A Full-Breasted Idea About Women’s Bodies And Lives

Andrea Kozak

According to dictionary.com, the informal definition of cleavage is: “The hollow between a woman’s breasts, especially as revealed by a low neckline.” Sometimes it’s small, sometimes large. Sometimes it wiggles, sometimes not. The fact of the matter is, today’s world is abundant with breasts – or boobs, jugs, bodacious tatas or whatever you may call them. In fact, there are about five billion people worldwide, so 2.5 billion have breasts. If they weigh about a pound each, there are about two million tons of breasts out there (For your information, that’s about 40 times the weight of the Titanic).As you’ve probably noticed, large breasts are in style. Just take a look at MTV for about 10 minutes, and you will probably see large breasts being shown off, whether for advertising, or entertainment. This is not something that has always existed. For instance, according to The History Channel, in 1920s America, small breasts were considered extremely sexy. A woman was to have a petite frame with little or no cleavage. From the 1940s through the 1960s, however, large, pointy, perky breasts were what turned people on. They were considered a symbol of motherhood, fertility and femininity – a characteristic that blatantly separated female from male. This trend is said to have started after the depression: fuller bodies were a sign of wealth, which became sexy.In the 1970s, breasts were in, but, due to the feminist movement supporting women’s rights, many women let their breasts go unsupported. Women burned their bras to represent freedom to be comfortable as females and to not confine themselves to social norms and ideals.The 1980s brought gyms, aerobics and sport bras of unusually bright colors into the picture. This, in turn, started the inclination of women toward lean, muscular and athletic bodies … and smaller, firmer breasts to go with them.Today, I can say with much confidence that in America, the ideal body is supposed to look like this: lean legs, round bootie, flat, tight stomach, skinny waist and large breasts … with lots of cleavage to show for it. There is an abundance of this image in magazines – both for men and women – television shows and commercials, musical performances and even mannequins in stores. Now, usually a woman with larger breasts has a fuller body, and a woman with a flat, skinny waist has smaller breasts.So, how are mortal women supposed to keep up with this social ideal? If women gain weight to grow breasts, they lose their flat middle … or if they lose weight and exercise to tighten their abs, the breasts may diminish with them. Is there an answer?Yes.According to ebreastaug.com, “Breast enhancement surgery was performed on over 280,400 women in 2003 alone, an increase of 20 percent from 2002. The number of women seeking breast enhancement surgery indicates it is continuing to increase.” Another interesting statistic shared on The Today Show in March of 2004 states that breast enhancement surgery can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000, and these prices could be excluding “operating room and anesthesiologist fees.” So, why do women feel the need to spend thousands of dollars to go through painful, dangerous surgery? Is it solely for the reason of fitting the ideal? I don’t see why this is so important, when, judging from the summary of ideals through history, the next trend will be to have small breasts! How can we break the flow of unreachable trends? Well, for starters, we can make breasts empowering for the female form, something deeper than fat tissue and mammary glands. If you show off your breasts, it should be because it makes you feel in control and confident, not because you feel pressure from society.All women should make what they have empowering for them in their own way. Whether your breasts are large or small, wear them as you please: show them off, cover them up, make them bigger, or smaller … but do it for yourself, and no one else. The difference is, if you wear them the way you wear them for someone else, you don’t gain much besides the attention of that person. But, if you do what you do because you want to do it, you will gain much more satisfaction.