These days I find myself pretty much overwhelmed by breasts. Well, can you blame me? They are everywhere.
It has been said that no other age has put them quite so much on public display. There are available for viewing in national newspapers and magazines, everywhere on the internet and certainly across every Tube carriage, park bench, high street and public house.
Every woman seems to want to show them off and, according to the posters and advertisements in magazines, the bigger the better. There are whole shops devoted to foundationwear to make them look bigger, or define them better or display more of them. There are clinics with waiting lists of women wanting to have them enlarged or reshaped or enhanced.
So why do I get such frowns when I look at them?
I heard a story recently about Britt Eklund, the Swedish actress of the 1970s, who had notorious flings with Peter Sellers and George Best. She was appearing in a play with a British actor (whose name escapes me right now) who was, er , captivated by her breasts so prominently on display. Anyway, one day he was embarrassed to look up and see Miss Ekland smiling at him. “Sorry,” he said. “I’ve been staring at your boobs, haven’t I?” She laughed and said: “Darling, that’s what they’re for!”
This is my point. If breasts were simply there to feed an infant for up to seven years (yes, children can be breastfed until they’ve been at school two years!) then, like most other mammals, they would only develop to their full voluptuous best during pregnancy and then shrink to almost nothing a few weeks or months after the last feed.
Don’t knock Mother Nature
In contrast, breasts are developing much, much earlier (possibly due to the large concentration of estrogen delivered into the water supply by women taking the birth control pill) and they stay around long after the menopause when child nutrition means sneaking the grandkids a bad of sweets which you know will make them hyperactive and sickly on the way home with Mum and Dad.
I’m posting this blog on “Boobie Wednesday” (or #Boobiewed), a Twitter campaign day designed to get women to inspect their breasts regularly for any signs of disease or abnormal growth. I think this is another pointer towards the dual purpose of breasts: evolution tends towards phasing out “flawed systems”. The fact that evolution figures breasts are important enough to “hang around” even when not being used for their so-called primary purpose, means that the secondary purpose must be pretty important too. Okay, that’s probably bullhickey but so what?
Breasts are there for men — and women — to look at and to admire. They are primary sexual characteristics: all women have them and in general the women that have smaller ones wish they were bigger.
Even when it’s cold and chilly, some wonderful women still insist on low-cut tops which demonstrate ample cleavage. And even when they do cover up, it’s not hard to see that they’re still there. They stick out, after all.
However, if I look at them openly I’m meant to be some sort of sexual predator. A lecher who is on a par with a kiddie fiddler or donkey fondler. What could be further from the truth? I’m just a straight guy who likes looking at breasts — not boobies or titties or knockers or any of the coy, evasive terms of embarrassment usually used on these occasions — because they make him feel better.
My primitive monkey brain
I’m not obsessive. I do realise there’s more to you than 8lbs of fat with two nipples attached. I can and will talk to your face without my eyes drifting southwards. I can even work with people who have breasts without salivating.
But if you’re walking down the street and we’re not having a conversation, don’t be surprised if I let my limbic system get the better of me and I stare at your assets (see, you’re getting me all coy now).
As the French say: “Vive la difference!” and you can’t name a bigger demonstration of that difference than breasts.
So, chests out girls. Stand proud and take mens’ attention on your breasts for what it is, a heartfelt compliment.
- Ad watchdog rules: Objectification of women is okay, but not the lack of a seatbelt (mumbrella.com.au)
- i just thought i was being old (ihatethismess.tumblr.com)
- Punched in the Implant (thegloss.com)
- Why I won’t be joining the “Boobquake” (salon.com)
- Empowerment: Women Now Choose Objectification Over ‘Creepy’ Breastfeeding (redstate.com)