RICHMOND, Va. — The growing popularity of the burlesque dancing scene has devastated the supply chain of local tassel enterprises, leading to mass shortages of materials and increased unemployment rates in tassel manufacturing sectors.
Economic experts say the boom is directly related to hipster millennial’s proclivity for things that were trendy in the early 20th century, such as speakeasy bars, newsboy caps, and beard oils designed to support curled moustaches. Due to the nature of the use of tassels in the burlesque scene, demand for the adornments has doubled.
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“Two nipples require two tassels, it’s simple math,” University of Richmond economics professor Dr. Ronald Clamberry explained. “However, this trend couldn’t be predicted, and the industry just can’t crank out enough of these things.”
Dr. Clamberry says decreasing profit margins in the beleaguered tassel industry had led to the implementation of artificial intelligence and automation in order to increase productivity. This, in turn, led to mass layoffs of the tassel industry workforce.
The shortage is so severe that many local schools are unable to provide tassels for their graduating seniors, with some urging students to use the tassels from the handlebars on their younger siblings’ tricycles. Despite U.S. tariffs on Chinese synthetic fibers, some manufacturers have switched to Chinese materials in hopes of maintaining their once plump and busty profit margins. As a result, nipple rash has swept the burlesque industry with area hospitals reporting a 15 percent increase in cases of the itchy tits.
“We are anticipating that boob rash will curb this debauchery of a trend and end the chaos so we can get tassels back out to the hard-working Americans seeking to adorn their curtain rods with our product,” manufacturer Remy Kidwell said. “For the time being we are investing our assets in the feather duster and fishnet fabric industries; surely no one will be able to sexualize those.”