Hooray for Boobies

Thursday 12 June 2008

Bloodhound Gang will fade into the annuls of musical history without my ever bothering to listen to one of their songs in its entirety. But the title of their 1999 album, Hooray for Boobies, however, will live on forever as one of the titles I like best. I mean, who can argue? Funbags, tits, bazoogas, boozies, mammaries, breasts are pretty cool inventions. I really admire the form and function of a pair of women's breasts aside from any sexual overtones because really, they just look good, dontchareckon?

But when you think about it deeper, though - when you isolate boobies and see them as these two jutty things hanging out the front of women's bodies just above their ribs, well, it's kinda weird, isn't it? What is it that sends men slathering over bags of fat? It's a mystery. And of course, there is a definite type of knocker that gets slathered over. The more stylised, pert and impossibly round and completely matching the better. Maybe Freud was right, and it's all about infantile notions of feeding at the funbag, but tits definitely have a kind of comfortable feel about them. Even when they're your own. Sometimes I cup mine, just to check they're still there. It's like a Linus blanket, only portable. I try to desist in public.

I was dismayed when I first developed breasts. I was about 10, or 11, I guess. Imagine if you suddenly sprouted growths out the side of your arm. All the things you did before are suddenly more cumbersome because you have to factor in these appendages developing in your body. Those first months of documentary evidence that my childhood was over forever were painful (oh, how embarrassing when people actually said something). But then I started getting the hang of it. You get used to anything after a while and anyway, it didn't take long for them to feel at home, like they belonged. Indeed, I became quite enamoured. These fine specimens were an unavoidable indicator that I was, at least physically, a woman.

When I was younger I used to gross out at those photos or videos of tribal women with those impossibly long thin breasts. I guess it's just what you're used to, huh? I have grown up in a century where almost every woman I know has reasonably roundish breasts, which naturally sag as she ages, but not anything resembling those. Or at least, if she does, she hides it because it is totally culturally unfathomable to have those types of breasts. So she hides them in a bra (and by the way, it's an urban myth that bras were invented by Otto Titzling. They've been around in some shape or form for all of recorded history, but the bra as we know it was actually invented by a woman, as far as I could tell in my very short 10 minutes of research conducted for this post. It's also interesting to note that in the US, the first patent was brought by a woman who needed something to wear under her evening dress. Too cumbersome was the corset that had been in vogue ever since the Frenchwoman Catherine de M├ędicis, wife of King Henri II, had introduced it into court in the 1550s and caused women to pass out for the next 350 years (http://inventors.about.com/od/bstartinventions/a/brassiere.htm). Wow. With bitches like that, who needs men enforcing the patriarchy?

When I think about those tribal women now, I think how cool it would be to be part of a culture that lets your body age naturally without feeling ashamed for somehow doing something cosmically wrong. And yet, despite myself, even though a lot of what is considered attractive is culturally determined, I still can't help but be slightly repulsed. I can't help it. I'm the product of my culture. The culture of the bra, right?

And yet I read this, from our friend Wikipedia:

"There is no medical reason to wear a bra... The decision is yours, based on your own personal comfort and aesthetics. And even though, as little girls, we were told that bras save us from hanging breasts,... whether you have always worn a bra or always gone bra-less, age and breastfeeding will naturally cause your breasts to sag." Dr. Niels Lauersen[34]

"Breasts were fine before the invention of the brassiere ... similar to the myth that women supposedly need corsets to support their stomach muscles... wearing a bra... has no medical necessity whatsoever... Except for the women who find bras especially comfortable or uncomfortable, the decision to wear or not wear one is purely aesthetic — or emotional... If you don't enjoy it, and job or social pressures don't force you into it, don't bother... A mistaken popular belief maintains that wearing a bra strengthens your breasts and prevents their eventual sagging. But you sag because of the proportion of fat and tissue in your breasts, and no bra changes that... If you don't like wearing a bra, don't wear one." Dr Susan Love[35]

Of course, I'm not gonna stop wearing a bra any time soon, but often the first thing I do when I get home is rip it off (easily accomplished single-handedly and able to be removed from under a t-shirt, no sweat). But maybe tomorrow I should just not bother? Get around the middle of the city with my clothed baps flying free. I'm tempted, but I would probably be hauled into the office for being unprofessional. It's an overtly sexual thing to get around with your baps free.

Which is all terribly ironic, considering how completely oversexualised our culture is. Just not in any way that's natural.

So whip the bra off, girls. They're going down anyway :)


  1. Julie is trying to sleep on the couch at this time having just returned home from a 12 hour night shift and I am in here reading this and I'm certain this request is not far off from echoing from the living room; Honey, can you quiet down a little bit.


  2. Did you call out, "In a minute, honey. I've just about finished reading about Sue's tits"?

    It doesn't sit right, does it? :D

  3. I did tell her exactly what you were pontificating about this morning. She had a little chuckle herself.

  4. sue,

    my co-workers are wondering what kind of paperwork i am doing that has me laughing so loud this morning! too funny!!! and picures too! a woman after my own heart.


  5. You are so brave lady. If I posted about boobies I think my readers would croak.

    I would love to go without a bra. In the summer if I double up my "shelf" tank tops I can get away without one! However, otherwise I do wear one because I have breastfed two babies and therefore the twins are nowhere near as perky as they used to be. Also, I have adolescent sons, and those sons have friends. 'Nuff said.

    But it is sad that our countries are so over-sexualized that the barest shadow of a nipple behind a shirt sends people into hysterics a and boys' imaginations into overdrive.

  6. You had me laughing out loud in a coffee shop, Sue!

    I love the looks I get from my neighbors when I stand on the porch and yell at my dog, "Hooter" to come inside for the night.

    - Chad

  7. the cartoon is just the best "and finally" addition

    well done on covering this topic with such aplomb

  8. PS: Chad, that is such a cool name for a dog :)


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