Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Girded for Battle ("I dreamed I was walking down Fifth Avenue in my Ardyss Body Magic 2")

A number of years ago, I was walking along the beach, when I reached back to pull down my bathing suit.

"The elastic's really going in the rear of this bathing suit," I thought. But as I tugged the suit down, I realized it wasn't the elastic in the rear of the bathing suit that was going, but, rather, the elastic in the rear of the bathing suit-ee.

I thought of this when I read a CNN article yesterday on a gathering in Atlanta of the sales folks for Ardyss International, which specializes in foundational undergarments. That would be corsets and girdles.

Believe that needlepoint pillow motto, never too rich, never too thin? Ardyss might just have something for you. At least if you buy the promises on their web site, and the guy who was revving up the crowd by telling them:

"They say money doesn't grow on trees. Well, I've got a money tree in my backyard, and Ardyss planted it there!"

Move over Tupperware, so long Mary Kay.

Ardyss is another of those multilevel marketing outfits: sell stuff and make money, get others to sell stuff and make more money, get those others to get still others to sell stuff and make more money.  And so on, until everybody in the world is a distributor, and the last schnooks in have no one to sell to.

But until then...

"I've only been involved for two months, and I have a check with a comma in it," said Robbyn Washington of Snellville, Georgia.

Well, over the last two months, I've gotten a number of checks with commas in them, but I did it by writing white papers, not by selling the Body Magic corset thing-y that claims to get you to "Drop 3 sizes in 10 minutes."

I'll just bet...

One of the numerous social changes I've lived through is the decline of the wearin' o' the girdle.

When I was in high school, it mattered not whether you were a slender-ella or 40 pounds overweight. If you were the Catholic daughter of a Catholic mother, you never went out without wearing a girdle under your dress or skirt.

These were "panty girdles" which didn't really give the control of the sturm und drang girdles those Catholic mothers (and grandmothers) wore. Still, a girdle's a girdle.

Then, blessedly, panty hose came upon the scene, and one of the main functions of the panty girdle - it had fasteners to hold your nylons up - went by the boards. And, hey, this was the 60's. Even though we were Catholic girls, we were girls. Who cared - other than those Catholic mothers - about reining in that butt jiggling?

So, since I remember the girdle (and will confess to usually wearing control-top panty hose on the odd occasion when I'm wearing panty hose), I was interested in what Ardyss has to offer.

So I wiggled my virtual way over to their site, to see what was up, or what was being held up.

First off, I have to say that they have one of those annoying sites that won't let you grab text or images, or even print a page into a pdf. I suppose that's to ward off us snarky bloggers.

Hah, as long as these fingers can find the keyboard....

Different messages seem to appear on the site, but the last time I look, it challenged the reader to "imagine your body looping and looking excellent."

It's hard enough for me to imagine my body looking excellent, let alone imaging it looping.  But if I used their products, presumably I could unleash my imagination.

With Body Magic 2 steps System, is possible to reduce sizes instantly, reaffirm your abdomen and get the figure you have ever wanted, and also have the advantage of getting a better health and get all the antioxidants benefits through Le 'Vive.

And lest you think that I made some typos while transcribing info from their site, I must - forgive me - mention that the site is written in ESL, so most/all of those errors should be considered [sic].  That said, I wouldn't mind reaffirming my abdomen, especially if I could stop doing those damned crunches with the eight pound medicine ball that don't seem to be doing all that much good.

If you're wondering, Le 'Vive is their nutritional drink that

MAY help you

  • To neutralize free radicals, responsible for aging*
  • Increase your energy and strength*
  • In preventing cancer*
  • Keep good health*

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Man, disclaimers are such downers!

But back to the Body Magic 2 Step system, which, among other "incredible" (their word) benefits:

Loose sizes instantly without surgery
Stop aging through antioxidants
Helps fight against degenerative terrible illneses
Helps your bust from falling

I hate when that happens, which it seems to be doing more often these days. (Note to self: get better bras.)

Increase your energy
Helps the correct internal organs function
Protects the lumbar spine
Get a firm abdomen instantly
Reduce up to two waist sizes

Well, I'm all for getting all the correct internal organs to function. And keep that useless appendix from acting out. But didn't we used to hear that Victorian ladies who were laced into their corsets ended up with their organs in the wrong position, and, in fact, ended up with organ damage.

I guess the technology has gotten that much better...

Despite the disclaimers on the site, the Atlanta conventioneers were more unbridled.

They ascribed restored bladder control and diverted surgeries to Body Magic. One distributor lifted her blouse to reveal not only the über-girdle but also her Angel Bra, which she said can protect a woman from breast cancer. Many thanked Body Magic for putting their organs "back in place."

There you go again. Just the other day, I was wondering what my kidney was doing on my hip. If I'd had my Body Magic on, I might have saved myself the trouble of having to prod that rogue kidney back into place.

The stories passed around of those saved by Le' Vive, a drink said to be rich in antioxidants, included tales about warding off diabetes and arthritis. But distributors also said a woman was cured of Bell's palsy. Another, they said, had Lupus, was given six months to live and is now in remission. And then there was the unnamed blind man who distributors claimed began to see.

I will point out that these claims came not from Ardyss, but from their ardent distributors.

It goes without saying that, especially in these times, there are a lot of distributor wannabes, many from less affluent and educated backgrounds, who want to buy-in to the Ardyss promise.

In the last half year, the business has grown by 600 percent.

It pays, of course, to be at the top of the pyramid. One with 15,000 distributors under her wing claims to rake in $55K per month. (Hmmmmmmm. Maybe I should rethink my career in product marketing. Anyone want to buy a Body Magic from me?)

But, of course, with "only" 140,000 distributors in toto, there can't be many who have 15,000 distributors under them - especially when one of the other primo Ardyssians has 55,000 under her. That takes care of half right there.

Still, if you want to become a distributor, you can get yourself a starter kit for $299.

I couldn't find any list of the contents on their site, but I did find a couple of before and after shots under "real people, real results."

Strange, that women with the long straight hair - the one in the completely hideous black dress with the Crayola-flesh thingy on top that looks like it's a skin disorder - seems to have a thinner nose and face in the after shot. Could it be that they stretched the picture a tad.

Naaaahhhhhh. That would never happen.

Meanwhile, if you want to contact Ardyss US, they're on Paradise Road in Las Vegas. The mother ship is in Mexico. Is it too late to revoke NAFTA?

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