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From Boob Floss to Swimsuit Shoehorns: Fitness products women really need! Or not!

Posted Feb 27 2013 12:13am

brogurt So if men get their own yogurt (bro-gurt!) does that mean women can finally get girly beef jerky? Because I know I like my meat products dyed pink and stamped with a breast cancer logo! Some things, like sports bras and jock straps, require gender delineation. Food products do not qualify.

Weird Gym Moment of the Day (In Which I Look Like a Total Creeper): Gym Buddy Allison and I were exiting the gym after a nice sweaty workout when a flash of skin caught my eye. We were walking past another fellow sweaty girl and her eyes locked with mine at the exact moment that I realized what she was doing. Having just hopped off her spin bike, she was leaning forward and had pulled her shirt up. And – here’s where it gets weird – she then pulled the bottom of her sports bra forward and shoved a towel clear up her top so she could wipe off her sweaty cleavage. You guys she was flossing her boobs. On the gym floor.

While I literally fell into Allison laughing, I have to admit I totally understand where this girl is coming from. I’ve often said that I sweat like a dude but that doesn’t mean I sweat in dude places. A sweaty chest may sound sexy but in reality it’s just as stinky and annoying as sweating anywhere else. Although my usual method of dealing with it involves a sort-of shoulder shimmy while at the same time pressing on my chest with my fingertips, trying to force my stupid workout top to do its job and start doing some wicking already! I’m guessing her method is a lot more effective.

Allison suggested that someone should invent a boob-flossing towel as there’s obviously a niche (ha!) market there. Plus it could have so many other uses – padding for the small among us, chafe-protecting, and of course any number of magic tricks that involve pulling scarfs out of… well, nevermind. You get the idea.

Well Allison’s idea got me thinking about other unfilled niche markets for women’s fitness products. In the past, the method has just been to take whatever the men are using, dye it pink and slap a breast cancer logo on it. (Side note: My son used to think that logo was a fish and was so impressed that so many women apparently loved fish that much.) While this works fine for things like kettlebells, other items like weight lifting gloves really do need to be redesigned for women. But what about the areas where there is no male product already existing to serve as a template?

Like, for instance, a swimsuit shoehorn. Tonight was Jelly Bean’s first swim lesson and holy balls of sheep cheese was she adorable in her little pink tutu’ed suit! She jumped! She splashed! She kicked her chubby little feet! And, of course, she had to pee! Let me tell you: Taking a little girl to the potty in a wet swimsuit is a whole different experience than a little boy! You’d think after three years of having a girl around I’d stop being surprised at all the differences between the genders, but no. It was like squeezing a piglet through a water balloon. I finally had to just grab her top two straps and lift her off the ground, bouncing her (gently) to get her to settle back in like a pillow into a flannel pillowcase. As I watched her do one final butt wiggle and de-wedgie-fying pull, I realized it’s not just little girls who suffer. Who among us hasn’t done the dance of the seven squeegees as we try to wriggle back into a wet swimsuit after a potty break?

Or, even worse, who has ever tried to squeeze themselves into one of those Spanx or shaping swimsuits? I remember the first time I saw an “Assets” one-piece in Target. It looked so utterly adorable with its retro mini skirt and flattering shirring that I had to try it on. Twenty minutes later, confined in a dressing room the size of an airplane bathroom, I was huffing and puffing and jumping and wiggling – and finally got it all the way up. I was underwhelmed. For that much work I’d expected to look like Jessica Rabbit but instead I just looked like me. But in a black swimsuit with pale, unshaven legs and calf-high purple fuzzy socks. Fine. Whatever. I didn’t need to spend the money.

But when I tried to take it off I realized that the “slimming panels” were actually straight-jacket panels. No matter how I twisted, sucked in or shimmied, I could not get that thing past my hips. (And it wasn’t even wet!) I briefly considered emergency texting the Gym Buddies to run to the store and hold me upside down by that stupid skirt and shake me out. Unfortunately I get no cell reception at all in Target. My next plan involved the walk of shame to the cash register chanelling my inner Gaga (from her pantsless days) – until I realized my underwear was hanging out the bottom. This left me with two options: just putting my clothes back on over it and starting my life of crime at age 34 or going all Incredible Hulk on this thing. Seeing as I don’t fancy a trip to jail, I went with the latter option. To make a long, boring story even more boring I did eventually get the stupid suit off, unharmed (well physically – my dignity was shredded.) I can guarantee you no dude has ever been stuck in a locker room trying to gnaw his way out of a swimsuit. See? Where’s a swimsuit shoehorn when you need one?

Had any awkward gym encounters lately? Have you ever gotten stuck in anything in a dressing room? (I wish I could say that the swimsuit incident was the only time that’s happened…) How do you take care of your boob sweat? Anyone else have a female fitness product that needs inventing?


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