Just for fun, I decided to Google and see if I could find some sexy lingerie that isn’t “cute” or girly–maybe boyshorts and a flattering sports bra? I wasn’t too surprised to find this to be a challenge, but I was particularly disappointed by one hit from Woman’s Day magazine.
We’ve all seen this kind of thing, but I think it’s ubiquitous enough to escape our notice when a magazine or advertiser pulls it on us. In this example, an article on lingerie gives a number of options for women with different “body types.” The common thread, though, is that all the body types are described in the language of problems, not assets.
Woman’s Day suggests lingerie for “too much tummy,” “no curves,” and “small chest” to either add or take away from whatever curves a woman has. Even the seemingly positive or neutral categories “big bust” and “full hips” focus on minimizing the chest or drawing the eye to the chest and away from the hips. The idea is that whatever you have, there’s something wrong with it. The grass is always greener on the other end of the lingerie aisle.
Where are the underwear advertisements that celebrate a woman’s figure? How about playing up a round tummy, hips that are curvy or square, breasts of any size, curvy or straight? It’s not difficult to design lingerie to flatter body parts as they are–in fact, probably easier than trying to hide whatever you have. No wonder we’re all running around trying to heal from our insecurities, when we can’t even buy underwear without being told how deficient we are.