Budgie Smugglers Should Be Banned. Not Even Jude Law Can Pull Them Off.
When someone asks me, “Do you support a ban on budgie smugglers?” I don’t even hesitate.
I answer, “Yes, I do, and that answer stands no matter whether you are referring to men’s swimwear or to illegal dealers in native wildlife. It especially stands if you are referring to illegal dealers in native wildlife who conceal that wildlife IN their swimwear.”
It doesn’t matter whether you call them budgie smugglers, speedos, The Hell Pouch, Banana Hammocks, or Dick Stickers: the garments to which I refer are a common sight on beaches around the world, particularly an entrenched part of Australian culture, and one of the greatest scourges that the fashion industry has ever foisted on humanity.
Now, it’s easy to take an anti-speedo position when exposed to former prime minister Tony Abbott’s love of the tiny man-sling.
Obviously, when gazing upon the Abbott rig, drinking in the full horror of God’s creation and musing upon the far-too-unmistakable outline that his navy netherhammock describes, your mind goes immediately to thoughts of legislation.
There must be a law against such displays, you think.
You’d probably think similarly when checking out the Budgie Nine, those festive fellows who were arrested for exposing their budgie smugglers at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2016.
For the Nine were no more the optimum examples of human anatomy than Abbott is, and anyone viewing their pale, glue-hued torsos and unprepossessing smuggler-bound regions couldn’t help but believe the Malaysian police made the right call.
But it might be that, despite our revulsion when seeing the average man or ex-prime minister in budgie smugglers, we believe that official sanctions against speedo sporters would be a step too far.
It might be that we believe we can’t blanket-ban a piece of clothing based purely on its most unattractive wearers. After all, not everyone is Tony Abbott, are they?
We have to permit the smuggling of budgies, we might say, because sometimes the budgies being smuggled are pleasing to the eye, and the smuggling thereof might make a positive contribution to our community.
Well, that’s where we would be wrong, and it’s illustrative of the lethal perils of appeasement. Just this week, photos came to light of Jude Law wearing nothing but Speedos while filming a scene for his show The New Pope. Leaving aside for the purposes of this article the question of why the Pope is wearing Speedos at all, these photos reveal a shocking and disturbing truth:
Nobody looks good in budgie smugglers.
Nobody. Nobody at all. I mean, if anyone was going to, it’d be Jude Law, wouldn’t it? The man is a chiselled earthbound god, and to look upon him is to feel that the world is not such a bad place after all. Renaissance sculptors devoted their lives to trying to capture the sort of beauty embodied in Jude Law.
But in budgie smugglers, he looks…wrong.
Partly, of course, this is because the male body is an inherently problematic construction. It has certain parts that look good in isolation, but when viewed as a complete set, appear awkward and poorly designed. Some parts are positively grotesque, and we have to be honest with ourselves: it’s exactly those parts that the Speedo is designed to highlight. It is a garment that hides a man’s shame, but perversely draws attention to it in the very act of concealment. Looking at the budgie smugglers, you can see clearly enough what is contained within, the obscenity only heightened by the brazenness of the wearer’s belief that he is somehow decent.
So it is with Jude Law. So much beauty is contained in his form, but when stripped down to his Speedos, the eye is irresistibly drawn away from the sculpted abs or angelic face, to the repulsive package below that, like Pandora’s box, seems to offer nothing but the promise of woe and destruction. The budgie smuggler has ruined Jude like it has ruined many a beautiful man before him.
We have to face facts. This is a garment that only ever makes things worse. Nobody in the history of the world has ever looked better in Speedos than they did without them.
It makes attractive men unattractive and unattractive men positively nauseating. It is also responsible for the human race developing the term “budgie smuggler” in the first place: a low point in the story of language. Saying “budgie smuggler” out loud makes one feel dirty, as if participating in a hideous pagan ritual. Writing it repeatedly for this article has inspired such guilt in me that I don’t know how many hot showers I’m going to need afterwards. It’s one of the few colloquialisms that could reasonably be classified as a crime against humanity: even if you didn’t know what a revolting object it referred to, you’d sense just by the sound of it that it was an unclean phrase.
So the solution, as I say, is simple: ban it. Ban people wearing budgie smugglers. Ban people selling budgie smugglers. Ban people saying “budgie smugglers”. Don’t let our wonderful planet be polluted by the sight of unjustifiably confident men’s barely restrained unmentionables any longer. Concede that it’s a public health issue: seeing men in budgie smugglers can cause anything from projectile vomiting to catatonia.
There can be no exceptions to this. Lifesavers must be required to cover at least part of their thighs. Olympic swimmers and divers must be forced to compete in board shorts. And any violation of the new laws must be met with stiff -- stop it -- penalties. Not fines -- imprisonment.
Sounds Draconian, I know, but the next time you see a man in tiny, groin-garotting bathers, look into your heart and ask yourself: would the world really be any worse off if that dude was behind bars?