Ok, we always knew producing lingerie for guys was going to be a very niche market and there would be challenges along the way. After nearly fifteen years we have heard just about every insult and rolled with the punches as various individuals and groups passively discriminated against us. Need a manufacturer? ‘Oh we can do lingerie for women but we cannot help you with men’s lingerie’. Photography? Models? Advertising? It’s a tough gig finding someone open minded enough in any field to provide the basic services any other business would receive in a heartbeat. Of course we eventually found people to help us but should it have taken as long as it did? No, it shouldn’t.
So we were pleasantly surprised when we visited the United States some 10 or 11 years ago. A random email from a lovely woman in the US that owned a lingerie store suggested we visit the International Lingerie Show in Las Vegas. So Passport in hand and a 14 hour flight later we were in LAX and waiting for a flight to Vegas. Now I have to set the scene here. Not once in Australia had we received any positive feedback. So you can understand we weren’t quite sure what reaction we would receive in the US if we mentioned what we made and for whom!
We were in for a surprise! From the moment we arrived everyone was positive. It was almost a case of looking around thinking we were on candid camera and the entire trip was a setup because everyone was so, well, nice! People were interested, positive, upbeat, supportive and not a single person had a bad thing to say. Ok, there was a learning curve I had to admit. I thought a few guys were a little angry at first but it turned out they were from New York and apparently that’s a normal tone of voice!
Our biggest issue has always been promoting HommeMystere. For all the ‘progressive’ steps society has made over the years, there’s clearly still a long way to go. Facebook? We lasted less than a week there because apparently if a guy is wearing white cotton underwear that’s acceptable. Change the fabric to satin and put a bow on top and it’s suddenly unacceptable. Whatever.
Now Instagram is on board the censorship train. We are currently on a roll of ‘Policy Violations’ with Instagram. Sometimes you can appeal, sometimes you cannot. And we’re not talking about recent posts being removed, we’re talking about posts from 2019 that are suddenly breaching the violations. I mean seriously? How many Karens can work in one place? And why are they spending so much time perusing our posts and deeming them sexual? Or is this just a new algorithm recently implemented?
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to post content without fear of censorship so we can promote our garments. Perhaps some kind of App on a distributed ledger that is managed by the community where no single entity has the power to censor what is, in our particular situation, photos of guys in underwear. Do you know a social media platform that might suit our needs? Let us know!