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In Search of Crotchless Clothing

I dropped by a small shop the other day to check out some children’s wear. It seems the Chinese love to have English printed on their clothing whether or not it makes sense. Sometimes, the words are completely made up. My son has a T-shirt that says, “For Expert Sailors. Sailing Solut. Ator Marine Equipment Ator For Sailboat Operator.” Okay…

The shopkeeper asked me what I was looking for. A crotchless outfit, I said. Unfortunately, she did not carry any crotchless outfits (or crotchless shorts). But this is China! I thought. A country that pees its babies! How could she not have crotchless stuff? She said that crotchless wear isn’t very popular anymore and has been on the wane for the past several years. People now prefer the non-crotchless outfits.

I suspect that as China modernizes, crotchless wear is increasingly seen as “rural.” (There’s an inbred prejudice against rural people in China.) On the streets here, I see most babies in crotchless outfits but the toddlers and preschoolers are in “regular” shorts. I won’t have a chance to visit rural China so I don’t know what it’s like there.

One doesn’t need crotchless wear to EC babies so I doubt the decreased popularity will lead to a lower incidence of ECing. But there are other factors that will — the biggest culprit being disposable diapers. More on that later.

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