It’s either a vulgar slur or a flattering compliment, depending on your age, self-image and sense of humor.
I’m talking about MILFs.
Now, a U.S. lingerie retailer is hoping to re-purpose the raunchy slang term for hot mamas to help it sell bras. This time, the ‘F’ stands for “fit”, not you-know-what.
True & Co. launched its Are You A MILF? campaign last week to promote its online bra-fitting service.
The campaign is part of the company’s Mother’s Day promotion meant to “celebrate the moms in our lives.” Readers are encouraged to submit photos of their moms to be included in True’s online MILF Gallery. Entries will be included in a Mother’s Day contest, with the top prize being a $100 gift card for a bra make-over.
Customers will also receive temporary MILF tattoos (above) with each sales order until Mother’s Day.
The saucy acronym MILF has been a part of teen boys’ vocabulary (and X-rated movies) since it was used in the first American Pie movie in 1999 to describe actress Jennifer Coolidge — the now-legendary “Stifler’s Mom”.
And some followers of True & Co. find the MILF promotion more crass than clever.
“Sorry, but the original meaning of those letters will never change so you might want to think twice on this one,” wrote one commenter on the True & Co. Facebook page.
“Nothing funny about this MILF joke. it’s sexist and makes a connection between bras and sex,” wrote another. “What’s even worse, it provides a connection between bra fitting and sexual stuff — ICK!”
The San Francisco-based company has been described as the Netflix of the intimates industry, using a proprietary algorithm and simple questions to determine a customer’s bra size without relying on a measuring tape. Customers who pay a deposit are sent an assortment of bras that they can try on and either keep or return.
True & Co. did not respond to Lingerie Talk‘s request for comment.
The images below are from True’s MILF ‘community’ and feature several well-known style bloggers who contributed to the campaign.
[UPDATE, May 3: True & Co. addressed complaints about its MILF campaign yesterday by posting a brief statement on its blog.
“The term (MILF) brings to mind pervy frat boys,” the company said, “but who says they should own an acronym?
“MILF (Moms I’d Love To Fit) is about the best people in the world taking 5 minutes out of their busy day to treat themselves to a proper bra fitting and get a new bra.
“We meant the pun and we meant it in good fun. We think there’s nothing objectifying about a woman owning her sexuality. We’d be proud to be considered a MILF (Mom I’d Love To Fit).”]