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Double Divas Review: Season 1, Episodes 1-3

Last week, I caught the season premiere of Lifetime's new docudrama, Double Divas, starring Molly and Cynthia of the Atlanta area boutique, LiviRae. Though I don't usually watch much TV, I was really excited about Double Divas, not only because it was a show the lingerie industry, but also because it was a show set in my hometown of Atlanta, GA. Sadly, I was less than impressed, and though I do plan on watching the show through the end of the first season, I feel disappointed... because it could really be so much better.

But let's start with the good. I adore the concept of the show, and I'm glad Lifetime is presenting an alternative to the ever-present Victoria's Secret. Besides that, lingerie is such a tricky subject in America, anything that reduces the stigma and shame attached to it is a good thing in my book. Bras, panties, and other kinds of intimate apparel don't have to be hidden subjects. We can and should talk about them the same way we talk about shoes or handbags or dresses or makeup or any other item of women's fashion. And it's my sincere hope that Double Divas makes those conversations a bit easier to have.

I also like that LiviRae is a mid-range lingerie boutique as opposed to a high-end or luxury boutique. While that does have some downsides (expensive lingerie is very often innovative and gorgeous to look at, while mid-price ranges tend to be fairly repetitive from season to season), I think it has the overall effect of making lingerie feel more accessible to women. Of course, this could be something that I'm just noticing because of my familiarity with many of the brands on the show (you'll find a complete list of brands I saw featured below) but I do think the noticeable absence of the typical luxury lingerie powerhouses is a good thing here.

Finally, I liked that the show features Molly and Cynthia helping woman with various breast and bra problems. From the Norma Stitz vignette (yes, I know her boobs are unusually large, but the feeling of not being able to fit into any bra available is a common one), to the woman with the asymmetrical breasts, to the well-endowed church choir, to the woman who had to return a revealing lingerie gift purchased by her fiance, I felt like the show really shined when it showed the LiviRae women in their natural element... helping women find the perfect lingerie for their bodies. Those were the moments that resonated with me, and based on what I saw from the Twitter hashtag #doubledivas, I don't think I'm the only one.

Now, on to the bad. Unfortunately, the show itself felt very gimmicky and over-produced and unprofessional. I know the whole 'reality' part of reality TV is just an illusion, but when your leads already have such big personalities, the scripted moments can very easily go into overkill. The store itself didn't appear particularly well-organized or inviting, and the fashion show in particular was just a complete mess. The chosen 'Angels' theme is so tired and overdone that I was bored immediately, the model drama felt way too manufactured (had no one in the shop ever heard of Model Mayhem?), and the final outfits were underwhelming. The whole scene in general just took away from the more interesting parts of the show, namely the parts where they actually fitted women into lingerie.

I also don't feel like Lauren (the sales associate) is a benefit to the store. Yes, her personality is suitably dramatic and over-the-top for reality television, but when I visit a lingerie boutique, I'm a lot less interested in the "sexy element," (the reason Molly said Lauren was hired) and a lot more interested in an associate who knows what she's doing. I was also really turned off by Lauren's body snark. There's a point in the third episode where she says, "Everyone deserves lingerie, but sometimes you're like...'Ewwww!!! Gross!!!" and that's really not okay. Women are at their most vulnerable in the fitting rooms; they don't need to worry about a salesperson judging their bodies while they're back there half naked. I'm always against body snark, but when it comes from lingerie industry professionals, I think it's especially reprehensible.

Overall, I'm interested enough in the concept to keep watching. I think the show could use a lot fewer outside-the-boutique stagings, and a lot more client-shop interactions (by the way, did anyone else notice how the shop was always empty?). I'm also not too impressed with Cynthia's sewing projects (if she was doing wildly innovative and creative pieces, that'd be one thing, but I haven't seen that so far), and I sincerely hope Lauren feels less like a producer pick for added drama and more like a real employee of the store during the course of the show. Honestly, I doubt there'll be much improvement (I'm sure Lifetime has already crunched the numbers and come up with a formula they think will work best), but one can always dream. Keep scrolling down to see the list of brands featured in the first few episodes.

Did you catch the Season Premiere of Double Divas? What did you think of it?

Lingerie Brands Featured in Double Divas, Episodes 1 thru 3:
(Because of when the show is taped, several of the pieces seen on screen are no longer available)

  • Playful Promises
  • Leg Avenue
  • Dreamgirl
  • Felina
  • Parfait by Affinitas
  • Blush Lingerie
  • Allure
  • Le Mystere
  • Lucy B
  • Seven 'til Midnight
  • Wacoal
  • Honeydew
  • Jezebel
  • Body Wrap
  • Cleo by Panache
  • Panache
  • Love Claudette
  • Berkshire Hosiery

Article Tags :
Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

27 Comments on this post

  1. Deena says:

    I live close to this store and know a lot about these ladies. They are using this show as a marketing tool to get more business as they are not popular and they are never busy. I’ve always heard negative reviews about them. I also know they are not the christian, giving, caring women they are pertraying themselves as. I’ve heard many of negative things about Cynthia as she is always rude and such a negative person. Women need to do a little research on these women before they order from them and they will know why they don’t get very much business from their own hometown! All the unsatisfied customer comments get hidden or deleted! All their stories are staged senarios. Check out their BBB rating as well.

    • ashlie says:

      so i have worked for these ladies for sometime now and I can tell you off the back cynthia is no where close to negative she is 24/7 upbeat about something same for molly they are hands down some of the sweetest women you will meet and for them not being christian is another story they both fully have faith in god and they believe because of the blessing and obstetrical is why they are where they are in life and business believe it or not

  2. Love hearing both sides of what you like and don’t like. I really wanted to see more fitting on this show and perhaps with articles like yours they will do that in future episodes. There was one episode where I did like how Molly took a bad sale to a gentleman and sold his wife something she liked better because she was upset about what he bought. That was a great turn around for the episode and I really like how she made the woman feel and really connected with the customer finding her what she really wanted. It was a really positive outlook on what I really would love to see more to come on the show.
    Understandably, reality TV is supposed to be dramatic so it will make people want to watch but the body snark of people (women and men), I found to be very appalling. There were too many other issues I found as a fitter and specialist in the industry that I found bothersome but it is hard to say whether or not this was just made for TV or not.
    Thanks again for both sides of the spectrum on this, great post!

  3. Merry M says:

    Wow. I’ll take a look, but I’m definitely not expecting much. Also, I wonder if the channel it’s on makes a difference. I wonder if it was airing on say TLC instead of Lifetime, it might be a little less over-the-top. Yes, I admit that TLC is the home of the atrocious Honey Boo Boo, but for the most part, they are A LOT more grounded than Lifetime, which is all about the wow/outrageous-factor. That dance mom thing with the evil dance instructor comes to mind.

  4. Samantha says:

    As humiliating as it is to say this, I was asked to come in for an interview with them months ago. I am from the area which is in Kennesaw, GA. The way they used to advertise is not at all a reflection of the show, used to show a bit of class and like they actually wanted to help women. I watched the premiere and my husband and I were like, “Are you kidding?” Oh and to the previous post, that store is never busy. Maybe more now that it has aired on national television but it wasnt before. I don’t know if they got new owners or what but its almost embarrassing.

  5. Vicki says:

    I watched the show , and I know it wont focus on fitting women as much as it will the owners and the situations they become involved in- fashion show etc.
    As for potential clients, the list of women posters is long on the lifetime page, requesting fitting help. Also I’m sure the boutique is booked with women. The store might be filled with customers when not filming, but not as much when filming because some might not want to be on ‘the show’.

    I hope the lady with the largest bust will get fitted even better. The seamstress could make a better fitting bra now with her added information and experience with the first one she made.

    Another thing, they can start giving the women fitting 101, underbust, overbust and cup size information, and about the bra they are being fitted with.

  6. Frank says:

    I wasn’t expecting much from the commercials for the show before it aired, and I wasn’t disappointed.
    Sorry if it seems too much like Show Snark, but if I want a fun scripted-unscripted show, I’ll watch Mythbusters. My problem isn’t so much with the people on the show as with ‘Reality TV’. Have a big personality? They’ll amp it up so much it grates on people who might otherwise like it. They’re missing an opportunity here, but I didn’t expect it to be all-educational TV. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see this as interesting enough the way they’re producing it to build an audience – especially a female one, which it will need, and I can’t see men watching for salacious reasons enjoying it, but maybe that’s just me. My wife thought less of it than I did. I do hope one thing, though: that much like Vicky’s, the show can be an ‘entry drug’ and get people who don’t have any appreciation of lingerie as anything more than ‘dirty’ or over-priced underwear to reconsider. Even if the show gets no better and it does that, that would be cool.

  7. Kathryn says:

    I’m partway through watching the first episode and even before that lovely gem from Lauren I found her unprofessional and annoying. If someone like her approached me in a lingerie store I would tell them I didn’t need any help. I understand that over the top personalities are a thing for reality tv but the way that she makes a big deal about the large bra sizes is offensive to me.
    It’s the risk of women like her that make me feel uncomfortable about myself when walking into a store to buy lingerie! I’m not even particularly big and half the time I’m shoved into the plus size category, as well as having a body riddled with stretch marks I wouldn’t feel at all comfortable being fitted by a woman acting the way she does.
    The two store owners are a bit kooky (again, plays into what most people that watch reality tv want to see) but they at least seem to know what they’re talking about. The choir women did look a lot better and seem a lot happier after they had better fitting bras. I have to admit I do find it a little unprofessional the way they react to some of the situations they’re put in

    What I would LOVE to see from this show is some actual information on fitting bras properly and even some talk about health problems that come with ill-fitting bras and how ones that fit can help those. I do like the way that Molly and Cynthia genuinely want to help people and they openly say that.
    I guess we can say that there is room for improvement :) I, however, would not feel comfortable walking into their store.
    Also, I’m Australian and finding their accents rather hilarious!

  8. Heather says:

    I have not yet seen the show, but your review has really perked my interest. I looked up a few of the brands you had listed that were in the show, and I must admit I’m disappointed with the generic plainness of most of it. I had pictured something with the name “Parfait” (by Affinitas) to be a line of ultra feminine lingerie with layers of color, different fabrics and lace, but it’s all just…blah. I think I’ll give watching the show a try anyhow. I think it’ll be very empowering for the women who appear on the show as customers to share their true body stories as well as empowering for the women who watch the show. We all find flaws in ourselves and nothing feels better than to have the support of someone who is there to help you find something gorgeous that compliments your shape, something that when you look in the mirror it washes away all your insecurities, something that makes you smile and think “Wow. I look amazing.”

  9. Anastasia says:

    As exemplified by “Honey Boo Boo,” reality show audiences want over-the-top personalities, perhaps even characters they feel justified in judging. I’m not entertained by this show, but can certainly relate to the most satisfying aspect of lingerie retail, which is fitting a woman and making her feel beautiful. This is especially gratifying when the woman has dealt with issues that have prevented her from enjoying lingerie before. Ultimately, if this makes women realize these boutiques (including ours!) exist, I’m all for it. xx!

    • Treacle says:

      I agree that would definitely be a benefit. As we both already know, for many women in America, lingerie is synonymous with Victoria’s Secret. At the very least, I hope it reminds women that there other options (both in terms of brands and places to shop) out there.

  10. Gary says:

    I watched the first three episodes for the titillation factor, and there was some of that, for sure, but I find the two shop owners to be rather annoying. Granted, the producers wanted people who are over the top, and Molly and Cynthia fit the bill, but I think they’re grating. And the show seems to be going for that “Tanked” vibe, where our owners are forever stepping up to solve customers’ challenges, sometimes by manufacturing the solutions. I think stories of real men and women looking to LiviRae for something to enhance self-esteem, spice up the bedroom or fulfill some other need would be much more compelling. Everybody has a story to tell (witness HBO’s endlessly fascinating Taxicab Confessions), and my hope is they spend more time letting the customers share theirs. My favorite story so far was the woman returning the sexy item her husband bought for her.

    And Lauren bothers me the least. She’s great eye candy for us male viewers, and has a Jessica Alba thing going!

    • Treacle says:

      I agree that the real stories were the most compelling.

      As for Lauren, I don’t think she has anything in common with Jessica Alba. Their styles are as different as different can be.

      • Lahnna says:

        It’s possible that she was inserted to be a controversial character, as well as eye candy. I’m really curious about this show, but I might find myself getting terribly irritated very quickly… :-/ I remember the only reality TV I’ve ever watched was the Hawaii season of MTV’s Real World as a teenager, and I was shocked at how horrible everyone was to each other.

    • Lori says:

      I found the voices of the two shop owners to be extremely grating to the ear, especially in the commercial for the program. I liken it to the sound of a fingernail on a chalkboard! Can’t watch for that reason alone!

  11. I watched it too and agreed with all of your points! Another thing that bothered me about the show is that while they do talk about lingerie (which is great!) they have a great chance to inform women on how properly fitted bras should feel, and so far they haven’t done that yet. I think it’s strange because they’ve focused a lot on how hard it is for someone with a harder bust to find a bra that fits, but they haven’t really shown what a properly fitted bra looks like even! I also was annoyed because they claim to fit all, but don’t carry below a 32 band, and in one of the episodes they said they carried “up to an N cup”, which I have to assume is US sizes, which is only a JJ cup UK. A great range, for sure, but they certainly won’t be able to “fit all”. Perhaps they just fit women into sister sizes and then alter the bands down?

    • Treacle says:

      I thought the same thing when they said they fit everyone, but their sizing starts at 32A. That’s within the standard size range for most brands. Now if they’d started talking AA or AAA, my ears would have perked up.

      As far as bra fit, I feel ambivalent about them not focusing on that…mostly because the topic of bra fit is covered so much in so many other places. There is way more to lingerie than bras and bra fitting, and I’m glad the show is expanding the conversation beyond that.

    • Ashley says:

      I got my first well fitting bras from there some years ago. I am around 28G. They altered them all for me. I’ve had some bad alterations from them too. I also think its false advertising. I was there today, they had a few 30s and acted like I should be thrilled. She said they were THINKING about getting some 28s. Its good if you have no other options but I know more about bras now so I won’t be returning. Also they mark the bras up at least 20 bucks.

  12. Meghan says:

    Thanks for the post, I totally agree with you on this being pretty much a miss. The remark from Lauren was a shock to me and it scares me to think some women who have been contemplating coming into a specialty boutique to get a proper fitting would now be intimidated and put off by those words thinking that might be the norm.
    I also didn’t appreciate how they made a big deal of bringing out the larger sized bras. In my experience with fitting the larger cups don’t equal a tricky fit or something out of the ordinary. I didn’t appreciate the way they flaunted one large bra in the episode before going to the church to fit the choir as if it were some sort of crazy anomaly. (And I noticed that bra was a brand we’ve worked with, Love Love, which carries larger bands). I found that to be pretty unprofessional considering that when you work with bra fittings you learn that everyone has a completely different shape, none of which should be considered abnormal.
    One “good” you mentioned that I think is great is that hopefully this show makes talking about bras easier for more people. Hopefully the rest of the season puts a good amount of emphasis on fittings and how life changing they can be for customers.

    I was excited to hear what you had to say about the show, thanks for sharing!

    • Treacle says:

      I agree with all of your points. I’ve heard body snark from other boutique owners (both in person and online), and I freely admit that I don’t recommend those stores to my readers because of that. If you can’t even keep your snark in check in public, there’s no telling how much worse things may be behind the closed doors of your boutique. And I was also discomfited at the way they talked about large bras; larger busts (both in terms of bands and cups) are common now. We should be normalizing it, not marginalizing it. Thanks for the comment and here’s hoping the next episode is better!

  13. Kirk says:

    I watched the first two episodes on “on demand” and never even got to the third, mostly for the negatives you mentioned above. We seem to be of one mind in your critique. I love the idea of a show that can help to de-stigmatise lingerie and also show women that there are a lot of great alternatives besides Victoria’s Secret. Not to mention giving women a better understanding of how to resolve their personal fit issues. Still the added drama and “outside” issues were a bit too annoying for me. I’ll watch this space, and twitter, for improvement in the show and then maybe check it out later in the series. I’m not optimistic, however, as the very few “reality” series I have watched have always opted for more drama and not less.

    • Treacle says:

      So true…I’ve yet to hear of a reality show cutting back on the drama! Since this post has gotten quite a few comments, I think I’ll keep reviewing episodes for this season. At the very least, it’s wonderful to see lingerie front and center on someone’s channel. I hope to see your comments again later.

  14. Estelle says:

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention, we haven’t got that show over here in the UK (I don’ t think) but I’m going to search it out! All reality TV is a bit gimmicky, but if it’s got lingerie shops or designers in it I’m going to enjoy it nonetheless ;)

    • Treacle says:

      I’d love to hear what you think from a UK perspective! If you get to watch the episodes (maybe check YouTube?) please do come back and share your thoughts. :)

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