Or - Thanks for the mammaries.
Ah …The breast. So
many varieties. They are everywhere these days. Turn on the computer and
up pops an ad. Breasts. Turn on the television and the characters are
active. Breasts. Breasts in magazines, advertisements, everywhere.
Breasts have a
history of their own.
Yes, they rate their own history.
During the ancient
history of women, the breasts are displayed to their finest, in empire
styles, toga wraps, and bodices that hinted or presented the bust line
in all its glory. Gowns accentuated the female form, for the most
part. Displaying the breast wasn’t taboo and often, servants and women
bound for the games went without covering. Much of the art from our
ancient past depicts the breast as a thing of both beauty and
As Christianity swept
the lands, the idea of modesty became part of religious behavior. Women
in different areas hid breasts, legs and form, although style always
allowed the most chic yet desirable bodices. The painting which portrays
Mary breastfeeding the infant Jesus, with her Divine breasts, brought
about the power / erotic responses from men. They felt the power of
fathering so that the breasts would fill with milk, combined with the
erotic nature of breasts and nipples as an extension of sensuality.
"The man is
happy who can fill you with milk, and who can transform the virgin
breasts into a beautiful and perfect woman." In a poem written by
Clemant Merot in the 16th century.
The combination of
erotic with power gave breasts an advantage that the phallus had with
the much earlier religious rites involving penis worship. Breasts became
what men lusted after, envied and fought for.
Courtly love proclaimed a woman’s breasts part of what set her
in high ideal. The ability to suckle children took on a renewed
In the Renaissance
period, breasts took on a shape matching the abundance of the time.
Women of size were thought to be the most desirable. Bountiful flesh and
large bosoms abound in art of the era.
Moving into the
Victorian era, breasts took a dive. Straight into high-neck bodices and
full women’s garments. They were jammed into corsets, wrapped until
reduced and otherwise stuffed away, out of sight. Modesty, Christian
behavior and the dictates of the current monarchy put breasts away for
quite a while. Granted the age also gave us some of the most interesting
boudoir erotica and hayloft sensuality in writing, but overall it was a
very modest period.
century saw the breast unbound again, with thinning straps for dresses
and pin up images with short shorts and scant tops. Once Twiggy burst on
the scene, the rush to small breasts and skinny bodies began. Lack of
womanly form and breast binding became popular and women of any curves
or large bosoms sat in the background wishing for miracles. Once the
century moved toward its close, breasts of all shapes and sizes became
popular and women of all forms had styles which accentuated their
particular shape. Breasts grew more prevalent in media and the public
In the last decade,
we’ve seen the move to naturalize breasts once again. The heavy push
of breast-feeding advocates and naturists got attention. So much
attention, that the province of Ontario passed the first bill in North
America to allow women the freedom to go topless.
The breast has come a
long way, after its repetitious journey in and out of the limelight.
Dependent on religion, politics and public moral standards of each age,
breasts have both shone and been hidden from site. Today the breast
emerges, proud to be both the functional milk machine for infants and a
sensual part of a woman’s body.
Aestheticized, Fantasized, Eroticized, Feminized by Photography's Most
for the first time between two covers, is the breast in photography: the
titillating breast, the maternal breast, the aging breast, and the