BlackRapid has launched a new shoulder sling camera strap especially for female photographers. The Nicole Elliott strap aims to reduce the pressure on your neck and shoulders and to do it with style. But the inspiration for the strap has raised some eyebrows (including mine). The company emphasizes that “the way women have been carrying their babies for centuries” is what inspired the design of the camera strap for ladies.
The Nicole Elliott strap is designed to “hug” the shoulder in order to evenly distribute the weight of your camera. The company points out that it was designed “by women for women” and that it provides “innovative functionality, maximum comfort and unique style.”
The strap is reversible: it’s black on one side and with the black and white pattern on the other. There are also two pockets for makeup lens caps and two zippered pockets for tampons memory cards, batteries, and other small accessories.
Personally, I don’t know where to start. I mean, this is a nice-looking strap and seems functional, too. But first, I don’t see why it needs to be labeled “especially for women.” Men wouldn’t want a functional strap that will remove the pressure from their shoulders and necks? When it comes to style, this seems like a marketing gimmick to sell the product to women more easily – because, you know, all women care about being stylish so much.
When it comes to inspiration, I may be wrong, but “the way women have been carrying their babies for centuries” sounds wrong to me. It feels like BlackRapid is trying to hit the “maternal instinct” that’s assumed to exist in all of the women (and trust me, it doesn’t). Plus, men don’t carry babies or what?
A couple of commenters on DPReview pointed out that unless the “breast area” has some changes, then the Nicole Elliott strap shouldn’t be targeted specifically at women. To clear something up first: not all of us women have big boobs, so we don’t need a special “boob-adapted” strap. And as I said – why wouldn’t guys want a comfortable strap that “hugs” their shoulder and removes neck pressure? In other words – I don’t think this should be labeled a “camera strap for women,” because it has features people of both sexes could benefit from.
If you’re up for buying the Nicole Elliott strap, you can get it on the BlackRapid website for $69.95. And guys, if you think it looks comfy, feel free to order one. Don’t let the “designed for women” label scare you away.