Co.Design

Sign of the Times: X-Ray Inked Undies Give TSA the Middle Finger

How to oppose the TSA's X-ray scanners without getting a patdown that would make Hugh Hefner blush.

So it turns out all the fuss over the TSA's full-body scanners was a lot of hooey cooked up by hacky cable media and Internet dweebs with overactive imaginations. That hasn't stopped folks from trying to profit off the whole unlovely ordeal. Exhibit A: TSA protest undies by Tim Geoghegan and Matthew Ryan.


The undies are printed directly over your naughty bits, some in metallic ink that's theoretically visible under the flash of an X-ray. The image: text of the Fourth Amendment. So while security guards scan the most intimate reaches of your body, they'll get a lesson on Constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures — that or a sort of homework assignment. As the crotch of one pair of boxers says: "Read the 4th Amendment Perverts."

The designers explain their motivation:

It all started when we removed our shoes to go through an X-ray scanner. What a great canvas the top of a pair of socks are - a place to make a statement about the hassles we have to go through to be safe. So printing the 4th amendment on them seemed like a nice way to make a statement - without being a pain in the ass to the already harrowed TSA employees. In fact, many of us approve of and willingly undergo the airport security protocols. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't question whether it's the very best solution.


The line include socks, T-shirts, boxers, panties, and bras (complete with TSA logos for nipples), and they're available on Etsy.com for $10 to $45. Apparently, some have actually sold out, which suggests that even if people aren't irked enough to partake in organized protests, they're plenty willing to use fashion as a picket sign. It's practically an American tradition.

[Images via Cargo Collective]

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3 Comments

  • Michael McDowell

    Suzanne, I think you make a huge mistake when you say "So it turns out all the fuss over the TSA’s full-body scanners was a lot of hooey cooked up by hacky cable media and Internet dweebs with overactive imaginations." Even the NY Times article you link to has a misleading headline. The whole story is that "Body Scanner Opt-Out Day" was something that didn't really materialize, yet you allude to the actual controversy as to the privacy violation and the potential health risks that have not been vetted properly as being a load of nonsense. Was this your actual intention?