Random Images: Carter’s Spanky Pants

(Last Updated On May 25, 2022)

In the early days of advertising, it seemed logical that the product in question should be displayed along with a glowing description of its features setting it apart from its competitors. It certainly led to a lot of voyeuristic fodder but also bittersweet memories of a bygone age of innocence for both children and grownups.

Carter’s Spanky Pants Ad (1963)

I was recently informed that since about 2000, film directors consistently pay special attention to avoid shots that might accidentally show a flash of panties out of concern over the wrong kind of attention.

8 thoughts on “Random Images: Carter’s Spanky Pants

  1. A middle aged artist who goes by the name “Rude Rumps” created a gag version of a Spanky Pants ad.

    She wrote:
    “Spanky Pants were literally the only brand of underwear my mom bought for me until I was like 12. They were pretty big and rather baggy with this ruffly elastic around the legs and kind of a double layer of cotton on the seat – very comfortable except when I was getting a spanking lol 🙂 Every morning I’d look at the label and get a bit of a tingle seeing the word ‘Spanky’! I was convinced they were specially designed for spanking, though never sure if they were supposed to protect against spankings or make them hurt more…

    “My friends also assumed it referred to getting spanked in them. Well I’m pretty sure it did. I mean why on Earth else would they name them that?? :)”

    • It’s funny how some simple detail about a product can have a weird association for a handful of people. My first impression is that “spanky” is meant to imply that the pants are spanking good, giving the impression of high quality. I have no doubt that many children did get spanked in them because, well, that’s the part of the anatomy where children get spanked. Since that use of the word “spanking” is pretty archaic, that connotation is probably lost on most people today. -Ron

  2. I agree that this advertisement is rather innocent, but I can see how wearing a dress or skirt is – not sexually promiscuous – but potentially flirty. I can image that be one of the perks (or fears) of wearing a dress. Anyways, the panties serve a purpose. They serve to keep the dress from being soiled or damaged by bodily excretions and lessen the friction of outerwear against the skin. This advertisement shows it’s target audience (well, her parents) using the product.

  3. This is a little tangential to the main discussion here, I realize, but I had a brief, involuntary early-childhood crossdressing experience that involved exactly these (around the tail end of said bygone age of innocence), and that brand name has been imprinted on me ever since. What an embarrassing name for little girls’ underpants, especially if you’re not the target demographic to be wearing them. (Carter’s is still around as a brand, but “Spanky Pants” died out around 30 years ago.)

  4. What a bizarre and unnecessary imposition on filmmakers. Though the avoidance of these shots must only occur in some regions as it does not seem to affect the European filmmakers. Our European readers would be able clarify this situation better but I can think of several movies where the children wear only underwear, albeit briefly. Two examples are Summer 1993 (2018) and Paradise ’89 (2018).

    • It was a general comment made by someone who has reviewed a lot of movies. There will be some interesting news on this in the next Maiden Voyages. -Ron

    • I’ve noticed that even today in the ‘real world’ more parents are making their little girls wear shorts under their dresses as to avoid an accidental flash of panties. By no means do I think they should be flashing people, but I feel like the shorts kind of defeat the purpose of wearing a dress. It just looks odd to me.

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