Being Mooned by China’s Toddlers

I have no personal experience on which to base this statement, but I think I can safely say that changing diapers sucks. The invention of the disposable diaper has made the process somewhat less unpleasant, but what if I told you it could be easier still? What if I said you never have to worry about changing your baby’s diaper again? Well, it’s possible and you can thank China for making it happen. Check out what I like to call the Chinese butt pants:

Assless Pants China

Maybe they just ran out of material…. Photo by Augapfel.

Often just a regular pair of pants that have simply been modified with a pair of scissors, I have also seen quite a few that looked professional enough to make me think they’re sold in stores as well. Unfortunately, I never bothered to check out a baby section in a department store while I was in China, so I don’t know what these crotch-less baby pants are officially called. I doubt their actual name could top ‘Chinese butt pants’ though.

Open Ass Kid

And no name could accurately convey just how stylish they look…. Photo by Gabanie.

Put your kid in a pair of these and you’ll never have to touch a diaper again. As long as you teach them to squat (and they do need to learn to squat—I can’t emphasize enough how important squatting is) you don’t need to be involved in your child’s waste excretion activities at all.

Some of you might be thinking, “Don’t I still have to clean the mess up?” The good news is: no, you don’t! Not if you’re in China anyway and judging by the number of people who don’t bother cleaning up after their dogs in the west, I doubt you’d have to worry about it here either. In fact, my personal introduction to the butt pants illustrates perfectly how easy your life could be.

Open Butt Pants

Just strolling through the park and enjoying the breeze…. Photo by Eric Niu.

On one of my first few days in China proper (i.e. not Hong Kong or Macau), I went to a Carrefour department store in Guangzhou to buy a few things. Eventually I made my way to the grocery section and as I was riding the escalator, I noticed a family standing and talking at the end of one of the aisles. They caught my eye mainly because their kid was apparently wearing assless chaps.

As if sensing my confusion, the kid decided to take that moment to demonstrate the functionality of his open-seated pants by squatting down in the grocery store aisle and dropping off a little turd. At first the rest of his family didn’t even seem to notice, but it didn’t take long for the smell to register. With a look that said, “Let’s get out of here, something stinks!” the mom grabbed her son’s hand and dragged him off down another aisle.

Now I should mention that most of the other Chinese people who saw this clearly disapproved of this particular potty training method. The family in question had obviously only arrived in the city recently and were not quite up to speed on the toilet policy of your average department store. There’s a good chance they weren’t even aware that toilets exist inside buildings. Still, what a wonderful introduction to China!

Crotchless Pants Kid

Here’s a kid wondering why his dad’s ass is covered. Photo by Bill Wilcox.

I should also mention that this was the only time during my two years in China that I saw a child relieve themselves in a grocery store aisle. Unfortunately, I did see them do it on sidewalks (not just children, adults as well), on station platforms and pretty much everywhere but an actual toilet.

I even got stuck next to a mother with her two daughters, one of whom was rocking some butt pants, on a 50+ hour train journey from Shanghai to Urumuqi and had the pleasure of witnessing (smelling, to be exact) the youngest one putting her bottomless pants to good use on the floor right next to my sleeper berth seemingly every 30 minutes or so for the duration of the trip. You can imagine how pleasant that was and it will most definitely be the subject of a future blog post.

I mentioned people not cleaning up after their dogs and I think that’s actually the key to the correct use of the butt pants. If your child runs around bare-assed, you need to strap a leash on them and always carry little plastic baggies when taking them for a walk. I’ve seen plenty of kids on leashes already and people seem to treat their dogs more and more like kids too, dressing them up in little clothes and sleeping with them and what not. Why not blur the lines even more?


  1. says

    Phenomenal… I really can’t express how much a post like this blows my mind about travelling. It’s just one of those things that until you come face to face with it (or in this case, face to ass), you would swear it’s being made up.

    Well played, good sir. Keep up the good work lol
    Margyle recently contributed to world literature by posting..Good and Bad Ways to Make Money While TravellingMy Profile

  2. says

    Jesus Christ. We witnessed some horrific “butt pants” action while in China, but we never saw anyone relieve themselves indoors. That is just really disgusting, and definitely trumps when we saw a father holding his son over a garbage can whilst in the Shanghai metro so that his kid could take a crap. Right in front of a sign for the toilets, naturally.
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently contributed to world literature by posting..And Now for Some Culture…My Profile

  3. says

    I’ve never seen these pants outside of China, but I do see kids popping a squat all the time in the streets of Thailand. In some ways, I admire the efficiency of these pants, but at the same time, I can’t quite get over the “ew” factor. Plus, I feel like it could make for some mortifying pictures to be brought out during adulthood.
    Jessica recently contributed to world literature by posting..Sunday Snapshot: Monkey Mountain Hua HinMy Profile

    • says

      Judging by the number of taxi drivers I saw pull over and jump out for a quick squat by the side of the road and the number of times in general I saw people going to the bathroom without going to an actual bathroom, I doubt anyone in China would find photos like that all that embarrassing…
      Daniel McBane recently contributed to world literature by posting..Marijuana in MadridMy Profile

      • Disinterested reader says

        And the myth is perpetuated.

        From NASA:
        The Great Wall of China, frequently billed as the only man-made object visible from space, generally isn’t, at least to the unaided eye in low Earth orbit. It certainly isn’t visible from the Moon.

        Well, maybe using a 400mm zoom lens, maybe. Definitely can see it using imaging radar, but human eye? Not a chance.

        • says

          I know, but sometimes science takes a backseat to comedy. And I think most people probably know that you can’t actually see it from space. I mean, it’s narrower than most roads—if you could see the wall, you’d also be able to see pretty much every highway on earth.
          Daniel McBane recently contributed to world literature by posting..How to not Visit the Taj Mahal While in AgraMy Profile

  4. says

    Hahah I was shocked the first couple of days, seeing all those buts.Somethings they’re so in your face!
    And, yes, you can buy them in shops :)
    I saw a man lift up his son to let him poop in a trashcan, at least it’s better than in a grocery store.

    • says

      Yeah, it’s definitely not a clean place, but personally, I found India much dirtier. At least in China, they generally employ millions of street cleaners in order to ensure full employment and occasionally, one of them even sweeps up some trash. In India, no trash is ever picked up unless a cow eats it.
      Daniel McBane recently contributed to world literature by posting..6 Steps to Becoming a True BackpackerMy Profile

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