[Fun with Press Releases] The Nation’s First Human Bra

Fun With Press Releases: Because sometimes, the beauty industry just goofs.

photo of Safety Garb for Women Workers, ca. 1943 with plastic bra

You guys. I am a bad beauty blogger. I went on a mini-vacation over the long weekend, and just LOOK at what I missed attending for you:

Is this something you might be interested in?  Let me know





XXX Professor XXXX and bra historian and author XXXX  join dozens of models attired in periodic brassieres celebrating the 100th anniversary of the invention of the modern bra in New York City in 1910 by Mary Phelps-Jacob.

Now, some women will never need to wear a bra or bikini again thanks to a new advancement in medical technology developed by Park Avenue plastic surgeon Dr. XXXX. XXXX’s announcement has the potential to change the face of modern fashion. He will introduce the Big Apple’s first human bra, which uses a woman’s own skin to form a natural internal bra inside her chest. Women who have undergone the new internal bra procedure, also will be present.


Friday, May 28, 2010, Noon


XXXX in Manhattan’s Fashion District


In 1910, Mary Phelps-Jacob of New York City bought an evening gown to wear to an upcoming party and was frustrated with the corset because it was visible underneath the sheer dress.  With the help of her maid, the 19-year-old socialite sewed together two pieces of fabric and some ribbon to make a less visible bra. It was the first modern day bra and the first with a patent (received in 1914).   Before this, women were expected to wear uncomfortable corsets to support their busts – a social convention that was contrived 350 years earlier by Catherine de’ Medici, wife of King Henry II of France. Phelps-Jacob, who patented her bra design under name of Caresse Crosby, eventually sold her patent to Warner’s, which continues making bras today. Bras are about a $15 billion industry today in the United States.





The nation’s first internal “Human” bra.

Otherwise known as…a boob job. Because isn’t the whole point of breast implants to enable you to go bra-free and still be crazy perky at all times? I mean, for real, if I — or Alternate Universe Me — spent alllll that money on implants and still had to deal with underwire and eye hooks on a daily basis, I would be super grouchy.

Of course, it should be noted that this boob job involves “a woman’s own skin,” not implants. Which somehow qualifies it as “natural,” as in, “a natural internal bra,” also as in, the single most contradictory phrase I have ever heard.

Anyway. Sorry I missed that party. Can we all just agree to stick with Mary Phelps-Jacob’s strips of ribbon and fabric rather than having bras surgically (yet naturally) fashioned out of our own skin?

[Awesome photo from the US National Archives via Flickr. Here’s the official caption: “Safety garb for women workers. The uniform at the left, complete with the plastic “bra” on the right, will prevent future occupational accidents among feminine war workers. Los Angeles, California. Acme, ca. 1943.” Damn straight.]



Filed under Beauty Schooled, beauty standards, Fun with Press Releases, week 28

8 responses to “[Fun with Press Releases] The Nation’s First Human Bra

  1. Yikes, where do they get the skin? Do they grow it or take it from somewhere else? Yuck. I’m getting the squirmies just thinking about it.

  2. I agree with McKella to a T


    willies for sure!

    no thanks.

  3. EEEWWWW!!!! But good to know that technology’s moving right along…. (rolls eyes)

    Thanks for keeping me updated!

  4. Howdy,
    I write over at lklouise.com and feministing community and I just wanted to say I’ve been stalking your blog for a while, and really enjoy what you have to say, and that I added to you to my blogroll (so I’m not just some random creeper linking to you, I’m just a creeper who has introduced themselves first!).

  5. Erin

    Ohhhh no no no no, I would LOVE an internal bra. Not a boob job. I don’t need one of those. But I don’t need a reduction either. But I work hard, play hard, and have a compulsive need for my 34DDs to look fabulous while I’m doing all that. (They’re big, I’m not that big.) With comfort, and without one of those awful 18-hour contraptions. Which means I go through bras pretty fast, even when I buy the fancier ones. We’re talking at least $200 on regular bras alone every 9-12 months, not including fancy-ass convertible do-hickeys with the straps and the removable madness and all that. Bathing suits are a riot for me to try and buy.

    Yes. Yes, give me an internal bra. Do not change my boob size, but let me walk around looking my best all the time. I bet it does wonders for taking the stress off your back as well.

    What I would really want to know is if it automatically adjusts if you lose weight or gain?

  6. tammy

    LOL! What is next in this crazy world.
    I love your blog!

  7. Caroline

    This is just terrifying.

    But not at all surprising.

    Fun fact: in the 1880’s, the feminine ideal was to be 5’3” and 140-160 lbs. Granted, they were still supposed to have tiny waists, so organs were smushed into corsets, and that size was desirable so they would be better “showpieces” for he confections of French designers like Worth, but still. I like that the height of fashion was too look healthy and well-fed, not starved.

  8. Pingback: Breast Implants are Bad For You. But Here’s What’s Worse. | Beauty Schooled

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