Teen VPL on Canal Street at Rush Hour

July 31st, 2007 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Balance Bar Bare

Into the WABAC machine again…pseudo-nude women pushing products is so 1970s.

This afternoon, another old tippler and I rested our elbows on the wrought-iron fence of the Canal Street Boston Beer Works when they came. In groups of seven and three and four, young women came bearing bags of Balance Bare from Kraft Foods’ Balance Bar folk.
It’s summer. It’s sunny. It’s warm, but this is so 1970s.

None of the 19-year-olds was born when I used to go to the Con-Agg Show (that’s concrete and aggregate to you white-collar types) in Chicago. There were $80,000 and half-million-dollar piece of construction equipment filling the largest exhibit space in the country. Bright yellow Caterpillar, neon green Euclid and shocking red Poclain put track-mounted motorized tractors (bulldozers in common lingo), dump trucks, excavators, graders and the rest out for grown men to climb into. Ironically, back then, it was definitely a man’s business, buying or selling, but women were everywhere, often in bikinis.

Some vendors were pushing dump trucks as big as swimming pools. To prove the point, they’d fill them with water and have half a dozen leggy, busty models in tiny suits sitting on the edge and splashing about (careful not to ruin that hair set). I’d ask some sales managers and they freely admitted they competed months before these shows to hire the most striking models in Chicago.

You might think that millions (worth more now) of dollars of construction equipment would move by specs, recommendations and performance figures. The same managers would say that if a few hot models made the sale, it was a good investment.

We’ve gotten savvier in the past 35 years, or maybe not.

Boston’s Balance Bar’s Balance Bare’s young women weren’t too subtle. Each was bare to match the product name (yuck, yuck, yuck, y’all) in wearing translucent cream colored tights and skin tight top. That’s it. You could count the stitches in their undergarments.

It was the ’70s again, but it was for a $1.69 pseudo-health snack.

Another irony was that about one-third of these promoters were Black. So the cream clothes looked a little odd. At least they appears somewhat less naked.

They were eager to hand out their allotment of bad puns in bags from North Station to Faneuil Hall at rush hour. I took a couple.

I also thought about asking whether they knew how degrading it was. It was the end of the day, but nevertheless, I should have tried a little political education. On the other hand, as one girl after another stood before me popping out behind their little clothing joke, they offered a cheerful grin and a bag reading, “PREPARE TO GO BARE!”

Alas, the lasses, I think, wanted a paycheck, not a lecture or questions. Also, I did not have a camera with me. That’s probably for the good. I don’t believe these young women will want to revisit this afternoon in 35 years.

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One Response

  1. Harrumpher says:

    This came in from Matty-O from Toronto, but for some reason, WordPress insisted on deleting it. He wrote:

    Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude. Relax. Take a deep breath.

    I hate to break it to you, but this stuff was going on before the
    Seventies and it will be going on long after you’re gone.

    Embrace it for God’s sake. Take a bite of that bar and be happy a half
    naked 19 year old is giving you anything for free.

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