What Does the Bra Say?

what does the bra sayThe band Ylvis created a runaway hit with their ridiculous song “What Does the Fox Say?”  Microsoft is attempting to do the same with women’s underwear.  They are developing a bra with sensors for heart rate, respiration, skin conductance and movement.  The bra helps alert people with seizure disorders if they are in danger of having a seizure.  Just kidding! Why would they make a bra that helps people with actual health issues?  The bra tells women what our mood is, and whether or not it’s ok to eat.

Mary Czerwinski’s team, which failed at making a similar product out of men’s underwear, told reporters “It’s mostly women who are emotional over-eaters, and it turns out that a bra is perfect for measuring EKG (electrocardiogram)”  It’s mostly women who are emotional over-eaters?   Where is she getting that information?  Is she sore from pulling it out of her ass?  Anyway, the bra will send the data it collects to your cell phone which will, I imagine, yell “STEP AWAY FROM THE MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP YOU MOODY, MOODY GIRL!”

Of course, it’s highly likely that the bra is an expensive solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.  The whole idea of women eating their feelings and then becoming *gasp* fatty mcfatfats is based on a series of correlations and rectal pull guesses.  It is yet another example of how anything that seems “common sense” when it comes to fat people quickly becomes entrenched and defended as if it is scientifically proven, after which companies sell solutions to the non-problem (or to those who fear the non-problem) that are expensive and have no proof of efficacy, which are soon recommended to fat people by physicians as if they are as safe and proven to work as Aspirin, which leads to me going to the doctor for an annual exam and subsequently requiring treatment for the concussion and optical strain I get from all the face palming and eye rolling.  And don’t forget that it is all based on pretending that a ratio of weight and height constitutes a health diagnosis. Jeebus.

In fact, the author of a recent paper on the subject said:

Stress eaters should not be considered at risk to gain weight by default. Our results suggest the need for a dynamic view of food intake across multiple situations, positive and negative. Furthermore, our findings suggest rethinking the recommendation to regulate stress eating. Skipping food when being stressed may cause additional stress in munchers and could possibly disturb compensation across situations.

But who cares about research when you can sell woman bras that will tell us how we feel and when we should eat?  Don’t rush out to buy your new nanny bra, the item is on hold because the team can’t figure out how to make the battery last more than four hours. I’m shocked that it doesn’t use a battery powered by women taking endless cardio kickboxing booty bootcamp classes.  Of course, by an unusually literal application of the underpants rule, women are allowed to let their bra tell them how they feel and when to eat, but I think that’s really more than I want out of my underwear.  With any luck at all, they won’t make them in my size anyway.

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56 thoughts on “What Does the Bra Say?

  1. Ye gods and little purple fishes!

    No, I do not want a bra that I will have to change in the middle of the day because the battery ran out and that will tell me whether or not I’m ‘allowed’ to eat based on what it gages my mood to be.

    I have much better uses for the batteries and all I want from a bra is tit support.

    I’m funny that way.

  2. Damnit I want a bra that measures my heart rate. I measure my heart rate a lot, it’s all about moderating my exercise on medical advice. And checking on my POTS and sleep and stuff. Even just stress – my bra could say “take a minute now and do some yoga breathing”.

    They could so easily have used this technology for good. But no.

    1. I’m with you! I’d love a bra that would send me a text message when I’ve been sitting immobile for two hours and remind me to stretch. Or one that could talk to my iphone while exercising and track my heart rate. That would be fabulous!

      Giving me tools to help me monitor and manage my health: fabulous.

      Giving me tools to help someone ELSE make health decisions for me? NOT AWESOME.

  3. I linked my friend to this article and his response was that some people might need it because they may not be aware that they are eating. I fear he may know a lot of people with extreme short term memory problems.

  4. “Is she sore from pulling it out of her ass!” I LOVED THIS!! What a great giggle for my morning. I hate bras, anyway – just one more I WON’T wear!

  5. I have a hard enough time finding bras in my size (38G), I don’t need my bra to tell me when to eat. Fuck that, if I want ice cream because I’ve had a crap day I’m having ice cream and no bra will stop me. The heart monitoring part is pretty cool though, wearing a heart monitor is a pain in the rear.

  6. Actually, the thing that disturbs me most about this whole disturbing concept is the assumption that women are unable to identify their own emotions or their own hunger. It scares me that this product could lead people to be less trusting of themselves and even more out of touch with their bodies

    1. That’s an excellent and terrifying point. Women in most Western culture are already trained to second- and third-guess themselves. If their own bras start chiming in, they might as well hand their free will over from the start.

    2. Ugh SO MUCH THIS.

      Sometimes I comfort eat. As in, sometimes after a stressful or upsetting day, I’ll get myself something I like – a particular drink, a favourite snack, something sweet – and eat it.

      Oddly enough, I am actually fully conscious of the fact that I am going to a shop, heading for the aisle of treat things, picking a treat thing, taking it home and then eating it. I’m not running on instinct – I’m making an informed choice to consume something purely for pleasure, as a means to improve my mood.

      This idea that we have no idea what our own bodies or emotions are doing, it’s insidious. It informs the culture of assuming women don’t know “what’s best for them” in terms of contraceptive choice, whether or not to have children, what careers we should pursue, what hobbies we have the right to, how we should dress ourselves, how we should eat. Seems there’s always another bloke waiting, ready and willing to educate us on our own lives and needs.

      I swear, it’s like they think we’re unusually hairless and kittens. The ones that adorably fall asleep sitting up because they haven’t realised they’re tired yet, and later try to eat their own tails and freak out when they fart unexpectedly.

  7. Jesus F. Lipschitz, I thought I was demanding for wanting excellent support and elegant design for less than $75!

    Also, there are a lot more reasons than emotion for someone’s heart rate to change. If I’m going to wear a computerized bra, I want it to monitor, say, my galvanic responses because they’re a good indication of my pain level. I don’t usually notice my pain levels until my heart is racing and I’m clammy and cold all over. A bra that could point out when things are starting to get bad might keep me from getting so exhausted, and equally could prevent a lot of sleepless nights.

    I promise, I’m not the only person who’d look into one if they were programmed to detect signs of physical pain.

      1. Exactly! This is amazing technology that, to be honest, has existed for a while, just not in a format small and portable enough to wear undetected. The medical potential for, say, a Holter monitor that fits into your bra is incredible. Same for a blood glucose monitor, or a galvanic response detector, or any of half a dozen things that would be invaluable to people with chronic illness. Just the ability to monitor our readings on a passive basis would be incredible. It would mean freedom.

        Which is the exact opposite of what Microshaft wants to do.

  8. I don’t want to argue with my titslinger. I don’t need it say, “Hey, put down the apple…” and me say, “But I’m hungry…” Seriously? I’d become That Crazy Lady in the store, talking to her clothes and invisible presidents.

    That being said…it’s no mystery to me why this didn’t work with men’s skivvies. The alarm would go off every 7 seconds: “BEEP! Hey, you’re horny again. BEEP! Yep, horny. BEEEP! Really? Again?”

    I can’t imagine how this would work at airport security.

  9. I have enough problems with bras! Y’all know they are going to want the battery pack to be in the cleavage! Otherwise there would be *GASP* an unsightly bulge! THE HORROR! Just another stupid way to try & force women into the vision of the day! Thank you for continuing to open my eyes & inspiring me not to just go with the flow!

  10. First, I think comfort eating is a perfectly acceptable coping mechanism. I know, radical. Sometimes I hate the hardness of our society, it takes normal human emotions, recharacterizes them as weakness and then shames people for using perfectly reasonable and healthy coping mechanisms in favor of “just stop feeling.”. Case in point: If someone is feeling stressed enough to eat enough to affect their weight, why wouldn’t one be concerned about the level of stress that person is suffering, rather than their weight? Gee, you are under crushing stress? Well, just don’t get fat! Later! Meanwhile, the crushing stress is worse for the person’s health than the ice cream cone.

    1. “If someone is feeling stressed enough to teat enough to affect their weight, why wouldn’t one be concerned about the level of stress that person is suffering, rather than their weight?”

      This, exactly. And you could trade “level of stress” with anything correlated with weight and it would still work.

    2. I really appreciate this. Our society is grotesquely stressful — many people are overworked, underpaid, living in constant worry and fear. And then we blame them and shame them for their coping mechanisms. “After working three part-time jobs that pay you shit, you should go to the gym you can’t afford and cook a meal for your kids from scratch!” I’ve had many people inform me that stress is good for you, but not, fortunately, since I’ve become disabled (due to medical negligence and stress).

  11. Maybe it would be better if the bra alerted us to our stress, then produced gun barrels (ala Austin Powers) and shot the source of our stress… it could just shot silly string… but that seems much more sensible than telling me to stop eating.


  12. Wow, so, we’re actually reached a point where companies think women are going to buy into the idea that our bra has a better idea of what we should eat then, I don’t know, our stomaches? Our brains? The rest of our bodies? REALLY? I mean, this is taking distrust of women to a whole new level. I’ll stick with my sports bras, thanks.

    And thank you– someone finally said it! That song is just straight up stupid!

  13. When I first started the entry, I thought that a bra to keep track of my heart rate would be great for training/running. But, really, I was appalled at what they were actually going to use it for. What a waste of good technology. *sigh*

  14. The bra would be a lot more useful if it could supply word choices when I am writing. Also, I notice that the bra is not interactive. If my bra is going to talk to me, I would like the conversation to be a dialogue, not one sided. Something like this:

    “You don’t need that chocolate chip cookie.”
    “Yes, I do.”
    “No, you don’t.”
    “I damned well do. I was on line for two hours and I had to stand on the bus for half an hour. You and whose army is/are going to tell me about what I need now?”
    “Excuse me, since when is standing on line an excuse, Ms. :Pissy?”
    “Forever, bot bra.”
    “You want a fight?”
    “You going to give me one, rubber Annie?””
    “Your heart rate is going up.”
    “Sue me.”

      1. I apparently have BOTH your sets of breasts. 😀 I wear a band size that generally is only found in training bras. But the cup size is several letters past A towards Z!! A former coworker and I, for hahas, once went bra shopping together. She was a 46A. Then there was me with the Micro Rack. Poor girls at Victoria’s Secret and Frederick’s of Hollywood……………….

        1. Half the time I don’t wear one. No one can tell… Not even my husband! Mom was against training bras, and told me I wasn’t wearing one until I needed one. When I was 13 she gave up and made me start wearing one anyway.

          Sold bras at Dillard’s back in the 1980s. There are some 32DDs out there. Also hard to find.

  15. I read in another article that the reason it didn’t work in mens’ underpants is that the heart monitor piece didn’t work reliably.
    My initial thought was, “oh this could be cool,” but then I almost immediately thought of how bad the bra would make me feel for most of my eating. I don’t need any additional shit raining down on my eating.
    I think working to help people trust themselves more would be so much better for humanity, but then again, that doesn’t make the benjamins fly.

    1. I don’t know about the lack of benjamins– I’ve been finding that there’s a pattern of muscle tension associated with self-hatred for me. Some kind of biofeedback to train people out of the muscle tension pattern could be useful.

  16. What really irks me about this is the assumption that we women need something to tell us what mood we’re in. I know what mood I’m in at all times and I’m perfectly capable of controlling what I eat. The stupid, it burns.

  17. For me, I don’t need a bra to tell me I might be prone to eating a lot– I just need a calendar with my menstrual cycle on it! That week before my period, I eat like a horse.

    Anyway, this is ridiculous. Why not put these resources towards helping women reduce their stress in the first place, rather than keep from ‘stress eating’? A good place to start would be to encourage them to eat intuitively…

  18. “The whole idea of women eating their feelings and then becoming *gasp* fatty mcfatfats is based on a series of correlations and rectal pull guesses.” HA! Couldn’t have said it better myself. If I hated myself enough to do something like this, getting a hairshirt would probably be cheaper.

  19. Just more of the typical patriarchal “women don’t have a thought in their pretty little heads, we must think for them” bullshit that has gone on forever. They could have really done something useful with this tech – heart monitors or diabetes monitors, I think many have mentioned. But no. Sigh.

  20. Fatty Mcfatfat. BWAHAHAHAHA. if the scientists would just ask women for heaven’s sake. A bra that measures temperature (hot flashes or otherwise), heart rate, blood pressure (might not be a good idea to have that second coffee if your already up there) and blood sugar as mentioned above would be good, then you can make a conscious decision what type of delicious food to eat. That would make it truly about choice. A bra that looked for cancer would be a whole lot better than smashing the boobalas in those damn machines. I had a nurse tell me she was afraid mine would break her machine. I talked to her supervisor. But don’t give me something that says “girl, put down that ice cream”. That’s just invasive. It is your business, and your business only what you eat.

  21. Why does no one care about people who emotionally under-eat?? When I got stressed, I used to stop eating, and torture myself emotionally for having the need to eat when I got hungry. I punished myself by not eating. It is still something I am dealing with. I lost a little weight that way in the short run (though that was not my purpose), but then equalized again. I am not fat, so it was a socially acceptable problem that only concerned my husband. It terrifies me that a woman who is fat and already emotionally under-eats would be encouraged in this VERY unhealthy behavior by an electronic bra that she bought in her insecurity hoping it would help her “lose the weight”…..I have to stop because it makes me sick to think about it. The work you and other advocates (including me) are doing is so necessary. This attitude is feuling eating disorders and no one is talking about that. If you under-eat, that is a private problem, socially speaking, but if you’re fat anyone can call you out on it and give you advice. It is twisted and it needs to change,

    1. THANK YOU. I habitually undereat, and when under enough stress, I’ll go two or three days on nothing but water, tea, and energy drinks. I’m on Adderall, never mind a host of other appetite-decimating drugs (though the Adderall is by far the worst), and hunger has become a vague sense of, “Oh, something’s happening. HEY, LET’S GO DO THIS THING INSTEAD!” The ironic part? I love food. Spice shops are a special paradise in my heart, and I’d rather go to Cleveland than Disney, just so I can visit the Westside Market.

      Today, I finally forced myself to eat breakfast around 7pm. Dizziness and momentary blackouts are daily occurrences because I can’t eat enough. Yet when I mention it to doctors, they usually don’t seem too worried. I’m pretty sure my current team would be horrified, but I’m so disgusted on the subject, I just let it go. It doesn’t help that I can’t digest about half of the Western diet, specifically meat, poultry, or gluten, and peanuts, yogurt, and artificial sweetener are migraine triggers extraordinaire. (Thanks to Botox, I’ve gone from lots of common migraines and a few rare, to only rare ones, but the rare ones include things like hemiplegic and really nasty abdominal. Yeah, try having an abdominal migraine all day, and see how hungry YOU are.)

      Why do people think anorexia (as opposed to anorexia nervosa) is a good thing?

  22. Forget a talking bra, I want a Bra Of Holding. In Dungeons and Dragons, one of the most practical magic items is a Bag of Holding. It leads to a pocket-dimension that can hold an infinite amount of stuff in a small space. Also, it weighs almost nothing.

    One of my D&D characters had a Bra of Holding, in which she stored all her luggage and anything the rest of the party needed to carry.

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