Image Credit: Betches

Manny Santos' Whale Tail Was A Cultural Reset That Rocked My World

Degrassi’s Manny Santos went through many ups and downs over the course of the show – emphasis on downs, most notably a set of absolutely criminal bangs. But her most infamous look, a look most gals could only dream of rocking so bombastically, was featured in the 2003 episode, “U Got the Look.” 

In what can only be described as Bratz doll cosplay, Manny Santos showed up to the second day of 9th grade wearing low-rise jeans, a midriff-baring bell sleeve top, and a diamante-embellished Molly Baz-blue thong. The bravery. The luxury.


While Millennials are no strangers to delving into the fashion archives of yesteryear, we’ve barely scratched the surface of our tweenage early aughts aesthetics. Instead, “Quiet Luxury,” “Old Money,” and “Grand Millennial” are dominating. Snooze, I say! Why are we serving Businesswoman’s Lunch Special at the club? 

In the episode, Manny declares to bestie Emma, “I wanna be hot. Not cute, not adorable, hot.” Call me kooky, but there’s nothing hot about an oversized blazer, biker shorts, and New Balances, IMO. I want visible thongs, I want Libby Lu’s Slutty Older Sister, I want skirts over flared jeans and feather boas on red carpets again, damnit!

Maybe the whole “Quiet Luxury” thing is a lesson on elevating and maturing one’s style with age, but isn’t having fun with fashion the entire point? Sofia Richie and Hailey Bieber are walking around looking like they’ve entered a Diane Keaton look-alike contest or are searching for husband number 4. They look sad, despondent… boring! 

Even early-aughts fashion icon Marissa Cooper on The O.C. wore improbable, quirky outfits. There was no shortage of shrunken colorful Chanel blazers, ludicrously capricious Olsen-style bags, and pattern clashing on Newport Beach’s Messy Queen #1. So there’s really no excuse for taking a “monied aesthetic” and making it dull.

Fashionistas of the world, I beg of you, lose the Skims dress. Don’t leave something to the imagination! Color > Beige! Expose that whale tail and liberate yourself from the drudgery of yet another tent-like button down!

And, if this article has you Googling “where to find a Manny Santos thong replica,” boy, do we have news for you. The actress behind Manny, Cassie Steele, is littttterally giving away 50 limited-edition blue thongs with rhinestones and bunny charms in a partnership with Tubi. Enter here and get ready show the world that thong. (And yes, this is how you do in fact win your office Halloween costume party!)

Eva Morreale
Eva Morreale
Eva Morreale is a Jersey girl based in Los Angeles. She has an encyclopedia-like knowledge of Sex and the City, the Real Housewives franchise, and always carries Tums. You can follow her whereabouts on IG @evapants or subscribe to her newsletter Fries for the Table (