Gendered wrist braces. Really.
August 21, 2011 § 3 Comments
I was shopping for a new wrist brace the other day when I saw these. On top you see a generic wrist brace. This wrist brace is for people. On the bottom, you see what appears to be an identical wrist brace, but in silver instead of black. This wrist brace is for women.
I took this picture with my phone, so you can’t see the text, but the wrist brace for women supposedly provides “slim silhouette wrist support.” Because, you know, us ladies must worry about being slim all the fucking time. If my wrist hurts, I certainly don’t want to put a brace on it that might make it look fat!
It also has a “contoured fit tailored to the natural curves of a woman’s wrist and arm.” Wow! I didn’t realize that men and women had such different wristal areas! For some reason, I had always thought the part of the body where an arm meets a hand is pretty much the same from person to person and that gender didn’t really figure into it at all.
I decided I should try them on. You know, for science. I thought the wrist brace for people fit me pretty well. It only had a metal tang on the underside and so left my hand free to move about. Since I need total wrist immobilization, I knew it wouldn’t work for me, but it still fit just fine. It’d probably work pretty well for someone needing mild stabilization combined with a tight wrapping.
Then I tried on the wrist brace for ladies. I was curious if it was cut any differently than the wrist brace for people. I have chicken wrists so it’s been pretty hard for me to find a brace that fits right. It seemed pretty much identical when I slid my hand into it. It wasn’t until I tried to fasten it that the big difference in the two became apparent: The lady wrist brace tried to take my eye out.
You see, a lot of the support comes from that large elastic band that wraps around the wrist and fastens with velcro. On the wrist brace for men, the velcro fastened without any problems to the back of the elastic band, so I could make the brace as tight as I needed. Not so with the lady’s wrist brace! It held for a millisecond and then the fastening came loose and the elastic, which had been stretched tight around my wrist, whipped free and snapped around in a loop before reaching equilibrium and hanging limply from the brace. As I had been bent over, struggling with the other two fasteners, this whipping flurry of elastic and velcro very nearly caught me in the eye.
So, other than the fact that the wrist brace that was “designed for women by women” (and yet somehow has the exact same design as the one that was, I assume, designed for people by people) doesn’t work, it’s also $2.00 more expensive. Also, I could be wrong on this since I find hands and wrists to be pretty uniform across genders, but it appears that both braces are being modeled by women.
Was there a need to say that the silver brace is for women? Why not market the braces as simply being different colors? “Look! With them you only get one color choice. With us you can choose!” Wouldn’t that only increase the number of people that each brace is being advertised to, leading to a larger customer base?
Also, I always thought black was supposed to be the slimming color.