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Wearables for women: does Swarovski and bling make them “for women” ?

In Op-Ed, Tech by Viv0 Comments

Recently, I came across a couple of news articles and editorials talking about how IoT is starting to design for women. Specifically, new wearables designed for women are making headway, with a few of them making their debut at CES 2016 last week. Huawei, Mira, Ombra, and others showcased devices that were designed specifically for women, and I quickly became nauseated by what they had to show. Without criticizing the features or the design of these devices, I feel like someone has to point out that what these companies are advertising as “designed for women” are just overpriced items with crystals on them. Bloggers say that “real fashionistas, wearing Prada, Chanel, Dior and such will appreciate the design”, but wearables aren’t for them, are they?

Wearables are for everyone and I’m taken aback as to how long it has taken companies to take into consideration that women also like tech and gadgets. The sad part is that while they’ve acknowledged the demand, they’ve adopted a road that is prejudiced and lacks true creativity. I’m a woman, and I would never wear the Huawei Watch Jewel or the Mira bracelets. Do these companies not think about when wearables are used and in what environments? Let’s be honest for a second and admit that wearables aren’t that practical right now. Even if someone buys one, they still need their phone. After the first few weeks of excitement over the new acquisition pass by, they’ll forget about it (I did that, repeatedly) and stop using it – because it has little to no purpose in day to day life.

I get it. These companies are marketing these wearables for women to the women that have the cash. To the celebrities that will be willing to post selfies with these gadgets on Instagram #fashion. They’re making these devices so they’ll seem high-fashion enough for these individuals to promote them and for women to feel like they’re being sold something they don’t like – but still feel pressured into settling into the trends these companies set for them. I’m sorry, but I would have appreciated a simple, smaller Huawei Watch much more than this Jewel and Elegant nonsense. I would have appreciated an inconspicuous black bracelet more than those flashy gold and rose gold kitch-parades that they are marketing as “wearables designed for women”. Women don’t really need bling, as these companies think they do, they might just need a smaller size. I have yet to see a wearable marketed as made for women that I would wear, save for the Ombra smart bra, which has an actual practical use. Variety is key, and women are not getting any when it comes to wearables.

I might come off as a hater, I do admit I hate these designs, but there are of course women that like Swarovski, gold, jewels,etc. The fact of the matter is that the wearables these companies are making for women don’t do much for them. There are no extra features incorporated (if they’re made for women, why not include a neat menstrual calendar at least, as a sign of good faith?), their prices are considerably higher than the “male” equivalent and in this day and age, they’re just not worth it. However, they still manage to promote an idea that in my opinion, is flawed at its core. Many gender advocates would tell you that promoting gold and pink as “women’s trends” so to speak is wrong on many levels. I’d rather not risk this post spiraling into more of a rant than it already is, but I’m curious of your thoughts. Men, women, other, you name it: what do you think? Does putting bling on a wearable turn it into a women’s wearable? Bloggers say their Prada-wearing fashion-conscious women friends really love the idea, but I doubt those friends are real.

Viv

I believe tech and its place in our society is a process that will forever be in development, as long as we look to science. It's important that we keep track of what's going on and what we can access. There are new technologies being implemented everyday, and the more we know, the better.

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