The car bra

bmw_E46ciJust this past week I happened to notice in the parking lot of the place I work, a car bra on a nice shiny BMW parked right in front of the building. I couldn’t help but contemplate why someone would possibly use such an accessory. I eventually came to the conclusion that this accessory is completely without actual purpose.

As I understand it, the purpose of the car bra is supposed to be purely cosmetic. It is designed to protect the front end of the car from the elements (dings, nicks, scratches) that will naturally kick up during traffic. This would have to be the purpose of it, as I believe we all would agree that the bra itself is far less visually appealing than the shiny finish underneath. So basically it acts as a shield or mask protecting the cars “good looks.” As the minimalist that I am, I would not be so consumed with cosmetics or fashion so as to purchase one of these for my car (no matter what car I happen to have). But minimalism is not for everyone, or maybe this person is passionate about BMW’s; It is not the fact that it is a cosmetic accessory that caused me to come to the conclusion that it is useless.

What did cause me to come to this conclusion, is the fact that the bra is on to keep something looking good, that we can’t see, just because the bra is on. Is not the reason we have good-looking things in the first place, so we can gaze upon them with some sort of pleasure as their image pleases our eyes. This “car bra principle” makes about as much sense as Brad Pitt wearing a mask all the time because he wants to protect his face from the elements, and keep his face nice and pretty. “Hey Brad. You don’t have a pretty face if no one (including yourself) ever sees it.” And the truth is, those who use a car bra seldom take it off, because it’s too much work to keep putting it on and off.

So why do they have one??? Vanity. Simple, useless, pointless, and ultimately self-destructive, vanity. A person with a car bra wants US to know that they have a good-looking car without actually showing it to us. They are willing to just accept the fact that their car is good-looking, without actually allowing them-self the pleasure of gazing on it. This is pompous.

I have officially labeled ” The Car Bra” as official proof humanities counterproductive ego.

The car bra is without fashion or functional purpose. I am even going to go out on a limb here and say that the owner of a car bra can’t possibly be a minimalist.

 

4 Replies to “The car bra”

  1. So if I understand correctly, a TRUE minimalist wouldn’t necessarily purchase a “protector” for materialistic things? Can we go out on a limb and state minimalists would NEVER purchase a case for their smartphone, laptop or GPS unit as that adds unneeded bulk and just hides a prestine finish underneath from real enjoyment? Perhaps maybe because a car bra can be $150+ and a case for our electronics less than $20? The very essence of protecting something to retain value may be deminished here, but I may not fully understand your wavelength. 😉

    1. It’s all about function. A smartphone case has value in that it protects the functionality of the phone, and not simply there to protect it’s “looks.” Last I checked, little dings and nicks on the hood of a car won’t compromise the functionality of the car in any way shape or form. Now whether a minimalist would use a smartphone case depends on the hazardous conditions that the phone might be exposed to. Depending on those conditions, a case could have great value. But if a phone case was only useful because it preserved the phones “prettiness”, and looked ugly while it was on the phone, then I’d say the phone case serves no purpose at all. Wouldn’t you say the same? Such is the case with the car bra.

      1. Hi! I think I understand to a degree, but you start out with a smartphone case adding “functionality” to the phone. The case provides no such purpose other than to protect the phone from “dings” and “scratches” and increase sturdiness (prevent expensive damage) in the event of a drop/fall. The car bra similarly does the same. Furthermore, this can be said for automotive accessories in general. What about mud flaps (guards) to prevent further moisture from reaching the underside panels and facilitating rust? How about automotive floor mats? Yes they protect the carpet of the car, but are also easy to remove/replace and further enhance the value of the vehicle as preventing carpet degregation/disintegration due to road salt (in northern states) and debris as the vehicle ages. I appreciate your input, but just having a tough time really grasping this thought process! Studying “value added” items in a process stream is similar when implementing lean six sigma methodology. Much I read here aligns with this close-to-home mantra, but I’ve noticed clear differences of opinion.

        1. Modern phone cases I believe DO have function in the fact that they protect the phone from damage of the variety that would destroy the functionality of the phone (like you said, a drop, fall, violent impact). A car bra is merely for cosmetics (and fails even to that degree). I don’t care how sturdy a car bra is, if a car crashes into something that could effect the functionality of it, a car bra will do nothing to deflect it. As far as the value of the other accessories, it gets a little grey’er. But I would say that mudflaps are not merely cosmetic (depends on the terrain one travels), they have a valid valuable use. Floor mats too. But yes, most car accessories are merely cosmetic.

          Take the spoiler for example. Spoilers were originally designed to increase handling of a vehicle. Unfortunately the only way to really get the effect of it is to travel at speeds well above most modern speed limits. And the design of most modern spoilers actually negatively effect the handling of vehicles. So why do people get them: because they look sharp (plain and simple). Now if someone does well enough to spend the cash on this cosmetic such that the cash will not be missed, then they should go for it. But don’t let that same person who purchased a spoiler today, complain that they don’t have money for lunch tomorrow. They opted for fashion, at the expense of the overall functionality of their life (That is in another post of mine).

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