The Gift of Lift
Lifetime channel’s new reality TV show, Double Divas, features Molly and Cynthia, proprietors of LiviRae Lingerie, an intimate apparel boutique specializing in custom fit bras for breasts of all sizes. Finding quality support is chore enough for women with standard equipment. Meanwhile the intimate apparel industry often ignores the supersized when it comes to making products for nonstandard mammary glands.
Molly and Cynthia provide valuable service and genuine humor from their shop in Kennesaw, Georgia. But will their docuseries offer a meatier look at contemporary gender role complexities, or just titillation? As our first episode opens we overhear Molly’s phone conversation with new clients who form a gospel chorus concerned with a more professional style of musical presentation:
“It’s OK, because God made you the way that you are, but we can just facilitate you in another way so y’all don’t have to worry about the bouncing bosoms in church when you’re receiving the blessings of the Lord.”
In following scenes, Molly helps a male customer who wants to honor his wife through lingerie that screams “freak in the sheets.” They settle on a microscopic nurse outfit with snaps in the back, and send home a grinning husband. Unfortunately, his wife returns to confess that she feels like “the hired help,” and begins the search for more tasteful attire. Viewers are then treated to a smoking hot mom posing in a two-piece worthy of a Playboy party. Our pupils dilate as Mom finds greater self-respect in front of multiple mirrors.
In another storyline, Cynthia tailors a “Bro Bra” for a marathon runner who suffers from bleeding nipples caused by constant chafing against sweaty shirts. Cynthia seems proud of her invention and confides “Half the people I’ve dated had man boobs.” However, on arrival to inspect new sportswear, a strapping man reveals only disdain for slender fabric that resembles a training bra for moobs. He assures the girls that no male runner would wear it, concluding with “What’s the point of having intact nipples if your pride is broken?”
Lifetime’s Double D main page makes the following false claim:
“Boasting a hilariously unfiltered cast exuding Southern charm and hospitality, “Double Divas” follows LiviRae owners and best friends Molly Hopkins, the “boob whisperer,” and Cynthia Richards, the “Thomas Edison” of custom lingerie, as they display their natural talent helping women with any and all intimate apparel needs.”
I am shocked to discover that DD’s’ customer service rep, Lauren Schaffer, has submitted to significant filtration, hailing only recently from a shameless hussy girl band called The Coedz. Lauren’s glamor girl contours have arrived to serve ratings before clients. Unbelievable. Do I take umbrage with Lauren’s pouting lips, dazzling green eyes, and potentially enhanced topography? No. Never. I am not comatose.
But I remain dismayed that I could have invested a fortune in gas and tire wear, hunting for mythical creatures who are in fact not indigenous to the greater Atlanta County area. Nor do I appreciate this senseless breach of broadcast trust.
Where’s the beef?
Don’t expect a journalistic mandate from a show whose title comes in cup size. Still, realistic attention to clinical concerns and negative social stigma could help humanize breasts as an intricate part of feminine sexuality, elevating them above the status of sex toy or marketing tool. After all, breast cancer, mastectomy, loss of effeminate esteem, chronic back pain, and difficult lactation don’t sell beer or bikinis, but they deserve air time at LiviRae Lingerie.
Double Divas could actually cowgirl up with an intricate exploration of adult female sexuality, or just expect viewers to gob at gazangas. Most likely, Double Divas will faithfully cast its baited hook, fishing for easy market share, luring in horn dogs with big bras and bouncing boobs.
Even so, the courage to add some intellect might give this show wider demographic appeal and future seasons. We have no shortage of controversy in a culture shamelessly eager to marginalize the mammary, relegating weighty aspects of monumental busts to TV commercials, billboards, websites, and fetish porn.
All boob and no brain equals soft porn
While I don’t object to graphic portrayals analyzing primate mating rituals exhibited within modern western society, I’m certain that breasts keep getting the short end of the stick. Portraits of buxom babes crowd our landscape, bursting with oversexed zeal across every communicative conduit plugged into our daily lives. We swim in a media mainstream awash in eye candy, starving for brain food.
Bereft of artful aesthetic, images of busty babes hawk for a quick buck, pushing onto our field of view and digital doorsteps as vehicles for commerce.
Sure, I’m genetically compelled to salivate at every single carnal depiction. At the same time, a tiny part of my reptilian attic fights valiantly against hormonal hardwiring, boobs-for-beers marketing mantras, and our creepy Madonna/whore double standard.
I constantly strive for mental page rank, prioritizing breasts as objects of love, beauty, intimacy, and life. And it ain’t easy!
Every breathing hairy ape, breeder and bi alike, loves to race eyeballs down a blinding fast slalom, hugging the dangerous curves of female anatomy.
Tragically, death remains the only cure for this overt manifestation of testosterone poisoning. Nevertheless I doubt the longevity of a reality show whose voyeuristic premise caters to a knuckle-dragging demographic already accustomed to hearing, “Hey, eyes up here, asshole!” Before passing final judgment, let’s peel back the gossamer layers of this show’s thin skin.
What will we see on Double D?
Naturally, breasts the size of orbital satellites will amass a unique set of issues. Double Divas could score smarty-pants appreciation, bringing us uncompromising narrative whose main thrust exposes moments of genuine vulnerability.
Mental massaging would stimulate a wider range of onlookers by observing provocative gender issues such as stereotypes, Feminine Mystique, sexual harassment, the search for dialog with eye contact, breast-feeding in public, and our heritage of Victorian repression.
Will Molly and Cynthia dare to confront the motives and esteem of women who seek inflated status through saline solution and surgical mutation the size of weather balloons? Not a chance. Denouncing the Myth of Barbie to advocate for sanity over silicon would reduce more profits than busts in this boutique.
With few exceptions, reality shows work tirelessly to produce neither. Occasionally glimpses of honest storytelling wander on camera. Ideally, Double D will rise above its peep show premise, overlooking cleavage to peer into psyches and stories of those women who shoulder the Rubenesque burden of finding a comfortable bra. But a show whose slant prizes drool over debate won’t make a grab for intellectual appeal.
To guys who watch: You better watch your 6
Male members in the target audience, who plan to leer at this program in the vicinity of seething female partners, better rehearse a convincing act of indignation. Save your bacon, boys, and take to the high road when your companion reaches for the remote. You’re not a fixated fetish freak, but rather a concerned, misunderstood man, eager to shrink the cold space between Mars and Venus. Share your respect for balanced reportage that pairs gender role burden with celebration of continental cleavage as both Feminist and feminine.
Then get ready to lose this battle. A bold stand for reality show racks will insult the IQ of any woman seeking substance from her television. Thinking men will avoid petty TV turf wars and nights on the couch in favor of harmony and access to 3-dimensional breasts.
Once your better half smells the stink on your noble quest for insight you may yet command the remote. Admit defeat, confess Neanderthal ignorance, and then immediately check the DVR list for an episode of Downton Abbey. It’s your only chance.
Double Divas will continue to attract heavenly bodies to its specialty shop dedicated to 18 hour support of bodacious boobs. Episodes will rarely deviate from the seesaw verité focus on T & A.
Well-proportioned clientele will arrive regularly to try out skimpy outfits under a magnifying glass, or to decelerate the downward trajectory of biological beauty, doomed to obey the relative laws of time, mass, and gravity. If we’re lucky, we may even find a little hard truth among all those breasts, bras and bums.
What can we say about reality TV that wins hearts without minds?
Like any new TV treatment, Double Divas longs for legacy as a well-endowed series. The stamina of this shtick will depend on how it handles the first few dates. Can its limp premise generate lasting chemistry and measure up to the higher standards of sophisticated female audiences?
After all, this too 2-dimensional concept relies on a dressing room banquet of massive bosoms studied through cameras mounted on the ceiling. Ironically Double D overlooks the fact that most women refuse to tolerate wide-eyed gaping at voluptuous assets outside of lingerie stores, pole dancing, or foreplay.
Most of us remember younger nights and that mad rush to couple with someone we barely knew. And most of us quickly learned that orgasmic encounters without honest emotion, real intimacy, or stimulating conversation transform erotic studs into anticlimactic duds.
Double Divas will rise with the momentum and bang of a noisy booty call, only to peter out as a dull, excruciating breakfast. You’ve seen it naked, looked into its heart, tested its IQ, and suddenly realize there’s nothing left to your imagination. Well, at least you had a good laugh.
If this brain-dead brand of reality TV finds a way to survive through the trailer park charity of mentally challenged audiences, I will not mourn the death of American culture. In fact, I’m working on my own reality concept destined to eclipse Survivor as a smash hit with staying power.
Nobody seems to understand the travails endured by French supermodels who struggle to find comfortable haute couture G-strings. I’ll blow this controversy wide open with a balanced perspective, touching on empowerment and personal redemption told through the unblinking integrity of floor-level cameras.
- Will You Watch “Double Divas”, Lifetime’s New Show About a Bra Shop? (glamour.com)
- Lifetime preps ‘Divas’ docuseries (variety.com)
- A Bra-Shopping Reality Show Is Coming to Lifetime, Obviously (jezebel.com)
- The Body Public: Talking About Lingerie (sweetnothingsnyc.com)
- ‘Double Divas’ Preview Spotlights Custom Bra Shop (huffingtonpost.com)