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Gender Block: Microsoft’s bossy bra tells ladies when they are allowed to eat

Hillary Di Menna

Some Microsoft folk decided that ladies need to be told when they are emotionally fit to eat—and the only thing they would listen to would be their bra, a smart bra to be exact. This “ambitious endeavour,” still in the prototype stage, of a product will detect what a woman is feeling, and then decide if a food intervention is necessary. Boredom, stress, and other non-homeostatic (a.k.a. not physiologically necessary) eating behaviours will bar you from the fridge. This bossy brassier will monitor the wearer’s eating habits and moods, then send the information to smart phone apps. These apps also provide food and mood journals to help monitor emotional eating habits. There is even a virtual tree that grows—it is up to the smart bra wearer’s mood and eating habits if the tree grows healthy.

The product sounds like a mood ring mushed with a Tamagotchi sprinkled with a psychiatrist prescribed mood journal. And shame, good ol’ profitable women’s shame. Yet these aforementioned devices—minus the shame—wouldn’t care if you ate lasagna, in fact I imagine the mood ring would probably change to a happy blue, bite by delicious bite.

Bras are already stressful body image wise for some women (Have you gone into a bra chain store and requested something without padding—even though your cup size is a B? Oh the looks of horror you will receive.) And now, Microsoft has decided to create something to insert in something frequently referred to as women’s intimates—how intrusive. It is no secret that women, body shame, and food mean big bucks. So even if  author of  How Not to Look Fat Danico Lo, says she would “totally” wear a smart bra, this new product seems a tad extra icky.

A former This intern, Hillary Di Menna writes Gender Block every week and maintains an online feminist resource directory, FIRE- Feminist Internet Resource Exchange.


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