5 Boob-Related Products You Won't Believe Exist
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.
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.
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.
"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.
3) You scream and scream and scream.
Bust Up Gum
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."
Solar bra. Solar. Bra. It sounds like an environmentally friendly update of some horrifying fictional 1950s underwear technology (fossil fuel jockstrap? nuclear panties?) dreamed up by a vegan sci-fi writer who subsists solely on soy latte and scathing critique of all books that have the word "meat" in them.
Look, solar power absolutely is a fine and worthy thing with tons and tons of potential. It has sparked many a heated discussion and loads of inspired, potentially world-saving plans. However, there are some things current solar panel technology just flat out can't do, such as:
- Your taxes
- Make a proper quiche
- Single-handedly solve the global energy crisis in a cost-efficient fashion
- Get into anti-environmentalists' good graces
Lingerie company Triumph International Japan Ltd. chose to ignore one of these facts in 2008. As a result, they introduced the Solar Power Bra to the unwary world. Technically, the contraption is less "bra" and more "creepy bustier constructed from funky motel towels and weird Mad Max ab armor," but we'll let it slide -- if I had to market this thing somehow, I'd probably go with the former name, too.
The catch of the Solar Bra is that you can use the power it generates to "handily" charge your phone, which entirely ignores the fact that there are precious few places in the world where a lady can comfortably turn herself into a sun-charged lingerie power plant. Really, the only place this thing could safely (though not sanely) be worn in public is the beach.
Oh, the solar panels are extremely vulnerable to moisture, and even slight rain can straight up damage them? Never mind. Still, at least the model who had to parade around wearing this thing can use it to charge her phone for the inevitable heated discussions with her agent.
"You're so fucking fired, Steve."
Introduced as part of their "green" product line, it's hard to say how serious Triumph was with this thing. I mean, it's pretty obviously meant to be a wacky concept, but something about how their representative took the "It's, uh, just a model. Yeah, a concept model, a bit of a joke on our end, ha ha, wouldn't put anything like this on the shelves in a million years" route the second someone lifted an eyebrow does suggest this may have been the pet project of some misinformed higher-up (who presumably spent the rest of the week impotently punching boardroom walls when the public didn't go apeshit over his grand vision), with less-deranged minds within the company tactically undermining the idea.
Despite their popularity and prevalence, breast implants have a mixed reputation. Most guys seem to insist they prefer natural breasts, yet the rampant big boob fantasies our culture constantly churns on our faces argue otherwise. Implants and augmentation are seen as senseless vanity surgery, yet they also serve an important function fixing actual ailment-induced damage and very real disfigurement, as well as providing a huge self-esteem boost for people with body image issues. Shit be complicated, is what I'm saying.
If only there was a way to draw attention to this complex issue.
As such, if you came into this entry thinking I'd be riffing on the concept of breast implants, well, I have no intention of doing that. As far as I'm concerned, everyone can do whatever the hell they want with their bodies. However, I am saying that any plastic surgery operation -- including breast augmentation -- is something that should be carefully considered over time, so that you're 100 percent certain of the possibly drastic bodily change you're about to experience. Boobs are not shoes; no one should get themselves a fancy pair and change them a week later because you'd like a more impressive pair.
Then again, the people who came up with inflatable breast implants clearly disagree with me.
In the above video, a plastic surgeon made entirely out of hair explains how the SPECTRUM adjustable breast implant works: Once the implant is inserted, the doctors can freely adjust its size for a full six months post-surgery. This is possible because the boobs have valves that enable your doctor to fill 'em up with more saline (or deplete them from excess filling, which is something I suspect happens precisely fucking never).
I'm actually not against this product, per se. I'm sure it has saved at least one indecisive soul from the surgery table. I'm more worried about what it says about where we as a culture are heading, chest wise: When someone comes up with a way to literally change your cup size within minutes like they were pumping air in a beach ball, all bets are off. We're officially not a culture obsessed with boobs anymore. Culture's over, people, boobs have won. We've given them the ability to change size at will, which means they're maybe two steps away from detaching themselves from their hosts and taking over. Thanks to the hairy surgeon dude and his adjustable breast implant, we're standing on the brink of Boobocalypse.
Or, you know, maybe I'm just talking out of my ass. Maybe this is the best invention in the history of boobs. Hell, maybe they'll one day figure out how to fill these super-implants with different substances, granting their owner different boob-based superpowers whenever she so desires.
If that's how it's going to be, fuck it -- I'm getting a boob job.
Pauli Poisuo is a Cracked columnist and freelance editor. Follow him on Twitter.