Dua Lipa Puts a Mermaidcore Spin On the Exposed Underwear Trend

Photography by Getty Images

According to the ‘Barbie’ actor, visible thongs are here to stay.

In a series of seaside Instagram posts shared on July 30, Dua Lipa not only reminded us that she’s actually a Mermaid Barbie in real life but that the controversial exposed thong trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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In her new vacation-inspired pics, Lipa wears a red see-through crochet dress with a long train, her dark brown hair fittingly styled in beachy mermaidcore waves. The real star of the outfit, though, was the simple black thong that was clearly visible under the knit gown.

This isn’t the first time that the singer has hopped onto the cheeky exposed thong trend either. In fact, she’s sported different versions of the divisive style on several occasions over the past few months, including a few weeks ago at the Barbie movie premiere in Los Angeles.

Lipa looked the part of Mermaid Barbie in a custom crystal chainmail Bottega Veneta gown that had an almost wet appearance. Due to the look’s semi-sheer nature, the pop star’s sparkly underwear was on display.

While Lipa has mastered the art of the exposed thong, she’s just one of the celebs who have hopped on this trend in recent years. One of the first modern reinventions of this audacious look can be traced back to Hailey Bieber‘s 2019 Met Gala outfit. Bieber was giving Barbie before Barbiecore was even a thing in a bubblegum pink Alexander Wang look that she paired with a high ponytail and pearl earrings. The long-sleeve gown featured a super low back which, of course, exposed a light pink thong that was adorned with the word “wang” in sequin block letters.

And, according to her most recent New Year’s Eve outfit, Bieber is seemingly still a fan of the exposed thong. To ring in 2023, she sported a little black Mugler dress that featured several cutouts, including one that appeared to show off matching black undies.

Not one to shy away from a bold outfit choice, Miley Cyrus also rocked the bold trend to usher in the 2023 New Year. While co-hosting NBC’s Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party with her godmother, the one and only Dolly Parton, Cyrus sported a little black dress with strategically placed side cutouts that appeared to display the singer’s underwear.

Other stars have sported the look for more casual occasions, such as Bella Hadid’s 2019 street style look where the model wore low-rise blue baggy jeans over a high-cut black thong.

While these are all recent examples of celebs putting their spin on showing a little skin, the exposed thong trend was a staple of Y2K fashion. In the late ’90s and early 2000s, the fad was commonly referred to as a “whale tail” in which one’s thong would be worn just high enough to peak out above a pair of low-rise jeans. Stars like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Halle Berry and Christina Aguilera helped popularize the trend at the time, and now, the exposed thong is having a renaissance along with countless other Y2K fads that have been revived — whether we like it or not.

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