TIME Opinion

The Fanny Pack: Symbol of Male Liberation

In defense of the world's greatest supply bag

America’s national arbiter of Southern Cool, Matthew McConaughey, declared his love for the fanny pack to the world while at Fenway Park Sunday.

“I’m not afraid of the fanny pack,” said McConaughey, when confronted about his accessory. “You gotta kind of put it on the side to make it look a little not as nerdy, but still, practicality wins out. I got so much gear in here that I don’t want in my pockets.”

The Houston Astros Vs. The Boston Red Sox At Fenway Park
Actor Matthew McConaughey stands for the national anthem at the Red Sox game at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) Boston Globe—Boston Globe via Getty Images

For those not in the know, a fanny pack is a small pouch worn around the waist like a belt. Supposedly once the pouch was worn over the buttocks, hence the name, though no one wears them that way today. They peaked as a fashion item in the 1980s.

McConaughey’s love for the fanny pack is all good and well and I offer him my sincerest stamp of approval but his statement deserves a lingering glance. He speaks not only to today’s evolving fashion trends and the utility of the fanny pack but to the society’s sexist fashion standards and the plight of modern man, especially when it’s hot outside.

Consider the options available to a man wishing to carry a few supplies out into the world (excluding winter time, when the giant coat and the fact that going out is awful anyway renders the conundrum moot).

The briefcase—No one took you seriously when you carried one in high school and no one takes you seriously now, unless there are actual briefs (the legal kind) in that thing.

The backpack—We could rename it “The backsweat.” Also kind of juvenile, but it’ll do in a pinch.

The satchel—Known to everyone talking out of earshot as your “murse,” this bag is actually pretty handy but it can be a bulky when you’re trying to feel light and free and summery.

The hand—Real men carry things with their hands. But we are not real men and haven’t been since the end of the Stone Age so moving on.

The purse—Bless you bold purse carriers, but no. Getting an arm into the strap is impossible and there is just no way to hold these things other than with hand on strap arm extended at 90 degrees. Ergonomically out of the question. I am not alone.

The fanny pack— Small, light and comfy. The flip flop of supply bags. Liberator of male-kind. The fanny pack will get you where you need to go along with your carmex, knife, road beer, sunglasses, or whatever else. You will not be dependent (in the supply arena, anyway) on a purse-wielder, nor will you be weighed down by any aforementioned bulky or discomfiting bags.

Through the centuries man has known it to be true that the fanny pack is tops. Only recently, in this dark age of meggings and other fashion crimes, have we lost sight of our centuries old love for the fanny pack. See here, symbol of manly freedom and fanny pack pioneer, The King of the Wild Frontier himself, Davy Crockett.

Davy Crockett, King Of The Wild Frontier
Silver Screen Collection—Getty Images

Follow McConaughey, men. Follow Crockett. Embrace the fanny pack. You have nothing to lose but your chains. You have the world to win.

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