Half of the world's population has boobs. The vast majority of the other half spends way too much time pretending they're not surreptitiously trying to ogle said boobs. With such a staggering approval rate, it's only natural that these biological Orbs of Power have sprouted a whole industry around them.
The thing is, it's not necessarily a sane industry. As I've mentioned before, some of the breast-related products out there have less to do with functionality and more to do with howling must-make-a-thing-for-titties insanity.
#5. Emergency Bra
Via Emergency Bra
What ... what is the lady in the above picture doing? I get that she's wearing some sort of face bra harness, and I'm not trying to make fun of her, I'm just genuinely curious. Is she suffering from a rare disease that grows boobs on her face? Is she really, really confused about how bras work? Or did someone, hah, tell her that her bra doubles as a respiratory mask in case of an emergency? Surely we can remove that option from the list right away. It's not like anyone would make a bra that is actually supposed to be used in an emergen-
Much as it seems like a parody product that some particularly inspired website churned out as an April Fools' joke, the Emergency Bra is very much a real thing. It can be used as a normal bra, but it can also be fashioned into a serviceable makeshift emergency mask. There's even a version that has a radiation sensor in case someone busts out a nuke.
Here's a funny thing: The Emergency Bra is an award-winning product. Granted, the award in question is the 2009 Ig Nobel Prize (think a jokey, slightly less demeaning Science Razzie), but still -- surely this means the bra is at least of some use. At the very least, this thing makes sure its user is always kind-of-sort-of ready for the impending disaster.
However, think a little bit further, and certain issues start to present themselves. To simulate how the Emergency Bra is used, go right ahead and try fashioning a bra into a face mask. While wearing it, fully clothed, in public. While sirens blast, and everyone around you is screaming and panicking like they're being forced to watch a four-hour French art movie without subtitles. Chances are the noxious citywide Taco Bell fart you were attempting to shield against will reach you 10 times over as you struggle with your garments, and the disaster workers will find you locked in awkward clothes bondage not dissimilar to that peculiar back-home-from-the-keg-party state where you try to drunkenly remove all your clothes at once but pass out on the floor halfway through.
Oh, and should the user by some miracle manage to untangle the bra in time to fashion it into a mask, there's still one hurdle. As brassieres tend to be designed to accommodate two boobs, every Emergency Bra can be broken into two separate masks ... one of which you're supposed to give to the nearest maskless bystander, who will now experience the crisis in question through a fine, musky layer of your terror-sweat.
Nothing like a nice tang of Eau d'Motorboat to distract from impending doom.
#4. Boob Glue
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Breast taping is one of those gender-specific secrets that most ladies are at least conceptually familiar with, yet guys tend to react to the term with a blank look and a guilty memory of those weird bondage clips they hope no one knows they're getting way, way too carried away with during work hours.
We all know what you're up to, Steve. We all know.
But for some, the art of taming errant boobage with duct tape and other means is not enough. Some people want to have exact creative control over the direction, lift, and, if necessary, geometrical shape of their breasts, dammit!
These people need Boob Glue. Yes, that's its real name.
Via Bosom Couture
"So can I use it for other stuff, like butt lifting?"
"Boobs and boobs alone, you crazy person!"
On one hand, I kind of enjoy the fact that the makers of this glorified water-soluble spirit gum have the gall to charge $60 for a stick of something called the fucking Boob Glue. On the other, I share the amused bafflement women seem to react to this product with. Why glue? What if the user gets sweaty and the glue dissolves into a sticky mess under the boobs? What if she's about to get sweaty, and her partner, upon gently placing their hand upon the sticky surface of her breast, winds up thinking they've mysteriously gained boob-related Spider-Man powers?
Which, of course, are the best kind of Spider-Man powers.
The questions are endless, and the answers, let's face it, are probably not worth it, because we're still talking about a goddamned glue they're selling specifically for boob Play-Dohing. Still, on the off chance that you're interested in trying the product, I've compiled a handy guide on how to use Boob Glue:
1) You smear it on your breasts.
2) You collapse into a heap of existential crisis because you're now the kind of person who slathers glue all over their chest in the name of beauty.
Beatrix Boros/iStock/Getty Images
3) You scream and scream and scream.
#3. Bust Up Gum
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
A little while ago, I bumped into a product called the F-Cup Cookie, a dessert snack that is supposed to make breasts bigger if consumed regularly. While the idea of breast-growing cakes seemed absurd, it at least had a modicum of logic in a "shove tons of Boob Twinkies in your mouth and you shall grow large and squishy" kind of way.
Boob-growing bubble gum, on the other hand, sounds like something a cartoon conman would be selling to impossibly gullible strippers.
All trustworthy medication comes with colorful promotional tank tops.
Bust Up Gum is a pretty big hit in Japan, because come on, did you really expect it would come from anywhere else? Its supposed nigh-magical ability to enhance the size, shape, and tone of the breasts is attributed to an extract from a plant called Pueraria mirifica, which also features heavily in the Boob Twinkie's recipe. But wait! There's more: In addition to showering the user with herbally enhanced superbreasts, Bust Up Gum claims to provide all sorts of other effects, ranging from stress relief, weight loss, and improved circulation to "increased vaginal secretion," a condition that the user presumably gets to enjoy pretty much nonstop, because Bust Up Gum needs to be taken roughly four times a day.
"Game on, Knicks."
Here's the good news: Pueraria mirifica extract contains natural phytoestrogens, which basically mimic estrogen and as such can actually cause the effects the product boasts. Now, here's the bad news: There's precisely fuck-all reliable research on its effectiveness in gum form. Also, should the gum actually manage to get enough phytoestrogens into your body, experts say you might be looking at the business end of an increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and maybe even breast cancer (nature enjoys its cruel ironies).
Even if that doesn't turn you away, the product is still next to useless: Whatever effects phytoestrogens may or may not be capable of having on your body can easily be achieved by simply eating soy products.
"So, it's Osteoporosis Gum or fucking tofu? Hold on, I'll flip a coin."