Flat abs. Six-pack abs. How to Get the Best Butt. Moves That Tone and Strengthen. Banish Bloat. How to Get a Dancer’s Body. Why then, with all the talk of cardio, weight and resistance training, eating lean, trimming fat, superfoods and 5-minute workouts, is there such a prevalence of padded underwear?
It’s not just padded bras for women, but jockstraps and briefs for men. (I researched.) This is gender equality of dubious distinction.
In a time when even models are appalled at the work of extreme digital cosmetic surgery that they don’t recognize themselves and the campaign for girls and women to embrace themselves regardless of size and shape because the human population is not composed of clones, the development of body shaping using foam is disturbing.
It started with underwire in bras to push together and up, which is not only uncomfortable, but can set off security alarms at airports, leading to strip searches. If Miz Scarlett hadn’t had to wear a corset, she might have been a nicer person. Rhett might not have walked out on her, or at least gave a damn. You can’t blame everything on PMS. It’s almost impossible to find a bra without wire or one that moves with you instead of independently or not at all.
Making slightly padded bras for those A, not quite A sizes to help define those with slight curves was one thing. On my last bra buying adventure, I was horrified by the extreme padding — in every size and style bra. In addition to the extra weight and difficulty in determining fit, groping past all the foam, what female over the age of 13 would even think of stuffing their bra. Any cop will tell you that bulletproof vests are bulky, uncomfortable, heavy and increase perspiration. Who thought women would want to wear a garment like this beneath their clothes every day, without the benefit of stopping bullets? You will also need to buy larger sized clothes to fit over the bra. Perhaps all the padding is intended for safety reasons, in case your airbag doesn’t deploy properly in a car accident. Saved by the Bra!
Worse, the extreme padding is not evenly distributed over the cup area. Instead it is concentrated at the bottom of the bra, in what the manufacturers call a ‘banana’. I prefer not to wear bananas or any other fruits, vegetables or meat as clothing. I’ll leave that to Lady Gaga. Also, aging and gravity already have an effect on women. There is no reason to hasten the process with bottom-weighted bras that are in direct opposition to all the push together, push up force of heavy wire — especially for anyone who wears at least a B cup in any size.
Not to be outdone in the padded assets game, men can now buy padded jockstraps and briefs. Personally, I haven’t looked for these items in stores, but they are definitely available online. Men aren’t wearing them just under their sports’ attire to toss the old pigskin around and reviews are mixed.
Matt gave one of these jockstraps only 2 out of 5 stars, commenting that it “does not really make you look bigger”. Clearly he has never heard that ‘it ain’t the meat, it’s the motion’. No amount of padding will help him.
However, Mikey gave it 4 stars, stating the “padding is probably more than you want to advertise, but it does turns heads” adding “great for impressing first dates”. Perhaps those heads are turning away Mikey, and have you actually asked these dates about their impressions?
BEM gave it 3 stars, stating “please add another size up to maybe XXL”. Hmm…should this be considered assault with a deadly weapon?
For the altogether different in jockstraps — and sold out — originally priced at $200, was a jockstrap with an LED light. I don’t even want to think why someone would wear such an item.
There is, in fact, a blog devoted entirely to the topic of men’s underwear, written by and for men, devoted to news and reviews of what’s available, where to buy, including in depth first person reviews and plenty of pictures of modeled merchandise. The author profiles includes pictures in what are apparently their favorite ‘piece’.
The extreme padding has been extended to women’s bathing suits. While ‘poor sizing’ was cited by almost all reviewers on one particular bikini top, most star ratings were quite good despite the comments:
“padding…little thicker than I’d prefer, but it just adds to the va-va-voom” — 5 stars
“XS…too big…even though it has push up padding” — 4 stars
“not designed for A cup or very small boobs” — 4 stars
On the negative side: “super cute but WAY too padded…it was obnoxious…my boobs were in my neck” — 2 stars. However her husband liked it.
Another manufacturer’s description boasts “1 to 2 cup sizes bigger…very low water absorbancy…no sagging when wet”. Small breasted reviewers were ecstatic to have cleavage on the beach. Let’s not discount the extra buoyancy factor in water, however unnatural.
Should you go overboard without a life jacket, or are in danger of drowning while swimming, don’t panic. Just grab onto the nearest padded bra or bathing suit to stay afloat until the coast guard and/or lifeguards can rescue you. Grabbing onto a padded jockstrap, however, may not be much of a lifesaver.