Are they serious?

by Cara on August 14, 2008

in beauty myths, marketing, objectification, pop culture, products

When I saw an email in my inbox with the subject “BEAUTY SECRET Bust-Firming Bra: 4 Weeks to a Firmer You,” I thought it must be spam with strangely correct spelling. But then I saw that the email from from Victoria’s Secret (whose emails I get virtually daily and delete unless they actually happen to have a good deal). The picture to your left is a Victoria’s Secret model showing off the new advertised bra.

From the product description:

The secret’s out: 4 weeks to a firmer looking you. Introducing the only bra proven to tighten, firm and enhance the appearance of your skin – all you have to do is wear it. Beauty Secret™ gives your bust a more uplifted effect in just 4 weeks. Innovative firming and renewal treatments diminish signs of aging and improve skin’s ability to retain moisture, resulting in a naturally firmer-looking bust area. Beauty Secret™ is an unprecedented breakthrough in the world of bras…and now it’s yours to experience. Lightly lined. Contoured shaping. Underwire cups. Adjustable straps. Back closure. Imported nylon/spandex.

• Gives an 18% boost in skin firmness after 4 weeks of continuous wear (8 hours daily)
• Safe to wash (hand-wash preferred): retains renewing power for the life of the bra
• Feels just like any other bra: no inserts, creams or lotions
• You’ll notice results after 4 weeks of continuous wear (8 hours daily), with maximum rejuvenation in 8 weeks

Wow.  I guess they are serious.

The bra is, of course, $68. Which means that unless you want to regularly hand-wash your bra at night and cross your fingers that it’s dry in the morning, you’re going to have to buy at least two. But what a small price to pay for an 18% boost in skin firmness! A firmness that, if similar creams are any indication, you will never actually see.

I’m not sure which is sadder: that Victoria’s Secret thinks women are so dumb that they’ll actually buy this thing, or that women are so beaten down with regards to their appearance that many probably will actually buy this thing.

Just out of curiousity: anyone have any clue how they’re even pretending that this bra really firms your breasts?  What kind of bullshit pseudo-cure talk are they going to use to “back up” their claims here?

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{ 25 comments }

1 Kristen August 14, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Sadly, I pay at least $85 for even the most hideous bras in my closet. You and your inexpensive bra privilege!!! ;)

2 Cara August 14, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Ugh. My bras cost $50 full price and I think that’s outrageous.

3 GallingGalla August 14, 2008 at 12:54 pm

VS is ridiculous. What’s next, “labia reshaping panties, guaranteed husband-pleasing labia in 4 weeks”?

Damn, I oughtta sell a line of “Manly Essence ball-reshaping briefs” for guys … oh, wait, guys aren’t told to hate their bodies, I guess that won’t work.

Also, note to VS (and other bra makers):

Some women really are 38A and would appreciate a decent, comfortable, good-looking bra without all of that damned padding and push-up shit.

4 Cara August 14, 2008 at 12:59 pm

LOL Manly Essence ball-reshaping briefs. That is awesome. Go register that trademark now!

5 Kristen August 14, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Manly Essence ball reshaping? Maybe…but if you came up with Manly essence penis extension briefs you will definitely get some buyers even if its only made of fruit roll ups.

6 Cara August 14, 2008 at 1:18 pm

I just love the name Manly Essence. You could have a whole line of products . . .

7 Ashley August 14, 2008 at 2:56 pm

I like it! Manly Essense Nut Deodorizer, Manly Essence Masculine Wipes, Manly Essence Peach Scented Ass Itch Creme…

Could the Manly Essence line have a waxing kit? Because, as I’ve said before, the most important goal of feminism is getting men to wax their balls.

8 ali August 14, 2008 at 3:19 pm

GallingGalla, I just spit lemonade all over my desk. omg. Labia-reshaping panties. Don’t give Them any ideas…

9 Lemur August 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm

I just scared the cat off the bed I laughed so loud. “HA HA HA ewwwww…” Peach Scented Ass Itch Cream… I’m disturbed by that idea…
And VS, you suck. I think I give up them and am now going to buy my expensive bras from Cacique. We should just get mini-scaffolding to hold ‘em up at this point, honestly. “boob-firming bras”… sheesh.

10 Cara August 14, 2008 at 5:48 pm

I would really, really love to find somewhere else to buy my bras and underwear, because I like VS’s products, but I REALLY HATE VS. They don’t have the underwear I wear in store anymore so I have to buy them offline, they charge way too much for shipping online, rarely have the bras I want in store in the rights size/colors, stuff is always back-ordered on their website . . .

I absolutely love the IPEX demi. If anyone knows of something that is actually like that — there are lots of cheap imitators, and the ones I’ve tried suck — PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Because having another option would really just thrill me. The same with something like the VS cotton hiphuggers.

11 amandaw August 14, 2008 at 8:53 pm

I’m similarly stuck with VS. I always like to say: I tried on every bra in town in my size and the only one that didn’t make my boobs hurt was the Ipex wireless.

(Aside: thankfuckingGOD they didn’t decide to make it an iPex, which sounds like an iPod accessory with nipple clamps that are also conductors for electrical stim, which of course builds muscle just like that vibrating belly band)

$42 each, and they DIDN’T HAVE MY FUCKING SIZE (and I worked in the mall and checked every day over a period of about 6mos): 36C.

How do you NOT have 36C? Ever? Just, WTF?

I hate them I hate them I hate them, and damn them for actually designing good bras so that I end up having to buy from them. Ugh.

BTW: I used to buy VS undies, but the fabric starts to pill in no time. I’ve found that those Hanes multi-packs (hipster/boyshort/low-rise brief, it’s all the same thing) are actually a lot more comfortable and a lot cheaper. And they’re cotton, which is good, ‘cuz the Big C needs to be able to breathe.

12 Cara August 14, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Well if you do ever find an Ipex alternative, do let me know (and I’ll try to remember to do the same)! Also, they changed the underwear and it’s much better now — they’re tagless, smoother and last longer. Unfortunately they’re just too expensive AND NOT SOLD IN THE FUCKING STORE and made by VS.

And it’s weird, I also used to wear a 36C before I got my real bra size figured out, and often had trouble and Vickie’s, too.

13 Cara August 14, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Oh wait, it was a 38C I had trouble with, nevermind. I forgot that when you have too small of a cup size you’re also going to have too large of a band . . .

14 Lemur August 15, 2008 at 1:02 am

I’m always shocked when they have 38D, I think it’s like the largest size they carry. *eyeroll* Cause every woman looks like Jennifer Love Hewitt, or something. Yeah, the VS panties don’t thrill me, and every time I go in the store I feel like I’ve wandered onto The Pink Frilly Snooty Planet That Smells Like Far Too Much Perfume, and have decided that level of squick just isn’t worth it. Thank Goddess for Cacique.

15 Lisa Harney August 15, 2008 at 2:03 am

I don’t care how perky my breasts are, I just want nice, comfortable bras that fit my body and don’t have those iron maidenform underwire torture devices.

And fortunately, I found some of that action for $10 at K-Mart.

Also, I can’t imagine any way that the bra advertised can possibly work. I mean, it’s almost Lamarckist.

I give it ten years before we get a bra that says it will not only firm our breasts, but our daughter’s breasts.

16 Lisa Harney August 15, 2008 at 2:04 am

Also: I’m always shocked that I can find 38D anything at K-Mart.

17 Veronica August 15, 2008 at 7:42 am

Let’s not forget hair-reshaping hats…

Wait, hats actually *do* that.

18 roses August 15, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Kristen, I was going to say something similar! $65 is cheap for a bra for me.

And amandaw, I love the new Hanes underwear, I’m seriously planning to throw out all my underwear and replace them with those. They’re so soft and comfy.

Cara, I’ve heard good things about this bra (although I’ve never tried it myself, it of course doesn’t come in my size): http://www.lanebryant.com/pagebuilder/lane_bryant_product_page?item=8348005&pagesize=3 and it comes in 36D and 36DD.

And yeah, I’d be curious about how a bra could possibly firm the skin on your breasts.

19 Cara August 15, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Thanks Roses, I’ll have to see if they have it and try it on the next time I’m at the mall.

So wait, Hanes has new underwear? I used to hate the elastic on those things, it was chafe city.

20 MzBitca August 15, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Former VS worker for two years here. I worked there part time while I was going to Grad School. I left after I was sick of the companies obvious turn towards crappy push-up bras. I have always loved the IPEX Wireless and also the secret embrace. I dont know much about this bra but I can find out from a friend about the idea behind it. I do know I got disgusted with the PINK line pretty quickly due to the fact that the sizes seemed to be getting smaller and smaller, especially in the whole thong area.

21 roses August 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Yup, and there’s no elastic – the whole thing is made out of a cotton spandex blend (only 5% spandex, just enough to make them stretchy enough that there’s no elastic needed). No tags either, and they’re seriously the comfiest underwear I’ve ever worn.

22 Cara August 16, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Cool. I just bought a ton of new underwear, but the next time I need some I’ll have to remember to check those out . . .

23 J. August 16, 2008 at 6:12 pm

What? I’m so confused. So there’s no … gel or cream stuff or like herbal infusements in the bra that are supposed to rub off on your skin while you’re wearing it? Some magic potion? (Whatever it is must not wash off, since you can wash it.) ‘Cause last time I checked, just squashing fabrics up against your skin (see, e.g., tummy-slimming or control-top lingerie designed more to restrict breathing and movement than to make you look better) does not actually “tighten, firm, and enhance” the appearance of your skin. It just squashes it and possibly temporarily rearranges your internal organs.

24 Cara August 16, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Precisely, J.

Or, I mean . . . but it’s like, a SPECIAL KIND of fabric. That’s it.

25 Vicky January 22, 2009 at 10:19 am

Perhaps the material itself acts similarly to the silicone strips that reduce scarring. The amount of time you have to wear it is the same. The strips work extremely well. Having had multiple surgeries I’ve had experience using them and was amazed. If the bra’s work on something of the same principal, perhaps. Way back when, continuous girdle wear did the same thing. Wearing a tight garment holding in your stomach and keeping your butt from sagging prevented gravity from having its natural effects. I kinda miss the look of the old missile shaped bras. I think they should bring them back just for fun.

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