Why Johnny B. Truant Wears Women’s Underpants

Why Johnny B. Truant Wears Women’s Underpants

Reader Comments (114)

  1. Well Johnny:

    You do spin a good story or yarn. Not that I doubt a single word. I’m really paying you a compliment.

    You see, people get engaged with a good story. If you told this story and then told me about this Internet course, Law of Attraction tape, etc., made the important difference, I probably would have purchased it.

    Why? You told a great personal story. It’s as important to great copy as it is to great literature.

    Good stuff today!


  2. God, you’re good, man. When I saw the photo, I thought, “Is that James Chartrand?”

    Wonderful story telling.” I never knew there was so much facial hair lore,” was another thought that piqued my curiosity and interest in the storyline tie in…

    You’re so fun. Cool people live you never like in Los Angeles.

  3. Bravo Janey B. Truant

    I know you’ve been wanting to get that off of your double d chest for a while now.

    Hopefully this won’t shake things up too much, but I’m sure you’re going to get some angry emails from people you met after hours at SXSW. 😛

  4. Ok Johnny, we need to talk.

    Allow me to introduce to you Joseph Wesley.

    Wait, you’ve already met.

    Ok Johnny, allow me to introduce Martyn Chamberlin. Martyn’s already met Joseph.

    Those are some nice underpants.

  5. When you stayed with us and slept on our couch during SXSW, I knew something was going on.

    When I noticed that your entire carry-on bag was stuffed entirely full of women’s underpants… I started to get the picture.

    But it was only when I heard you sing “Whatcha Want” in Rock Band that I figured it out. I’ve never heard that song sung soprano before.

    Cheers, Johnny. (:

  6. My condolences for your challenging childhood, and the difficult decisions you were forced to make. At least you turned out to be a well-adjusted adult with little or no residual mental trauma.

    Or something like that.


    John P.

  7. Wow, have enjoyed your work… what a blast.
    What you say is sad, and partially true. Enter Grandma, she wants to create world domination (through her website), got so many telling me I was foolish, what did I know… wasn’t I a little old for trying something like this, after all we are talking technology. Step forward one hard nosed Brit (me) and well the rest is history. Male or female, young or old… if you have a dream, make it happen…. Period.
    Thank you Johnny, may you always wear “women’s underpants”. Your writing rocks Lady, and so do you!!!

  8. First James, now Johnny. You two have inspired me to come out, too! I’m not the dainty-looking girl who writes about thrifting and creativity as pictured on my blog. I’m actually a robot. I’m Optimus Prime, autobot leader. I live in your computer!

  9. Jesus man, I haven’t laughed so hard in a while. You are so fucking win for this. And the pic of James is just absolutely precious.

    But I’m sorry to say that yes, the beard does give you power. Just Ask Gandalf. Or Rick Rubin.

  10. Balderdash
    I know the REAL truth. Your readers will be shocked to discover that having a chin rug is a disadvantage.
    Worse, beardism is an ever present evil in this world. When I was an executive at British Airways, my facial growth was discouraged heavily, and they didn’t like my earrings, CND badge or different coloured socks either.

    I find that the ladies don’t seem to like my (now greying) chin warmer, as they think (probably quite rightly) that it may contain living entities.

    The one thing I find strange though, is that prior to fairly recent fashion, most females I encountered actually had beards, just hidden. Oh sorry, different subject, please erase previous sentence.

    I really shouldn’t make lurid comments about East European ladies’ armpits.

    Thoroughly enjoyed your feature though, gave me some ideas that make me rub my hairy chin.
    oops – I mean Alan
    Hermaphrodite Bloggers dot com

  11. Wow, as much as I soak up all the great copywriting advice here… these types of posts are the ones that keep me coming back for more. And make me laugh out loud!

    Thank goodness we don’t all need facial hair, otherwise there’d be a lot of sad men when women started to up their testosterone levels to grow a beard! 😉

  12. Well, this post landed in my in-box just after my listening to an MP3 of you chatting with Sonia — and I STILL managed to hesitate for a minute over the true-or-false question. To be tongue in cheek with some underlying truth is a gift.

    Oh — and as for your earlier comment about the SEO value of “Johnny Truant underpants” — I actually top the charts for “circumcising a bear”, and am still puzzling over what that particular individual might have been struggling with that caused him or her to enter that search term. There should be a contest for strangest-actual-search-terms-used-to-reach-a-tiny-blog.

  13. Funny, considering what day it is today. I tell ya it’s great to see James’s smiling face over at Twitter too and nice pic of her here. 🙂

  14. Yo Johnny, I didn’t know you were from Quebec! I’m a bone fide anglo Montrealer. High fives!

    Also “I ranked #1 for coveted SEO phrases like “giant beard parsnip Ewok,” = AMAZING!

  15. Something amazing in your writing made me read (and enjoy!) your complete post. The calendar link at the very end completely intrigued and surprised me! I didn’t click on any of the other ones but I’m blown away and amazed at your crafty writing that leads the reader just where you want them to go!!! BRAVO, Miss Thang!!

  16. Hey! That was fun. Never thought about beards like that, but then I live in Florida. I think it’s better to have Beard Envy than the other kind of envy, too. 🙂

  17. This totally made me smile on a crappy day. Thank you! 🙂

    (And after I’d waited weeks to see whether you WOULD do it, or whether was just the SXSW-craziness talking…)

  18. @Johnny: The best part about this post is you are now on the 2nd Google search results page for “Women’s Underpants” Now all you have to do is figure out how to monetize that. 🙂

  19. Thanks for this. Made me laugh. On a personal note…I live in a small community in Ontario, Canada and we all have beards…even the women. After I kiss my wife, it’s like tearing apart velcro.

  20. Am I the only person who has never met Johnny or been to his corner of the web? The whole time I was reading, I was like, “Why did this girl have to lie about who she is?! Is our society really that fucked up?!” I was ready to leave a comment about being yourself and how she shouldn’t have had to do that… and then I got to the end. Clearly it has either been a long week or I live in a damn hole. I’m gonna go with the first one. 😀

    I headed over to your site though, Johnny, and I am really inspired by your About page. I too forget everything, swear a lot, and love personal blogging. I worked for a few years in the “professional” world, and I hated it. I never felt like I fit in. Recently I started thinking about running MY OWN business, instead of working for someone else and trying to fit into their image or what I should be. After looking around your site, I’m seriously considering it.

    • This post is a spoof of one that James Chartrand truthfully came out on Copyblogger as a woman pretending to be a man to get writing gigs (see the link in the PS).. So yes, society still has some issues. But James and Johnny came up for this idea together, so at least everyone still has a sense of humor.

      • I just read the post about James now. That makes me so mad — that she would have to go through all that! I recently discovered that women on salary get paid less than men on salary. I’m twenty-two and had previously thought that, since this is 2011, stuff like that didn’t happen anymore. I am far from a feminist, but James’s story is heartbreaking (though I am really glad she built such a great business for herself).

        Thanks for posting these here. While I love your copywriting advice, I also love articles that are about people and the problems they face. This parody brings a very important issue to light. (You know, for those of us living under a rock who missed James’s original post. :D)

        It also brings another issue to light. My boyfriend has a fantastic beard, and yet many people look down on him for it (though he gets lots of compliments from other people). Any tips from the beard tribe?

        • Sweetie, what’s it mean to be “far from a feminist”? You can still be a feminist and do fun stuff like wear makeup, shave your legs, and even have sex with boys. Promise. We don’t even make you toss out your bras anymore.

    • Elizabeth–If you’re looking for additional inspiration, I highly recommend Hugh MacLeod’s books, “Ignore Everybody” and “Evil Plans.” I’d be shocked if Johnny isn’t a huge fan of Hugh…and vice versa!

      • Nice to meet you, too! I’m excited that it’s okay to be a non-professional and still work in a professional field. I thought I was the only one struggling!

  21. Very entertaining … you’ve certainly found an intriguing niche.

    But I can’t help digging my heels in against the underlying concept here: one my best options for success as a female writer is to pretend I am a man? I must heartily disagree.

  22. This post makes me want to become a more regular Copyblogger contributor just so *I* can do next year’s April Fools post. *evil cackle*

  23. Um, I’m confused. Are you a woman or just a man without a beard that likes women’s underwear? Your website does say you’re a man with a wife… good gracious… what a twist on reality…

  24. Dear Johnny,

    I’m so girly I didn’t even know how much influence a beard has. No wonder I’ve struggled so much. Thank you. I feel like I did when I took my first Women’s Studies course and found out how oppressed I am. I think I’ll consider wearing a fake beard to break through the glass ceiling.


    PS. How did James Chartrand become Johnny Truant?

  25. This is the first ‘author fusion’ that I’ve seen in my short Internet life!
    James’ picture is absolutely delicious : ) and we could hear Johnny’s voice synchronized with James’ voice.
    This post is so deep in teachings, I’ll make sure I read it many, many times, just to be sure I didn’t miss any wisdom gem.

    Do I Know How It Feels To Be A Woman!?

    In my phoning telemarketer/telecounselor days, I was feeling uncomfortable in the beginning, because clients or prospects would talk to me using “Madame,” on some days (depending on the weather.) And whenever it happened, I was trying to swiftly rectify with a smile: “it’s rather ‘Mister’..” then my prospect apologized and we just continued the conversation. Fortunately, I was not always mistaken to be a woman, and that was relatively reassuring, ‘fortunately’ because I was just a beginner and things were complicated enough.

    But after I gained confidence and experience, I started to ‘feel’ things differently, I was no longer pissed of when I was called ‘Madame,’ because now I understood it was not a ‘personal’ but a natural mistaking, my voice sounded just like a sexy deep feminine voice, and not only it’s not a disadvantage, it was actually a cool advantage! And I just kept being myself, I changed nothing in how I was talking to that person who couldn’t see that I had sideburns à la Beatles!

    The cool advantage was that my prospects/clients, whether they were women or men, were no longer defensive, they were more likely to be open to me right from the start if they thought I was a lady, it’s measurable on a scale of just some seconds, the time needed for your interlocutor to scan your voice and tone then decide how much he or she will be friendly with you. When I was recognized as a man, I had to navigate more amongst ‘objections’ to be able to reach again that level of friendliness that is relatively easier to achieve “when I was a woman.”

    It doesn’t mean there were large differences in sales performance or client satisfaction statistics between guys and gals, it’s just that, if you were a woman, life is better with clients : ) it’s not a generalization, it’s just my personal observation.

    And yes it feels weird to wear woman’s underpants when you’re a guy, but YES it feels fucking fun when you just play the game naturally and just be yourself, (and of course James, I understand that a name is totally irrelevant in such cool situations, I always said my name in the beginning, and it rarely made a difference 🙂

    I am sure there are many cool things I will spot in this episode, and that’s why I’ll be reading this post again and again.

    So thank you Johnny and James for this genius ‘fusion’! Have cool times dudes!

    (SideQuest: I was wondering why I had that ‘Metal Gear Solid Snake’ main music theme started in my head: thinking about it a little: Meryl X Snake = James X Johnny :p )


  26. Johnny B., if I hadn’t recently read a post of yours regarding your wife (which was great), I would be feeling kind of betrayed. How could a guy (you) set up a blog for me (thank you) and not speak the truth to a female client? The bottom line was you still don’t write like a girl. 🙂 Thanks for the laughs today!

  27. What does writing like a girl mean in one of the posts…?

    I enjoyed every word. Can’t wait for my next encounter with a fake 4:00 shadow or an overly manicured patch of facial hair.

    • Hi Wendy. If you’re referring to my comment, it wasn’t meant to be derogatory. I simply noticed that Johnny’s feminine side doesn’t show in his posts (to me anyway)…

  28. It’s taken me about a year to create my master flow-chart of who’s who and what’s what in the world of Copy Pro’s, Truant Non-Conformists, Kitchen Tables with Pens, and being Passively Lateral.

    This one article shattered the entire mind map and fractured the cognitive schema I once had in place. It has forced me to forsake reality, or what I once thought was reality, for my own subjective world where everyone is who I say they should be.

    Forget you people. I’m going back to reading Batman. One story line. Once per month. It was so much easier that way.

  29. This article was ridiculous… the writer didn’t even have a beard!


    This was a tremendously engaging story. I also liked the way you opened up to us, as an audience. It makes me feel like I want to stop back by more often… there’s a connection you’ve made here.

    Now… if only I can find a way to recreate this effect and keep people coming back to my sites…


  30. Forget all that. I’m still trying to imagine what Ms. Truant looks like in underpants.

    And this, Ms. Truant, is all you need to know if you ever decide to come back as a male.

    Well played, m’lady.

  31. I know what you mean about the whole facial hair thing, and there is always that flip side of the story, too. What about hairy-lipped women who need electrolysis to keep potential clients from turning to run before the handshake is cold? And then there is the whole NOSE HAIR thing – my female friend recently met me for coffee and I immediately noticed that she had one long, silver hair growing out of her left nostril. I was sitting there contemplating exactly how, when or even IF to address the subject when our gay waiter arrived. He looked at her and said flatly, “Girl you got a nose hair longer than Rapunzel’s braid hanging out of your nostril. Why don’t you run into the little girl’s room and liberate it before the villagers arrive with torches?” Maybe that’s why they wrote a play about it.

  32. G’day Johnny B,
    In the words of a song your father probably knew, “Oh Johnny Oh!” What is it about fathers and beards? I had my last full face shave on Feb. 20, 1963–my father’s birthday. He’s been dead for 40 years. My beard lives.

    You should know that in Australia in the 60s, anyone with a beard was believed to be either a sailor, a hobo or too bloody lazy to shave each morning. I wasn’t either of the first two and far too vain to admit to being among the third group.

    Now every two bit pseudo individualist has, or attempts to have, a beard. And ya gotta admit, a beard with a totally shaven head looks pretty ridiculous.

    On a more positive note, I bet that Copyblogger would double its readership if Sonia were bearded. That really would give The Third Tribe some cachet, as they say. Sort of join TTT; and with Johnny B who just can’t, Sonia who shouldn’t but can and Brian who could but chooses not to. Wow!.

    But don’t take my word for it. Egomaniacal old buggers with ancient beards simply can’t be trusted. But you’ve known that for years.

    Keep shaving and having as much fun as Mr Gillette allows.

    Best wishes


  33. Wait a dang second. I don’t understand. Are you saying what I think you’re saying …

    It’s facial hair and NOT back hair that will make you famous?

    You couldn’t have told me this before I spent a three years and a five thousand dollars on Minoxidil back rubs in seedy massage parlors?

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