Behind the Scenes of Ba Dum Tess: Denim, I hardly know him

Something ironic about me, a young queer woman, rolling out of bed straight into the arms of my closet to record a podcast about denim featuring a gay cowboy talking about a gay rodeo. Life takes you crazy places – my best advice is just to go with it.

So, episode two: Denim. We wrote and recorded when Euphoria was at its peak clownery. I have found that when the discourse about Euphoria rises, so too, does the judgment of the youth. Trends have a place in culture, of course. However, not following them should not be a statement about one’s moral value to the world. Denim has been through it all.

Every two years or less there is a new style of jeans that is in and one that, if you choose to wear it, is ostensibly social suicide. Euphoria season two, unfortunately, returned the low-rise jean to the vernacular. My thirteen-year-old cousin mocked and bullied me extensively for wearing skinny jeans.

The only thing that seems to be a constant, at least in my eyes, is the denim jacket. There has never been an era where it wasn’t cool to wear a denim jacket. 

Denim. Damn, that is some durable-ass fabric. Like many things, it comes from capitalist origins. Levi Strauss (ever heard of him?) marketed it as the working man’s cloth for its sturdy construction, and lasting nature. Although it should be noted: the denim pant was first manufactured in the Americas by a man named Jacob Davis. I just feel like we don’t hear about him much. We don’t call them Davis’s, and I just think that’s a bummer for him. Pour one out for Jacob Davis tonight, kids. 

When we first brought up denim as a subject, it was difficult not to simply stay on the clothing aspect of it. I personally wear a lot of denim, can’t get enough of it. But then we branched out. Denim obviously leads to cowboys. Cowfolk, if you will. We found Chuck Browning through a friend, editor, and motivator of the pod, Maggie Scudder(‘s brother). The International Gay Rodeo Association was the gift we didn’t know we needed.

Now I personally have never met a real-life cowboy. I honestly have a traumatic past with ‘horse girls.’ But Browning was an exceptional human being. He taught us about the rodeo like he taught his horse ‘Little Jo’ how to canter, leap, and gallop.

We also, of course, brought on the formerly mentioned Maggie: our resident fashion influencer. Maggie is from Texas, so let’s just say she knows a thing or two about cow culture.

“Everyone was wearing denim,” says Maggie.

Now a twenty-something living in New York, Maggie has taken the fringe denim jacket and a cowboy hat to the big city, on the 1 train specifically. Maggie always wants to make New York references because she thinks that it’s the best city. This is also the episode where Trina, Maggie, and I, had the iconic “Which city is the best city,” argument. We’re sorry to have fought so passionately in front of you all – but it’s the level of commitment you should expect from us here at Ba Dum Tess.

Like…let’s talk about Old Navy, let’s just get into it. I’m talking about the first day of school outfit, what are you gonna wear?

It can make or break your entire fifth-grade experience. What style of jeans are you wearing? I wasn’t much of a dress and skirt girl so the Old Navy jean section was an important part of my rearing.

It’s part of human nature to judge people. In theory, if you wanna feel better, you can believe that it’s your “survival instinct,” that you’re checking to make sure you’re safe or something. But actually, you’re probably just trying to determine if the person is hot or cool or worth your time. Someone wearing the latest and greatest is a different vibe from someone in crocs and an anime t-shirt. I’m not saying either is better than the other, but we cannot deny that they are interpreted differently by society. Especially in middle school.

My favorite tidbit from this episode is the discovery that denim backward is mined. And the Levi’s jeans we know and love today were largely worn by the gold miners of 1849. Makes you think. We don’t mean to get so deeply intellectual here at Ba Dum Tess, but when it happens, we never run away. That’s our pledge.

If you haven’t heard this episode, I gotta be honest, like…go listen to it. It’s the one that makes me laugh the most. (So far!)

We talk trends, we talk high school, we talk ridin’ and ropin’. Also, find out who Trina and I would be in the Euphoria-verse and would we have been friends? You may be surprised. Plus, take a shot every time I try to avoid talking about my high school experience. (Be safe, it happens a lot.)

P.S. – In this episode, we were also celebrating Trina’s birthday which was a delight. Shoutout Trina. Always shout out to Trina. What a joy, what a light, what a guy. Pour one out for Trina Sanyal, tonight, kids!