Lately I have been seeing a great deal of negativity coming out of the lingerie industry. Except, it is not the industry putting the negativity out there: it is consumers. Women of all ages, race, and ethnicity are positively bitching about anything that does not represent them. Here are a couple cases that have me positively fuming.
Recently, a new company was birthed into the stratosphere and is due to release its products in about two weeks. The new company goes by the name NubianSkin and provides skin toned bras for women of colour. They are starting with 30B up to 36DD/E cup sizes with plans to expand once they get settled. Now, there should be a chorus of fucking angels after that announcement! This fills a huge gap in the market – and for those who don’t know what that gap is – that is true skin coloured bras for darker skin tones! I may not have dark skin, but I am hyper aware that what bra companies call ‘nude’ is no more nude for me (too dark) than it is for women of colour (too light). Also, not all women of colour are the same colour so the various shades that Nubian Skin offers is like angels tossing lingerie down from the clouds. Seriously – friggen – awesome! ❤
Now, how have customers received this fantastic news? The most vocal customers have fallen into three categories to my chagrin and rage:
- Major bitching about limited size range and complaints about not catering to the full bust community. They do not carry [MY] size.
- Major bitching about lack of range of colours. That colour range offered does not match [MY] skin tone.
- Major bitching about the fit of the bras on the models used in advertising. That they will not buy from a company that cannot get their bra fit right on their models.
I’m sorry princess, did someone just sit on your fucking birthday cake? I would almost consider you a spoiled brat except this is not something you had before and you are being given it – but you complain? Sure the gift is not perfect. Yes, the company has a ways to go but your NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT would make me want to say ‘fuck you‘ not ‘I want to make the best product possible for my customers.’ I do not know where you got your sense of entitlement from, but leave it at the door. I can just hear the defense of guilty ladies now – that their concerns and criticisms are legitimate. So what? You are verbally berating a company for being ‘inadequate’ that has not even released their products yet. Would you berate your partner for being inadequate in bed, without a chance to improve, even if it was the ‘truth’? If you do, shame on you. Sure your individual message might not be ‘that harmful’ but when this negativity on mass is targeted at a company that is run by PEOPLE – I wonder how they handle it. You are not bitching at a machine. There are real humans with real feelings behind NubianSkin.
Now, a reprimand is never complete without suggestions for improvement or how one should have acted. Without further ado, here is a more appropriate reaction to welcome a new company that is filling a deep gap in the lingerie market:
- Welcome the new company and thank them for working their asses off by day and living through many a sleepless night while creating this line for your consumption.
- If they do not carry your size or your shade, ask if they plan on expanding and make positive suggestions as to what sizes/shades you would like to see.
- Try using those magic words your mama taught you: Please and Thank You.
- Moreover, remain positive. As one of my favourite quotes says:
This case is not directly lingerie related but oh so relevant at the same time. Recently, Emma Watson spoke-up for Feminism to the UN. I consider this a rare moment where a woman, who the fates have granted a measure of power, goes up to bat for all woman-kind. The speech was well received by the UN and a good portion of the general public. However, since then, she has been threatened with ‘leaked nude photos’ from chauvinistic assholes and badmouthed by – guess who!
It is suddenly the ‘in thing’ to not like or support Emma Watson because she doesn’t represent YOU. If she is white and you are black, well fuck her. If she has power/money and you do not, she is not representing YOUR Feminism. If she is a cis female and you are not, then how can she stand for you? /heavy sarcasm
One of the greatest strategies in war is to divide and conquer. Well fuck, Feminists you are dividing and conquering yourselves. You alienate your greatest allies because they are not YOU. Because they are not appropriate representations of your exact socioeconomic status combined with your ethnicity. You take those who go up to bat for the cause and you shove them out on a plank and tell them they are the same as the sharks because they just don’t have it RIGHT. You strive to get it absolutely perfect but perfection is fucking exclusionary. You exclude over and over and over again. Personally, I would never make a good Feminist because I am a pudgy middle-class white chick in a solid marriage. I am not poor enough, I have not suffered enough, I am not coloured enough to truly be a good Feminist. This is the message I hear over and over again. But what really matters is:
Either we stand together or we fall apart.
You can only divide the group so far before you are the only one left.
Solution: Stop with all the negativity. Someone who had some power went up to bat for Feminism and they made a difference. Score one for Feminism and silently (or verbally) thank Emma Watson for stepping up to the plate (she didn’t have to. We all make choices). Sympathize with her when she is attacked by assholes and her personal property (aka. her body) is used against her. No matter her differences from you, she believes in a common greater good and is trying to make a positive difference that extends beyond herself. That is all we can ask of anyone.