Sunday, February 24, 2013

Making a Clean Breast of Things, As It Were

We seem to have had a sudden rash of posts about breasts and related topics in my little corner of the blogosphere.

The other day, Angel had a delightful post in which she discussed appropriate terminology for the various glimpses curvaceous young ladies often offer of their mammary gifts, including "Australian cleavage" (or underboob, for the less erudite) to describe that which is made visible by tops which expose the underside of the breasts,  and "lateral cleavage" (or sideboob) to describe a breast visible from the side as it attempts to escape the confines of a halter top made with too little material*. And then Heidi wrote a post about breast ptosis**, in which she described the so-called "pencil test" that is supposed to indicate whether or not a given lady is sufficiently cantilevered as to require the support of a bra ... you can read more about breast ptosis, the condition otherwise known as "drooping breasts," here.

There was also the newsworthy story a few weeks back in which the organizers of the Grammy awards issued guidelines for appropriate dress for those presenting and receiving awards, intended to prevent unfortunate wardrobe malfunctions*** which might boost viewership, but incur the wrath of eagle-eyed moral watchdogs who view such things as clear indicators of the decline of Western Civilization. I was reminded of an interview I read many years ago in which the costume designers of the original Star Trek TV series were describing their difficulties in developing appropriately ... um ... exotic costumes for female aliens. I remember they commented that the censors would allow them to expose almost the entire top surface of the breast as long as none of the aureole or nipple showed, and that they were forbidden to create any costume which revealed the underside of the breast (that would be the Australian cleavage we talked about earlier) ... one of the designers commented that "perhaps they're afraid moss grows there."

Oddly enough, though, our infatuation with the female superstructure may be waning somewhat.

According to this article on plastic surgery trends from CNN, for the first time in six years, the number of women seeking surgery to enhance their breasts and plump up their buttocks+ is declining, while the number of people seeking various types of facial improvement is increasing. The story notes that breast augmentation remains the number one cosmetic surgery, but the number of boob jobs performed in 2012 declined 7% from the year before. In addition, the number of people undergoing buttock enhancement also declined in 2012, down a whopping 36% from the previous year. By contrast, last year face lifts were up 6%, eyelid lifts 4% and cheek implants++ 6%.

What does this all mean?

We all want to hold off the ravages of time and gravity. Some do it with diet and exercise (i.e., the hard way), and some with surgery. Me, I'm okay with my saggy baggy body, although I've been trying to exercise more and watch my diet ... at least as much as I can for someone who loves to cook. So far, Agnes hasn't indicated any desire to trade me in on a newer model, and I remain happy with her, so I guess we won't be going the cosmetic surgery route any time soon. And I'm perfectly happy with the unaltered appearance of all my female dancing friends, too.

But no matter whether the female form is enhanced or not, there remain lurking dangers for the men ...

Have a good day. More thoughts coming on Tuesday.


* She helpfully includes illustrations!

** Heidi also includes a helpful illustration, but it's just a line drawing, so don't get too excited.

*** At my age, a wardrobe malfunction is most likely represented by the awful sound of the seat of my pants ripping when I bend over.

+Sorry, J Lo and Kim Kardashian.

++ Those would be the upper cheeks, not the lower ones.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

A very interesting post about breasts. I wonder if there's any regional differences in likelihood of breast implant surgery, with women in sunnier locale who wear less clothing being more likely to get implants. Anyway, it's a thought.

Thank you for your kind words about my post n the niceities of décollété terminology.

I hope your weekend is enjoyable.

KathyA said...

Thank you sooo very much for keeping me abreast of things. (Do I hear an AARRGGHHHHH)???

And for those of us who can hold a whole parcel of pencils...?

Bilbo said...

Angel - the weekend is good so today is chilly and sunny, as opposed to the cold, miserable rain we had yesterday. Neither, of course, is conducive to the exposure of many square inches of feminine flesh.

Kathy - AAARRRGGGHHH!!! May your pencils be ever sufficiently upheld to your satisfaction.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

OH this made me giggle.
The pencil test was a big deal when I was in high school. Could you go without a bra was the answer to this test. Hell no. I could have hid a typewriter was my response back then. This in the days of Twiggy and most people didn't want grossly large boobs ala 2013.

I spent the majority of my life hiding what women/girls today buy. I don't get it. They make one look fatter, they are difficult to dress. Unless you wish to pour out of your clothing like say Pamela Anderson one can't wear a nice white shirt without alterations. so it's expensive too. Because if the buttons don't pull then the sleeves and body are huge. So it isn't all rosebuds and rainbows people!

And for some reason they are eye magnets to men. Silly, silly boys.

Mike said...

I'm looking for a job opening as a ptosis tester.

Bilbo said...

Peg - a typewriter? I can't even begin to tell you about the mental imagery I'm conjuring up now ...

Mike - the line looks like the line trying to get into the Georgetown Cupcakes store, but longer. And I don't think cupcakes are the right imagery, given the way this discussion is going ... I think Peg would hold out for multi-layer wedding cakes.

Duckbutt said...

Well, the pencil test does not require a large expense budget to perform!

Number 2 or number 3? Hard or soft lead?

Ptosis is a generic word for any kind of drooping; like the eyelids, for example.

"Let them droop." -- Sharon Tate in Valley of the Dolls, deciding not to do bust exercises.