Attack of the Giant Bra Balls

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A Woman's BraBall Vision

Duffy had a different version of a smaller, evolving bra sculpture. Its base would have a diameter of about 3 feet. But instead of getting bigger and bigger — like Nicolino's — her BraBall vision consisted of a core structure that would be built up through audience participation.

"I saw the BraBall visiting every state — each time, women would participate, attach their bras to the core," Duffy said.

Nicolino also has ambitions to go on tour with his BraBall. But he sees himself cruising across country in his 1963 pink Cadillac, with the giant underwear orb following in an open-air trailer.

"The BraBall really shouldn't be about exploiting women. A woman has to take charge of this project if it's going to take on any meaning," Duffy says.

"I'm not a man hater or anything," she adds. "My husband is helping out on this project and so are other guys. It just needs a woman's vision."

When the two couldn't agree to terms, Nicolino began to build the BraBall on his own. Duffy got a lawyer and moved to copyright the concept. On her Web site, she appealed to the sisterhood to send her the raw materials to compete with her rival.

Duffy now has a ball 3,200-bras strong, and it went on display last month in Oakland. Nicolino rolled out his BraBall on April 16 in San Francisco.

"His might be bigger," Duffy says. "But mine will have artistic vision."

And what is the perfect size of a giant BraBall? Duffy says it's about 5 feet, 4 inches tall — the height of the average-sized woman.

"I'm a few bras short," she says. "But women are sending me hundreds, dozens every day. They're coming from Europe, Asia, Israel. I've got all the support I need."

With more than 5,000 bras, perhaps the last thing Duffy needs is additional support, although a grant from a major corporation or art institution would be nice.

The Weird News Roundup

Sex Change Benefits

It's never been a better time to be a transsexual in San Francisco. The city is about to become the first municipality to pay for its employees' sex changes. Backers say gender-bending benefits are long overdue, and mark an end to discriminatory practices against transsexuals. The average male-to-female sex change costs about $37,000, while female-to-male surgery runs about $77,000.