UPDATE: If you've been following this grassroots campaign since we first wrote about it over 10 days ago, we have some uplifting news. The originator of the petition, Allana Maiden, met with Victoria's Secret today about turning her idea for a "Survivor" bra into a reality. Maiden spoke with us about the VS reception, and informed us of the challenges she and her mother are facing in the future.
To its credit, VS has been totally open to speaking to Allana and her mother. Maiden says, "(Tammy Roberts Myers) has definitely done a lot research in between (when she agreed to meet with me) and today. She is putting a lot of thought into this and seeing what VS might be able to do to make it happen." Apparently, one of the major concerns that Victoria's Secret VP of Communications, Tammy Roberts Myers, expressed when meeting with Allana was that a mastectomy bra is considered a "medical device." Because these specialized bras are covered by insurance, Victoria's Secret would have to have licensed associates to help with fitting, and may need to even to be monitored by the FDA. Says Maiden, "One of my counterpoints was that if the bra was affordable, women wouldn't care if insurance covered it or not (like a regular bra). That's one thing I brought up and they are taking it into consideration. They are looking into how many women would buy bras without worrying about insurance."
To be able to walk in to a Victoria's Secret and have a "mastectomy-ready" line would be a huge relief for many survivors, and Maiden ensures us she is pushing forward with VS. "Next up, we are planning a trip to Columbus, OH (where VS headquarters are located) so we can talk to the parent company and some of the doctors at the nearby research hospital. (Tammy) answered all of my questions. I feel pretty good about everything." Hat tip to Allana and her mom, for affecting real, incredible change. Also, hat tip for Victoria's Secret for acknowledging women of all bust sizes and types need undergarments that feel right for them.
This was originally published on January 18:
Consumer activism is one of the few things in this world of price points, mass retailers, and corporate profits that actually gets anything done. Over the last few months, we've seen the future of garment production completely change thanks to a Greenpeace-led initiative that — because of people like you — actually worked. On a smaller scale, one child's letter to Hasbro not only helped change the color of the Easy Bake Oven, it may have spurred a new generation of boys to cook.
Well, today, we've got another chance to make a difference through small, simple actions. Allana Maiden, the daughter of a breast-cancer survivor, is asking the popular lingerie maker Victoria's Secret to make people like her mother who have undergone mastectomies feel just a little bit more normal and pretty through a heartfelt petition on Change.org. It reads, "So many of us have mothers, daughters, and friends who have faced breast cancer. These inspiring women who have had mastectomy surgery as part of their treatment deserve to feel beautiful, too." Surely, they do. It continues, "Victoria's Secret is known for helping women feel confident and comfortable. Please celebrate the strength and hope of the survivors in our lives with a 'Survivor' line of mastectomy bras." We couldn't possibly add anything to that simple, inspiring message.
That's more than moving — it's entirely possible. Indeed, Victoria's Secret is in exactly the right position to be offering women such services. With hundreds of stores and an extended, efficient manufacturing system, they could basically corner the market on such bras in a single season. Like the new Easy Bake Oven, a "Survivor" line of bras at Victoria's Secret is not only a good thing to do, with perhaps hundreds of thousands of potential customers just waiting out there for an option like this, it's good business.
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Photo: Courtesy of Victoria's Secret