The underwear brand Dear Kate, a big proponent of using real people instead of models, has a new plan to empower women: It's putting inspiring female faces right on its panties.
Its League of Ladies Collection features illustrations of four historical women—Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart and Frida Kahlo—reimagined as superheroes.
Additionally, Dear Kate has called on real-life influencers to model the collection, including science communicator Kelly Carnes, actor and playwright Zoe Travis, Golly Magazine editor Roxanne Fequiere, and comedian Jackie Zebrowski.
With names like "Supermarie" and "Superfrida," the panties feature a cartoon depiction of each woman's face on the front and a design on the back. Which begs the question, are women even wearing panties with cartoons on them? I asked Twitter, where reactions varied from a resounding no to an open-minded maybe:
Women of Twitter over 25, do you regularly wear underwear with cartoons on them? (This is a work question, I promise.)
— Roo Ciambriello (@roociambriello) October 23, 2014
@roociambriello I'm going to go with no. I didn't even know they made adult underwear with cartoons. I'm so boring 🙂
— Elissa Plastino (@eplastino) October 23, 2014
@roociambriello I've apparently been out of the loop that there was even a cartoon option that wasn't er… uh… weird… so. No. I don't.
— Alayna Wetherhead (@awetherhead) October 23, 2014
@roociambriello I haven't worn cartoon underwear since Underoos (so about age 3). And even my 3-year-old wears mostly cartoon-free panties.
— Nicole (@nmb74) October 23, 2014
That'd be a negatory, ghost rider. "@roociambriello: Women of Twitter over 25, do you regularly wear underwear with cartoons on them?"
— Ambra. (@ambranykol) October 23, 2014
@roociambriello If I could find adult Wonder Woman undies I would definitely wear them.
— Maureen Keefer (@mimifelineb) October 23, 2014
@roociambriello I don't, but I totally would. I do have a pair that spells out "Tease" in rhinestones, so …I'm into fun underwear?
— Heather Laura Clarke (@HFXHeather) October 23, 2014
I love the concept of celebrating extraordinary women, but I wonder if this is an idea best suited for a (much) younger crowd.
I highly respect and admire Amelia Earhart, but I don't know if I want to see her face every time I pull off a pair of jeans. I would, however, absolutely buy an 8-year-old girl a cute camisole and panties set featuring Marie Curie with a little hang tag that gives her a short lesson on Curie's scientific accomplishments. (Business idea, Dear Kate, if you want to come out with a Dear McKenna line.)
We've seen how people react to brands that empower women, and I'm reluctant to criticize any effort to promote strong women. So allow me to soften the blow by saying that while I wouldn't buy superhero panties for myself (and I am the target market), Dear Kate's Sporty Bralets are off the chain.