ASK any woman for the top 10 banes of her life and I swear she'll say "bras".
For such an insignificant - though often pricey - piece of upholstery, bras routinely fail at their key performance indicators - namely to support, be comfortable and look reasonably attractive.
Too much lace and you look like there's an echidna scrambling around under your T-shirt.
Too padded and you're sure to let someone down. Too wired and the damn thing will twist out of shape in the washing machine and torment you for the rest of its viable life.
Which is why the new bra advertisement from Berlei is so spot on it made me laugh out loud.
Showing all the ways in which women have "suppressed", "bound", "forced apart", "hidden", "prodded, poked, pressured, pushed, oppressed, restricted" and "exposed" their breasts, the 45-second ad is the most honest and relatable lingerie commercial I've ever seen.
WATCH THE FULL AD IN THE PLAYER ABOVE.
So why on earth are Facebook and Instagram banning it on the spurious grounds that it's "offensive"?
Offensive to who?
Surely not to the half of the population who endure bra contortion every day of their lives. Surely not to the other half who could do with a reality check on what it's like to live with a pair of, at times, pesky mammaries.
For a site that's been accused of imperialism in India, live streaming of human rights violations, propagating fake news and spying on users, it's laughable that the social media giant has come over all prissy when it comes to breasts.
Notwithstanding that these lovely parts of our anatomy actually keep future generations fed, they're also so widely visible that you'd have had to be a monk living on a deserted island not to have recently seen a pair.
Berlei's ad is not gratuitous. It's not sleazy or even sexual. Rather, it's a fistpump-worthy piece of advertising that addresses women's body concerns head or, rather, breast on. Yes there's boobs bouncing under a sports bra and women trying to cover their nipples and prod or poke bits of flesh back into an unsatisfactory garment, but that's life with breasts.
Berlei has said Facebook will not allow the ad on its platforms because of "the pixelated nudity, overt focus on bouncing breasts and overly zoomed images".
Further, the company's ad policy does not allow videos to focus on just one body part.
This is absolute nonsense. You can't go online these days without seeing a 20-year-old blackhead being burst or a mole being cut off or a skin cancer being blasted by a laser. When I last checked, hair growth adverts tend to focus on the scalp. Surely that's a single body part?
But more to the point, in an era where lingerie is so often modelled by caramel-toned twiglets who bear no resemblance to your average woman, it's fantastic to see real women with real breasts showcasing their real issues.
As Berlei has said: "The ad highlights the daily realities women have with their breasts in an honest and authentic way. Like the bra itself, the ad was designed to empower women to care for and invest in themselves."
As the mother of two teenage girls, I can't believe the hypocrisy of Facebook and Instagram. Clearly it's fine to allow endless highly sexualised images of underage girls (looking at you, Instagram) yet a few ordinary boobs are deemed offensive.
Studies have shown that those who are more engaged with social media are more vulnerable to developing body image problems so you'd think these sites would do the responsible thing and try to counter the problem.
With 80 per cent of Australian women disliking their bodies and 38 per cent of teenage girls extremely concerned about their body image according to the latest Mission Australia Survey, all media - social or otherwise - are responsible for showing greater diversity.
Having been handed such an opportunity, Facebook and Instagram should've jumped at the chance not just to showcase real bodies but to garner themselves some good press in the process.
Instead they've made a boob of themselves.
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