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Utah Students Launch "Undie Run," 2011
Protesting against Utah's "uptight" laws, thousands of activists took place in the first annual Utah Undie Run in September 2011. Though organizers have since claimed the event's only purpose is to encourage "Utah to lighten up and to have a great time," participants often take advantage of the blank canvas afforded by a naked body, emblazoning themselves with slogans protesting their cause du jour. The Undie Run returned in 2012, and appears to be on track to reappear in 2013, so Utahians had better get used to seeing thousands of young people jog around the capital in their skivvies. Those poor dears.
Protesters Buy Montenegro's Prime Minister A Whole Lot of New Undies, 2012
Montenegro's Prime Minister, Igor Luksic, caused a bit of a flap earlier this year when word emerged that he'd used state funds to buy a pair of underwear while visiting Estonia. This might seem a little slight when compared to most forms of government impropriety, but coming as it did on the heels of various tax hikes and austerity measures, Montenegrins were not pleased. By way of a response, a group called the Network for Affirmation of the Non-Governmental Sector in Montenegro penned the names of various government officials on underwear and hung them across the street from the government building in Podgorica. The effect was twofold: Luksic got an earful, and, providing he doesn't mind that they're labeled with someone else's name, a boatload of new drawers.
Chilean High Schoolers Use "Thriller," Underwear, and Kisses For Protests, 2012
When Chile gets heated, Chile gets wild. To protest the violent evictions of schools in Chile, hundreds of high-school students took part protests that featured an odd range of activities: there was an interpretive performance of Michael Jackson’s "Thriller," as well as a day of kissing. The protests culminated in hundreds of students marching to the Providencia Municipality building in their underwear, amidst serious rioting. The conflict's far from settled, but the fact that so many kids decided to take such an awesome, absurdist route to protest instead of, y'know, like, tweeting about it, or whatever, remains an inspiration to us all.
Pink <3s Consent, 2012
Recently, renegade feminists appropriated Victoria’s Secret’s Pink line to attack a longstanding tradition of harmful panty messages. Rather than submissive and suggestive phrases like "Sure Thing," the (regrettably unavailable for purchase) Pink <3’s Consent line includes prints like "No Means No" and "Ask First." The mock website is filled with facts about consent, rape statistics, and encouragement for healthy sexual dialogue. Though they're currently under all sorts of heat from Victoria's Secret (for obvious reasons), the Pink <3's Consent people have made their point, proving that even underwear is a great billboard for progressive thought.