Women’s undergarments are a lot like the art of magic, in that a combination of misdirection of the viewer’s attention and hidden wires and trap doors results in the illusion that something has been made of nothing or that nothing has been made of too much of something.

All that is really happening is that excess flesh is being squeezed from one part of the body and forced to flow over into a more desirable area.

The first bra reportedly was made in 1886 of two tea strainers linked together. From those humble beginnings was built a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Although the bra fell out of fashion in a few eras of America’s past, the 1980s pop star Madonna’s habit of wearing her undergarments on the outside of her clothing brought about a resurgence of interest in structural and innovative foundation garments. Women began to demand more and more of their undergarments. It is truly miraculous what can be done with a scrap of fabric and lace and a few fasteners.

At the risk of sounding sexist, I believe this desire to rearrange ourselves into a more attractive silhouette seems to be a female issue. Very few men would subject themselves to the kind of expense and discomfort women tolerate to achieve this goal.

Anyway, it has been my observation that most men think they look just fine, regardless of what the mirror tells them, while most women think we look considerably worse than we really do. We women are awfully hard on ourselves.

Some years ago, while browsing the lingerie shop at the mall, I came upon something called the Miracle Click Bra. In the interest of cleavage enhancement, the wearer could hug her arms together and squeeze, and with an audible click, an adjustable mechanism in the front of the bra between the cups would pull everything upward and inward, giving her a more voluptuous bust. I am not sure how she is expected to explain the audible click which accompanies this maneuver. Perhaps she shrieks, “Eek! There is a cricket loose in my bra!”

One wonders just how high this bosom elevator will go. The first click may take the wearer from great-grandma’s pendulous, unencumbered figure to that of a silicone-enhanced Hollywood starlet. One more click may have her bosoms nestled against her chin as tightly as a victim of a goiter attack. Click three and she appears to have the hairdo of Princess Leia of Star Wars. One more click? Mickey Mouse ears. Ouch!

The ideal companion piece for the Miracle Click Bra might be the Fanny-Enhancing panty. A subtle adjustment of a string at the center back causes a noticeable lift and separation of the derriere, a sort of intentional wedgie, resulting in a more youthful profile.

I wore both the Miracle Click Bra and the Fanny Enhancing Panty to a cocktail party, in order to conduct a psychological experiment and also to have a little fun. When my escort turned his head away for a brief period, I gave the bra two clicks and the panty one yank. When he turned back, he seemed startled, but made no comment.

Each time he looked away, and then back again, I had a different profile. Click, click, yank. Click, click, yank. Click, yank, yank. Click, yank, click. Body parts were moving up and down in independent rhythm like the pistons on a steam engine.

The last words he uttered before he broke down and had to be carted off by paramedics was, “Mickey Mouse, is that you?”

I still had fun after he left. With a little practice, I was able to keep the beat with the band’s music. I never had so much fun at a party. I went home with the first-place trophy in the rumba competition and I never moved my feet all evening.


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