Friday, October 31, 2008

Beyond parody: the butt wonderbra

By Chloe Angyal

Australia's Sydney Morning Herald, known for tackling the tough issues, has a story today on the "Double O Thong," best described as a wonderbra for the butt. Fashion columnist Mindy Laube insightfully suggests that the garment might indicate:

"... a radical cultural shift, in which the male gaze has switched its focus from bosom to bottom, creating a vast new reservoir of female insecurity, with attendant economic opportunity for attuned retailers and mercenary plastic surgeons. Or is the significance of a half-arsed girdle just too ridiculous to contemplate?"

I'm going to say it's a little from column A and a little from column B. It does seem ridiculous, but there's clearly a market for the product, and that suggests that something interesting is going on here.

It's important to note that Australian culture is generally a much less butt-obsessed one than American culture, devoid as it is of the historical influence of African American culture. The mostly white and Asian population of Australia seems to just now be picking up on the idea that a "junk in the trunk" can be sexy. So while this kind of garment (if you can rightly call it that) might not be totally unthinkable or inexplicable over here, it's indicative of a somewhat novel trend for Australia. Of course, this just means additional pressure on Australian women; the "perfect body" now has an extra requirement. And with that new requirement will come all the body image hangups and insecurities, potions, lotions, workouts and surgeries that go along with the idea that sexiness is uniform, and that it can't be achieved naturally.

But gender politics analysis aside, am I the only one who thinks that that contraption looks awfully uncomfortable?


At November 1, 2008 at 3:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only does it look uncomfortable, but also capable of causing an intimate moment to take a seriously awkward turn when it's first revealed.

But setting that aside, are you really saying you don't also want a WonderButt?


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