No, bra makers, our daughters don't need you to fix them
Training bra shopping... Was ever a more hellacious torture invented? It sucks for your kid, who would rather not talk about anything pubertal with you, her gross mother. It also sucks for you, because what's more fun than an afternoon searching for underclothing with a sullen, body-swapped version of your child who is pretending to not know you?
For one French mom, the process of training bra shopping got even more unbearably sucky after she happened across a bra by French lingerie manufacturer DIM. The bra's label promised to be a perfect first-time bra for girls. Oh, and it also promised to smooth said child's "imperfections." Awesome!
By "awesome" we of course mean its exact opposite, to which we might add, what the hell, DIM? The mom who came across the bra posted it on Twitter and added the hashtag #LeCulLesRonces, which translates to "ass brambles" if you ask Google but "we're really not done with this shit" if you ask a French person.
Either works, frankly.
The realization that, yes, that tag up there actually does cheerfully shout to shoppers that their hideous, prepubescent "imperfections" can be smoothed away made a lot of people angry, and the post picked up steam, with people demanding answers from DIM.
The company's response? The tag doesn't refer to a little girl's "imperfections" — it refers to the imperfections caused by a girl's clothing. The removable padding is meant to smooth out bra wrinkles, not imperfect, barely there boobs. So that's a relief! We mean, when you put it that way...
Yeah, no, it's still kind of sucky. If you have to go out of your way to explain your ambiguous copy, then your copywriter sucks, and you should get a new one. What's wrong with "No lines!" or "Wrinkle-free!" or something? Tween brains aren't exactly prepared to suss out the nuances your lazy copywriter threw onto a tag. Though, to be fair, most reasonable adults read it as "Fix your gross body with our awesome bra!" so it wouldn't exactly be unreasonable that an already self-conscious girl who is bombarded with totally batshit messages about body image every day forever might read it that way too.
If the issue is marketing and not mindset, then DIM needs to do better. Everyone needs to do better. The stakes are too damn high to pretend that words and images don't matter when every shred of credible evidence suggests otherwise. And this age? The one where you're trailing your mom in the bra department, hoping that a hole suddenly swallows you both and sends you to an alternate dimension where puberty doesn't exist?
It's crucial. Because by 10, most girls will already start worrying about being too fat — more than 80 percent, actually. By 13, 53 percent of girls will actively dislike their own bodies, and that number will grow to 78 percent when your daughter hits 17. Want one more horrific stat to bring your whole day down? Of girls between the ages of 10 and 14, 30 percent are actively dieting, which means they're so displeased with their imperfect bodies that they don't mind counting calories every day. At 10! That's within DIM's target demographic for these bras, by the way.
Oh, and that goes for our sons too. Because when we're at a point where 30 percent of teen boys join 50 percent of their female peers in using laxatives, cigarettes and skipped meals to "fix themselves," we've clearly failed our kids.
We're done with this stuff now. Claiming carelessness over criticism doesn't make you not a dick. It just makes you a lazy dick. It's time for marketers to stop relying on a good defense tactic instead of a good preventative one.
It's past time.
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