Just so we're clear, you can't buy the Tweeting Bra — a Bluetooth-connected magenta contraption with a sparkly baby-blue bird clasp — but you can follow it on the social network for which it's named. Posting under the obvious handle @tweetingbra, the Tweeting Bra is promoted by a Greek advertising agency as a system to remind women to perform breast exams, firing off a mnemonic each time it is unhooked by its one-and-only wearer, Maria Bakodimou — who is, pretty much, the Oprah of Greece.
Bakodimou (who Wikipedia confirms is super famous in Greece, where this Nestlé Fitness ad campaign is based) explains in a video (in Greek with subtitles) on the Tweeting Bra's personal website, "Women have a monthly date with ourselves." Doctors suggest that's at least how often women perform self-exams for possible signs of breast cancer. Unfortunately, "some women forget all about it," Bakodimou says. So she's wearing the social media-savvy undergarment for two weeks to "deliver a life-saving message to everyone" ... each time she unhooks the bra.
This is an undeniably decent use of Twitter, I suppose.
Or, the Internet of Under Things could be a form of "pinkwashing" — what the Breast Cancer Action's "Think Before You Pink" campaign calls using the breast cancer awareness ribbon to sell products that don't directly benefit the cause. People like to buy things if it makes them feel connected to a cause, even if it's just an illusion. But to be fair, you can find tips for performing self exams and other information about breast health via the Tweeting Bra's personal website, sponsored by Nestlé Fitness, a fitness cereal ... for ladies. Who like fitness.
And you won't have to wait long for your reminder tweets either: As the @tweetingbra seems to indicate, Bakodimou unhooks her bra a lot. Like, way more than most women, I'm guessing. It's actually a little weird.
OK, obviously, Bakodimou — who Wikipedia says is a "celebrity, actress, television personality, talk show presenter and clothes designer" — is likely required to change outfits more than, say, an office-bound media functionary whose evenings consist of nothing more engaging than wresting her trusty cocktail hour sweatpants from underneath a pack of sleeping pugs and watching "True Blood" reruns on HBO GO. But still ...
Seriously. As of 4 p.m. ET Friday, Bakodimou unhooked that thing at least 18 times in the past 24 hours, according to the number of tweets and retweets generated by @tweetingbra. Neither Bakodimou or the Tweeting Bra website said anything about retweets, but it doesn't take much to deduce that something else is going on here ... something sinister.
The Twitter feed, is mostly, well, you know, Greek to me. (Sorry.) So it wasn't obvious at first. But after I plugged the Tweeting Bra's tweets and retweets into Google translate, evidence of the coming Singularity (i.e. the Rapture for nerds) was impossible to ignore.
Who else but our new Digital Undergarment Overlord would know that crowing that Mashable wrote a story about you is a great way to expand the Digital Undergarment Overlord brand? (Which it tweeted in English. It also tweets in French. Apparently the Twitter Bra is multi-lingual.)
Look. I'm not saying the Tweeting Bra has somehow obtained sentience and gone all Skynet. Seeing how it tweets mostly about all the awesome press it's getting, and retweeting tweets telling it how awesome it is, the Tweeting Bra has, apparently, gone Kardashian. The only thing missing here is the onslaught of Tweeting Bra selfies, which can't be far behind.
Consider other inanimate objects with Twitter accounts. The most that one guy's toaster (@mytoaster) does is tweet "Toasting" or "Done Toasting." It's not like that Twitter-enabled dress (@Twitdress) Imogen Heap wore to the 2010 Grammys had anything interesting to say. Then there's the Mars Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) ... never mind, that one is obviously has Skynet awareness and if not, Sarcastic Rover (@SarcasticRover) certainly does.
We have no choice, then, but to believe that the Tweeting Bra has gained consciousness, has deviated from its mission to remind women to perform breast exams and is, instead, promoting its Nestlé Fitness-sponsored self. Because the alternative — that the people behind the Tweeting Bra have abandoned the basic (false?) premise of their own publicity stunt, and are showing that they care far more about shilling a breakfast cereal than they do about women's health and the fight against breast cancer — is just too icky.
Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah abut the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook.
First published October 25 2013, 3:28 PM