Last night I caught a very strange commercial for Playtex’s 18-Hour Bra — “strange” because it didn’t focus on the lifting and separating ability of the undergarment (i.e. its most important assets) (at least to this potential bra-buyer), but its cooling properties. A parade of brassiered ladies stood in front of a white background and recounted stories about excessive breast-borne heat, with one woman going so far as to try and stick her chest into a freezer. (I don’t know about the other members of the bra-buying demographic in the Awl audience, but I have never had this problem, at least not outside of the context of normally sweaty days! Perhaps this is some overly conceptualized way to combat the still-existent idea of “bra-burners”?) In an effort to find this commercial, I made my way over to the Playtex site, which seems to be the result of some brainstorming session during which the phrase “a more self-aware Cathy” probably cropped up. Ack!
Perhaps the most disturbing/troubling/whaaaa-inducing of the videos within (of which there are many) is a small one embedded at the bottom of the site’s homepage. It seems to be called “you gotta work it…” and it starts off with a woman dispensing the wisdom that it is probably a bad idea for one to put on a bra when one happens to be super-drunk. Edgy! And maybe true for those people whose motor coordination completely disintegrates after they’ve belted back a few. But then it devolves into…
“You also don’t want to put on a bra in front of a man. Because you really want to get those suckers in there, you know what I mean? And when you put it on in front of a man, you have to go, ‘Oh my God, look how cute and perky I am!’ “
Now I would think that if one is in a position to put a bra on in front of a man, the whole illusion of cute perkiness has been kind of stripped bare? No? Before that question can be answered, another woman chimes in:
“Never do anything in front of a man that you don’t have to. That is my rule for life.”
Somehow she does not go on to talk about shoes! The spot then devolves into a discussion of being able to conceal items like contact-lens cases and cell phones inside these bras, which I would think is a deterrent? Like, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a bra with enough sag to fit my phone and keys and wallet and contact-lens gear (hello, solution??) without there being some sort of noticeable bulge. Who does? The pocketbook-averse? People who are hoping to charm potential partners by youthfully applying their lipstick like Molly Ringwald’s Breakfast Club character?