Women's underwear is an endless pain in the bum – and waist and ribs and back. Even once you've been measured and fitted properly, bras and knickers still have a habit of digging into our skin and getting where the sun don't shine.
But being hampered by our smalls isn't something we should have to put up with in 2018 – and one hosiery company wants to change it, starting by bringing the issue to light. Through a series of real, unfiltered images uploaded to Instagram this week, British brand Heist sought to hammer home just how annoying our underwear really is.
The images, taken by various photographers, show women's bare bodies indented and imprinted with marks from bras, knickers and tights that clearly haven't been designed for comfort.
One image, captured by photographer Scout Paré-Phillips, shows painful-looking red marks beneath a woman's bare breasts (which are overlaid with emojis because of Instagram's nipple ban). It's a common sight within the confines of our own homes at the end of a long day – hence the need to unhook our bras ASAP – but rarely discussed openly until now.
"We wanted to start a discussion around uncomfortable underwear," Heist said in the caption. "We wanted to share something that reflects that feeling when your bra digs in, when pants leave marks on your sides and tummy. We chose to post this photograph by Scout Paré-Phillips (@scout_pp) from a body of work called ‘Impressions’ as the image accurately shows the side effects of bad underwear."
Another image, also taken by Paré-Phillips, shows a woman's stomach and waist imprinted with red marks from a pair of tights, while another by photographer Elinor Carucci depicts skin indented by a zip.
A triad of black and white photos shot by photographer Justin Bartels, also uploaded by the brand, further make the point that constricting underwear can be an everyday frustration for women – and the string of comments below the images highlight the universality of the problem.
"Please please please manufacture bras that are bone and seam free – that don’t ride up or curl/roll up and have same comfort and security as your awesome hosiery!," wrote one commenter beneath the image of bra marks.
Heist was motivated to bring the topic to light after learning about people's daily frustrations with "products that make them struggle, sweat and squeeze into something just for the sake of looking good," brand spokesperson Jordanne Young told Refinery29.
"From our research and conversations with women, women aren't happy with the state of underwear, but deal with it due to a lack of options that provide for their bodies. Underwear has let women down due to neglecting the scientific and technological focus that it deserves."
"We wanted to start a dialogue about the current state of the underwear industry and its limitations, ahead of the launch of our next product." The company is launching a new campaign on 29th October, ahead of the launch of a range of new products on 15th November. So far, the brand has kept schtum on the specifics.
"Let's just say that it’s taking a look at underwear through a comedic lens. Think Bridget Jones...We have some big names on board," Young said, adding that it's "bodywear that moves with you, not against you.