Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tip #29: Buy cute underwear

Last year, one of the members of the "Metastatic Breast Cancer Babes" in the Crazy, Sexy, Life Community just said casually that Victoria Secret was having a sale of 5 panties for $26. This was among messages of what chemotherapy to do next, how to deal with pain, how do you tell your kids, etc. In other words, not related at all to the main purpose of the community. And yet... What happened was kind of funny. First, one other lady mentioned she had indeed followed the advice and bought some panties, then another, then one more, and then, me. And you have to understand, I'm not a sexy panty kind of person, not even a printed panty kind of person. Or I wasn't. Until I got my panties from Victoria Secret, pretty, cute, different, colorful and maybe, one or two, even sexy (OK, one).

And I really was happy. And I think the other ladies were too. I don't know their reasons (although I do believe that this instance provided a moment of  normalcy, which is one of the things you most miss when you are ill. Here we were, just a group of 40 or 50 something ladies, giggling and getting excited about a silly thing like underwear. Yoo hoo! We were NORMAL!). But, in my case, this was also a moment of lightness, of fun, of adventure, even, as I had never given importance to my underwear.

And, interestingly enough, the effects of clothes on people have been studied by psychologists, and there is even a term, "enclothed cognition," which covers the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes. We seem to add symbolic meaning to the clothes we wear. To prove this theory, two groups of students had to complete an attention test. Both groups were asked to wear a white lab coat, but one group was told that the white coat belonged to doctors and the other one was told it belonged to painters. The first group, indeed, did much better than the second group. Isn't that crazy? So, the first group thought they were smarter, and acted that way.

All right, so I think that maybe I just must have added some symbolic meaning to the underwear. It gave me power, the power to be healthy, or at least to think and act like I was. A bit like Superman's cape but in reverse. Not supernatural powers, but just natural.

OK, but what about the rest of you? Most of the people who read this blog don't have an illness (I do believe I know all of you, love you all, and thanks once more for reading, you always make me happy) but I still think the tip applies to everyone. Underwear is not too expensive and it's kind of fun to buy, so the experience itself may be good. But also, you can, as we have seen, attach any meaning to it, and because it is hidden, it does feel like you have those special powers right there, just in case they may be needed.

Options: top for men, bottom for women
And, I'm lucky enough to know two people who have just launched an underwear line, HIPSTRIPES, which actually is underwear with a message, as you can see from the picture, besides being very high quality. And, this month they have a free-shipping offer (by the way). What do you think of their product? It definitely works well with the psychological theories we just saw, only this time it is even more clear as to which meaning we need to add to it. They are also looking for ideas as to what other messages they can include. I think I would like to see something like "I'm worth it and I like it that way," for example, and I'm sure they would sell a lot of  "f**ck cancer" ones, although I wouldn't buy that in one in particular. I prefer positive messages. :)

What do you think of my tip? Have you actually tried it? Did it work? Let me know your thoughts and also if you have any possible messages for my good friends at HIPSTRIPES!


  1. So funny, I still have my favorites, the polka dots. Makes me feel like Minnie Mouse

    1. The polka dots are my favorites too!!

  2. Cartoons don't get sick or they fix easily.