'Bum shorts' have it covered at Fieldays

LIBBY WILSON
Last updated 10:47 15/06/2014
Megan Smith, chief executive of Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa, shows off a pair of
NICK REED/Fairfax NZ

DON'T SIT ON THE PROBLEM: Megan Smith, chief executive of Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa, shows off a pair of "Bum Pants" to used to promote and make people aware of the issue.

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A cheeky clothing offering has done the rounds at Fieldays - "bum shorts".

The striped boxer-style shorts with bum cheeks may not be typical farming attire but around 50 pairs were sold by Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa at the Mystery Creek event near Hamilton.

Chief executive Megan Smith even gave Prime Minister John Key a pair.

"While he wasn't prepared to wear them he was certainly proud to hold them up and display them," she said.

"The reaction with the shorts is hysterical. By and large you're either a short lover or hater, we've found. But a lot of people are keen to put them on."

Most people thought they were a hoot and purchasers included children, mothers and grandfathers.

But the shorts bear a "don't sit on your symptoms" slogan and have a greater purpose than raising a laugh.

"We're really encouraging - with the use of the bum shorts - that people just have that awkward conversation [about bowel cancer]," Smith said.

"We find as Kiwis we don't particularly talk about bowel cancer, and yet it takes as many lives as breast and prostate every year. It takes 100 lives a month."

Everyone who visited the charity's stall knew someone who had been affected by bowel cancer, Smith said, and those with a family history or concerns should talk to their GP.

Another derriere-covering option was thermal underwear made from polyprop, which Adventure Line stallholders said were selling well.

"We have a buy one get one free deal on the thermal underwear," Whitney Julian said.

She said it was the first time the brand had been to Fieldays and its range, which included Swanndri-style and camouflage polar fleeces, offered an everyday, low-cost alternative to traditional outdoor wear.

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