The advent of the unfortunately named "underboob deodorant" has everyone in a tizzy about the specter of sweaty boobs. Is this for real, or just another way to make us feel bad about our ever-excreting bodies?
According to the Telegraph reports that you can now purchase "Fresh Breasts," a $11.99 tube of deodorizing lotion meant to fight underboob sweat. (Fun fact: In its online store, Walgreens shelves it with vibrators.) It's not the only such product, either. The Daily Mail points out that if you're in the market, additional options include Bust Dust and Boobalicious Breast Deodorant.
Over at the Guardian, Jill Filipovic argues that this is a crock, just another way to police women's bodies and make us feel shit about ourselves: "Lipstick alone is not propping up the patriarchy. But socially obliging women as a class to present in a certain way that necessitates the expenditure of time, money and effort is." And it's true, we've already got enough crap to worry about without anyone trying to make sweaty boobs a thing.
At the same time, though? Underboob sweat is a real thing, and it is terrible. I speak as a fat woman, and I imagine that runners, for instance, would back me up. Not because it's gross, but because the end result is discomfort at best, outright pain at worst. Combine real summer heat with any sort of supportive bra and the result is often nightmare chafing.
True Fact: I've talked about under-boob sweat w/ my fat lady friends on a million occasions. Fat is a feminist issue. http://t.co/OfzBqcUd9t
— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) January 23, 2014
Now, Fresh Breasts isn't the anti-chafing ideal. It would be nice to see a do-it-all, multipurpose antiperspirant, which would avoid the subtle suggestion that boobs are the next great hygienic crisis. But to be fair, company is also pushing Fresh Balls ("defunk your junk"), Fresh Feet and Fresh Baby's Bottom, all with fairly similar messaging. Sure, they could do without the talk of "tatas" in their site copy, but I'm more swayed by the fact their products are formulated without aluminum, parabens or talc.
It would be nice to see something marketed more like Gold Bond, which somehow miraculously manages to present its products in a gender-neutral manner. Plus it doesn't single out any particular area as a "problem" that needs dealing with (thereby making it a problem in the public's mind). But I'm certainly not mad to have more options to deal with a very real complaint.
And if personal-care-product peddlers are so keen for a boob-specific idea to make a buck, you know what would be great? A specially formulated cream that's lightweight but instantly effective. Thanks in advance, guys!