April 2, 2006

Does it ever reach the point where the bra is good enough the way it is?

For the past two years, scientists, supermodels and designers have been working for Victoria's Secret to come up with the Ipex bra. It's being called the "world's most advanced bra".

Is this bra a scientific breakthrough? Shouldn't scientists be focusing on more important things? Lung cancer is still a problem. Then again, I suppose if you're a scientist and you have an opportunity to collaborate with Gisele, that has to be preferable to finding a cure for the common cold. The lab at Victoria's Secret has got to be sexier and a lot more fun than a room at Johns Hopkins University.

So what are their think-tank sessions like? Scientific minds pursuing the phenomenon of expanding cleavage and the gravity of boobs? It's not like they can experiment on rats. Also, what took two years to figure out? Given the amount of research, this bra should be able to act as an early-warning system. Two years? Einstein's theory of relativity took less time to develop.

In the ads for the Ipex, there are photos of Gisele with nothing on but the bra and studious-looking spectacles. This must be because everyone knows you have to be an intellectual to wear a wireless bra. Someone was sitting in a marketing meeting one day and got really excited. "I know! She'll wear glasses! That will show how scientific it is!"

I don't know anyone who shops at Victoria's Secret any more, anyway. They should take some of the money they're putting towards "research" and put it towards making a bra that actually lasts more than one laundry cycle. Not that men care about any of this. I've done my own research and have found the only thing men really look for in a bra is that it comes off fast and easy.

Being a scientist is rough. Your discovery has to be useful and catchy.

What do we know about Archimedes? Pi. Galileo? The telescope. Marie Curie? Radioactivity. All the good discoveries have been used up. If scientists really want to come up with something that helps women, here's an idea...

A few weeks ago, I went for my very first mammogram and the experience couldn't have been more unpleasant. The room was air-conditioned, so it was like disrobing inside a meat locker. The technician's hands were no better.

"Did you just dip them in ice water?" I asked. She wasn't amused. The machine itself was like a torture device from the Middle Ages. If they can invent a way to heat a towel rack, you'd think someone could find a way to heat a mammogram machine. And while they're at it, a heated speculum.

I'm not saying advances aren't important, but does it ever get to the point where the bra is just good enough the way it is? It's not like the bras today are that much better than bras from 10 years ago. So if you buy the Ipex, you will own the most advanced bra in the world.

And if you're wearing your Ipex while listening to your iPod while watching a movie in Imax, you are at the apex of cutting-edge technology. But none of this really matters, because it all comes down to the mechanics of the human touch; having someone who knows what they're doing. When that happens, you can be wearing a bra from the Dark Ages and it won't matter.