Bra Banter in Philly  | American Journalism Review
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From AJR,   July/August 1999

Bra Banter in Philly   

By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (robertson.lori@gmail.com), a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      


In late May, Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer Dianna Marder sent this e-mail to those in the features department:

"Dear Co-workers:
The features department is looking for a few good women [to] help with a story about the latest Victoria Secret product, the click bra that offers three intensities of cleavage. If you know anyone who would like to help by wearing the bra while being trailed by a reporter, please contact Dianna Marder asap... The women, whose pictures will not be taken, get the [sic] keep the bras."

Marder's June 2 story on the Click Miracle Bra calls the paper's effort "a public service" and reports that "three cleavage-impaired women" took up the cause. A free $42 Victoria's Secret bra? Why not? Marder did not want to comment on the e-mail or the story for AJR. One staffer says the call for help wasn't a big deal to the newsroom, though an e-mail reply did follow, jokingly suggesting certain male editors be trailed by reporters while wearing a three-click jock apparatus of some sort. Obviously, there's both double standard and comic fodder inherent in such a subject. Inquirer TV columnist Gail Shister--who says there's no one more "out" than she except maybe Ellen DeGeneres--takes the latter route, as she quips: "I don't think my breasts are big enough to have worn one of these things, but I would've been happy to have followed around a woman whose were."

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