The history of the singlet: Hated by wrestlers & loved by gays

em History & People, Sports & Activity 2 Comments

The New York Times once called it the “most mocked athletic uniform in existence.” High school coaches wail about how its presence drives kids away and negatively impacts the sport. Nevertheless, the singlet persists.

Despite a relatively new NCAA rule that permits wrestlers to wear two-piece uniforms, singlets remain ubiquitous, both on the mat and in pockets of the gay community. Unsurprisingly, all the complaints about singlets–they’re often derided as too tight and revealing–are exactly why the gays love them.

But first: the wrestlers: While singlets are synonymous with wrestling today, they’re a new phenomenon. Throughout the early 20th century, wrestlers competed in a variety of different outfits, most of which involved trunks and tights. And to be honest, it’s hard to see how wrestling trunks, which resemble bikinis, are any less gay than singlets.

But trunks are a mainstay in popular culture, probably due to their widespread use in pro wrestling. Many of the industry’s biggest stars–Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and The Rock, just to name three–have pranced around in those little things in front of millions of people.

Read on…