Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's All About The Booty

Recently I have taken to deconstructing ridiculous products that are aimed at women.  I see these as attempts to discipline womens bodies.  So far I have examined the faux penis, the anti rape condom and the vibrator with a razor. Continuing on in the bizarre tradition of torture through clothing, I bring you the Double-O- Push Up Thong. 

image Karen Jones, the owner and founder says, "Our ultimate goal then and now is to help women look their best...because when you look great, you feel great! We've learned that we're not just selling better booties, by boosting self-esteem, we're really helping people in their day to day lives. This has become our driving and continuing motivation." 

If only my ass were ripe and luscious then all of my problems would be solved.  I could experience the thrill of having a man drool over ass as I walk by.  Oh the angst and the emotional drama over the missed catcalls and whistles. It's just not fair to be ass challenged in a world that worships the booty.  The lack of support systems and groups to deal with this stigma makes it so much harder to deal with. Life is not easy for the narcissistic. What about me...doesn't my physical disability need to be addressed.  So what if I can walk, run, talk, dance, see and sing, my ass is flat.  Are you listening people, I said my ass is flat, and you cannot imagine the pain it brings....okay I need a moment, talk amongst yourselves.

This is the kind of ridiculousness that products like this promote.  Though Ms.Jones claims to be helping women in fact she is feeding the social monster that says that womens bodies are always imperfect.  This is the result of the happy marriage of patriarchy and capitalism. Create a fault that seems natural and then exploit it to maintain position and create profit.  Really how does creating products like these help women?

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These neo-Victorian torture underwear, firm and shape making sure that the body conforms as much as possible to the "ideal female form".  The problem is that women come in all different shapes and sizes. It is impossible despite all of the riggers that we put ourselves through  to be found perfect in the patriarchal lens. This is a Quixote like quest.  Not only is the windmill forever out of reach, it is an impermanent optical illusion, as beauty standards are in a continual state of flux. Instead of chasing an impossibility it is time that we embrace the wonderful diversity that is possible in the female form.  No matter what shape a woman takes, her beauty cannot and should not be defined by others.

H/T A Little Girl Talk



AR said...

Wait, so you're objecting to subjective aesthetic preference period? Beauty can only be defined in terms of a given observer.

It seems to me that it would be much better if a woman could be considered "ugly," both by herself and others, and not have it make any difference. Personally, I have several physical traits that make me "non-ideal" and which caused me some anxiety when I was younger, but I didn't get over that fact by denying the preferences of the mainstream, but by realizing that tying those preferences to anything else is just plain wrong.

That's where the error lies: trying bodily aesthetics to self-esteem and social respect, not in the existence of bodily aesthetics itself.

Renee said...

That's where the error lies: trying bodily aesthetics to self-esteem and social respect, not in the existence of bodily aesthetics itself.

privileging certain kinds of bodies leads to othering. In this instance it is about size and shape but it often involves ability and race. What we need to do is universally accept that all bodies are beautiful and not create a beauty hierarchy.

Lisa Harney said...

Your posts on beauty aids have scarred me.

I admit, I've worn neo-Victorian torture underwear in the past, and was okay with it...but making a thong just takes it to a level of wrong. The picture alone is painful.

Also: Not sure I could go back to the Victorian underwear, not unless I had a massive goth relapse.

And yes on "all bodies are beautiful and not create a beauty hierarchy."

Designing Hilary said...

I'm just glad I swallowed my coffee BEFORE reading your post!

I look forward to seeing your blog every day. I should subscribe, but there's something so hands-on unpassive about coming to drop cards.

Dante said...

Attractive women have higher social value than unattractive ones. It is for this reason women have evolved their sense of vanity. However, enhancing the buttocks is playing to the most primal of male sexual urges: those from the time before humans walked upright. Since the advent bipedalism, women have evolved breasts to mimmick the sexual signal of their buttocks.

Ojibway Migisi Bineshii said...

My self esteem does not come from my breast, butt or the shape and size of my body. What is a bra? I am so glad I don't own any of those! :-)

I agree with your Renee, we need to not create a beauty hierarchy. There are already enough hierarchies!

Ashley said...

Obviously it's very very rare for these "beauty aids" to make any logical sense whatsoever, but this is just ridiculous.

Whether or not your butt is flat or rounded is entirely based on your spine! Some people's sacrum stick out more (like mine), and other's don't. I know this is how I managed to have a booty even when I was starving myself.

If you don't believe me, and you have access to willing people, run your hand along the lower back/upper butt of someone with a round butt and a flat butt. You'll see immediately that it has nothing to do with fat or muscle but simply your lower spine. A person with a flat spine/butt can't develop a round butt without implants, and a person with a rounded spine/butt can't develop a flat butt period.

Kelly B said...

I have to say that the butt boosting thong made me giggle. That is one of the most bizarre looking contraptions I've ever seen. I would think that I would have problems getting that thing on without falling over or putting on painfully wrong.

That's as amusing as the padded butt underwear.

My butt is just fine, thanks. :D


Jennifer said...

Ahh, the horrors of being "ass-challenged"!

Thanks for another thoughtful piece that also made me laugh.

rachelcervantes said...


Well, maybe we need to establish a FLat Ass Women's group so we can offer each other support. FLAW will stand for empowerment of we poor misshapen rejects who will spend our lives in misery and shame.

I hereby announce the newest self-help group: FLAW! Sign up sheet below. Send money.

(That's a joke, btw.)

Renegade Evolution said...

damn that looks uncomfortable. Now, I admit, I engage in beauty ritual and other stuff out the wazoo, but that looks, eeeech. I think I'll leave my booty as is, thanks.

I still say the vibrator/razor was scariest thou!

K. Fields said...

Well, being one that has always had a rather...shall we say...large posterior. This new thong makes me cringe from the idea of how much more my lower half could be.. Yikes.

Lisa Harney said...

I agree with Ren. I may have nightmares about the vibrator/razor.