Do big boobs make you smart?

News & Politics
Editor's note: This originally appeared on Pandagon.

Can someone who understands the thought process behind marketing more than I do please explain this ad?


It's for breast implants. I saw it first at Bitch Ph.D.'s, and naturally there was a commenter arguing, "But what if some woman chooses to stuff her breasts with bags of silicone that periodically spring leaks and have to be replaced on a regular basis? If she says she feels smarter and more empowerful for having breast implants, who am I to judge?" I'm paraphrasing of course, but if you check out the comments, I bet you'll figure out who I'm talking about in no time. I strongly resisted the urge (until now, I suppose) to say, "If breast implants up the IQ, maybe you should look into them." Because I should contaminate my own website with nasty insults, not Dr. B's.

Anyway, back to my questions. Most advertising for drugs goes straight at the lifestyle anxieties produced by contemplating the thing the drug "cures". Ads for Cialis show men only 10 to 15 years younger than their customer base getting busy eyes with women only 20 to 25 years younger than their customer base. Drugs for arthritis show old people frolicking around in a manner that is difficult to do when your arthritis is acting up. Cholesterol medications show people being alive, mostly, as heart disease primarily threatens that. Herpes medication shows women dancing in sunlight, because dancing-in-sunlight is the time-honored Clean Pussy image that has been pounded into our heads by douche ads.

Is there some sort of widespread anxiety amongst women that men will think you're less bright if you are flat-chested? God knows I thought the stereotype was the opposite.

Actually, having just written that out, it occurs to me that's what they're trying to do here. They have some reason to believe that one thing holding women back from getting our tits stuffed with silicone is the fear that everyone will think we're stone-cold stupid bimbos if we do it. I'll admit that I tend to think that getting breast implants is a sign of at least momentary stupidity, especially since the industry is cagey about the fact that they rupture a lot, meaning that those perky tits of yours will become an unnecessary headache to maintain. But we all do stupid, weak things in the name of vanity, so that's not what I'm talking about. They're probaby trying to undermine the image of women who get breast implants as Little Annie Fannie types who can't get by on brains and so they shove their boobs into everyone's faces. The fact of the matter is that there's already a strong cultural effort underway to maintain the belief that you can have brains or boobs, but not both, and by Stereotype Logic, the bigger the boobs, the smaller the brains.


I suppose that the "but girls with big tits are perfectly capable of thought processes" objection was what the empowerful commenter at Bitch's was trying to get at, but this is not the ad to do it. For one thing, the woman pictured doesn't really have big breasts, so the final result is just reinforcing the notion that you can't have tits and brains at the same time. Second of all, they're selling breast implants. The way to upend this stereotype is to point out that tits and brains have no relationship in IQ formation. Just one more incident of the beauty industry selling women the idea of empower so that we chase that instead of real power.

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