Those of us who were around when Russian women were only allowed to wear sturdy cotton undergarments will remember how utilitarian and sexless they were. Since then, Russian women have been buying lacy lingerie like their western counterparts.
That’s all about to change. Or should I say things will go back to prehistoric times. Starting on July 1, 2014, there will be a ban on lacy lingerie in Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. From then on, all lingerie must have at least 6 percent cotton or they will be banned from being imported, made, or sold in those three countries.
There are only a couple of things that would make sense for this senseless ban. The first is that maybe they are supporting the cotton industry if it has been losing business and the second is that this ban is tied to their economy in a larger way. Otherwise, I can’t see the sense in refusing to let Victoria’s Secret and other high-end retailers sell their lingerie in those three countries.
At the moment, more than four billion dollars worth of underwear is sold in Russia annually and eighty percent of the goods sold are foreign imports. Lacy underwear disappears from the shelves almost as quickly as they are put on them and analysts have estimated that if this ban goes into effect this summer, they would disappear entirely.
When Russians couldn’t get jeans in their country, the black market trade was huge. Regular jeans that sold for fifteen or twenty dollars in America were being bought for three-hundred dollars or more in Russia.
The public outcry against this ban has been huge. Just this past week, thirty women protesters in Kazakhstan were arrested and thrown into police vans while wearing lace underwear on their heads and shouting “Freedom to panties!”
Women love their sexy underwear and if this ban goes into effect, they will find some way to buy them and to wear them, regardless of the laws. The black market will flourish once again and people who travel abroad will bring back lacy lingerie or the fabric for enterprising people to make them and sell them.
At the moment, it’s doubtful that policemen will stop women in the street to examine their underpants to see if they’re in compliance with the six percent cotton requirement. Or maybe they will. Who knows? Only time will tell.