when a bra wont cut it

When a Bra Won’t Cut It

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As Valerie Steele, the chief curator of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, said: “It was a shift in beauty ideals from a very voluptuous, high Victorian ideal, to a younger and slimmer ideal. What one fashion writer in around 1900 called ‘the shift from Venus to Diana.’”

Tape, in that case, would represent the shift from Diana to a surgically and graphically enhanced Instagram model. The rise in the use of filters and photo alterations, combined with the continued popularity of cosmetic procedures like breast lifts and augmentations, means that the aesthetic expectation has increasingly become that one’s breasts will appear full and perky, regardless of one’s age, physique or the force of gravity.

“If a lot of people are getting plastic surgery, and they’re getting butt lifts and they’re getting breast lifts, then suddenly, a little bit of sagging, which might have seemed OK 10 years ago, might seem like, well, you’re really letting yourself down looking like that,” Ms. Steele said.

Tape allows one to achieve a more lifted look without surgery, companies promise. Nue even calls one of its products “A Boob Job on the Go,” though Ms. Montes underscores that “it’s important that we are more gentle with ourselves and embrace our body types.”

Besides its aesthetic promise, the tape is also a product uniquely suited for the social media era. “Right now, everyone’s about making content,” said Nataree Leelapatree, the founder of a company called the Boob Tape, which also started in 2020 and made, she said, $60,000 in sales in May.