisy, what with my penchant for short hemlines and all. Luckily, there are many thigh-baring styles that don't involve flashing one's camel toe all over town. Trends are supposed to inspire us to try new things. And when they further objectify an already-objectified gender, they're better left on the runway.

What's In according to fashion ebbs and flows, but self-esteem is a go-to khaki trench: It's one of those trend-defying classics.

Let's take back the pants.