OpEd: America’s Love/Hate Relationship with Breasts
The “red-blooded-ness” of the American male’s manhood is quantified by the degree to which he holds breasts in esteem and wants to hold them in his hands… and his mouth… and slide his erection between them. As one former beau put it, “There’s a whole world of breasts out there, and I can’t die till I’ve seen every pair of them.”
Over the last 40 years, breasts have not only become a national obsession, they’ve become big business spurring the porn and plastic surgery industries to gigantic proportions — a different kind of #WarOnWomen. One might think that porn invented breasts — or even the proliferation of showing breasts, but ancient art and fertility sites clearly indicate the female form has been revered for millennia.
The breast is a gland. Anatomically, female breasts are almost identical to the male breast, though we are unaccustomed to referring to the male’s pectoral/nipple area as a “breast.” The underlying structure of the breast is the pectoral muscle, over which the mammary glands and ducts and fat tissue protrude from the body in post-pubescent females and some men. Men can get breast cancer, and some men even lactate and have breastfed their babies. Men who have excess breast tissue may have a hormonal condition known as gynecomastia, treatment of which is usually surgical male breast reduction.
Our perception of breasts — what they should look like, how they should move, what they should feel like, has changed drastically with the mainstreaming of porn and the life-altering rise of the internet. With sex readily available on any device capable of an internet or wi-fi connection, fake breasts and staged sex are literally at your fingertips 24/7. But what has all this accessibility done to the breast? To women’s bodies? To our body image and self-esteem? Do men even know what real breasts look like anymore?
Real breasts come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Though the exact look and feel of the breasts varies with the woman, for the most part women’s breasts are oval shaped (not spherical), with the majority of the breast tissue being at or below the nipple/areola complex, and the nipples angled slightly outward, away from each other. In larger breasts, the areola may be oval-shaped as well. Because real breasts function at the demand of the law of gravity, they move — sometimes down, sometimes to the sides toward the armpits, or away from each other all together. Real breasts move.
Thanks to porn and plastic surgery, the placement and the size of implants has created a distorted view of women’s breasts. At times, it seems as if even the doctors don’t know what breasts are supposed to look like!
With results that can appear as if basketballs were surgically implanted, fake breasts can look completely unnatural: spherical instead of oval, the areolas too small in proportion to the size of the breast, the nipples pointing straight out — or worse, upwards.
Implants are inserted at the areola line, inframammary line, or under the armpit, cutting through the nerve-rich tissue and leaving some implantees with little to no sensation in the nipples. Permanently. Considering the nipples are wired directly to the clitoris, why would a woman sacrifice a lifetime of orgasms for money she might earn in porn or stripping — or worse, because she feels inadequate with her body because of the pressure to have huge, high, perfect breasts?
With fake breasts, the implant is placed under the pectoral muscle. Essentially, the implant is held up by the chest wall muscles, rendering the breast an almost motionless appendage. (How are real breasts supposed to compete with this?!)
I’d like to say I don’t have a problem with implants, but yes, I really do have a problem with implants when the woman is getting them because she feels inferior due to media and socio-cultural conditioning. But I recognize this is my problem, and a woman’s body is hers to do with as she chooses. I certainly have no problem with implants for women who are reconstructing their breast(s) post-breast cancer or are evening out a condition in which one breast is underdeveloped. But these are not the majority of women seeking breast augmentation.
Having worked for a plastic surgeon, I heard many women say that they wanted the implants to give them the look of a push-up bra without having to wear a bra. Many implantees get their breasts done with a “pushed up” curvature in the center. Presto! Permanent cleavage.
The proliferation of the push-up bra phenomenon is a direct result of the breast-obsessed culture. While you can argue that the pushed up nature of brassieres harkens back to the days of corsets, the reality is that for most of the corset’s history, the job of the corset (or “pair of bodies” as it was originally called) was to shape the torso into the desired look of the time, not push the breasts up and in.
The pushing up and in of the breasts is actually the complete opposite of what is natural for the breasts and for innate biological signs of sexual maturity. The dropping of the breast tissue is the last phase of puberty for the breasts, and this may not fully happen until the woman is 21 years old. When plastic surgeons are taking measurements for a patient’s breast reduction, they gauge the new nipple line at the inframammary fold, where the underside of the breast meets the torso. So if cosmetic surgeons can get this right with breast reduction, why do they purposely get it so very wrong for breast augmentation?
The hypersexualization of women’s breasts has surpassed the porn and skin mags industry, with the cups of commerce spilling over into stripping, lingerie, comic books, video games, mainstream film, mass market paperback books, and even kids’ cartoons and national beauty pageants.
This doesn’t begin to cover the topic of how breasts naturally change throughout a women’s life. Breasts change constantly through a woman’s monthly cycle. You could say that once puberty starts, the breasts never stop changing!
Add in to this ever-evolving metamorphosis the life cycles of pregnancy, breastfeeding, post-partum hormone craziness, weight gain, weight loss, menopause, and just getting older. The life of real breasts is tough physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Could there be a shortage of real breasts in the next few decades? While scientists are looking for a cure for the common cold and AIDS, are they already working on a DNA breast augmentation injection so that future generations of girls won’t have to suffer the indignity of not measuring up to society’s demands for unnaturally shaped breasts?
I certainly hope not!
So then why do men buy porn? And skin mags? And go see strippers? I know men are viscerally oriented and generally lack imagination when it comes to getting off, but this is ridiculous.
And why the hell do men think women want lingerie as a gift?! All of these industries are run by men for men with women not being considered in the equation at all — except to feel like something is wrong if they’re a size A cup instead of FFF or their breasts hang naturally instead of defying the laws of gravity.
Why are men so desirous of seeing breasts bigger and bigger and in completely unnatural formations and perfectly, unnaturally symmetrical? How would men feel if they were expected to have their sensitive parts pushed up and in when these parts are supposed to be down, free, and maybe slightly uneven?
Whether temporary pushing up of the breasts via a bra or permanent cleavage due to manipulated implants, society not only accepts but expects this violation against women’s biology. In fact, when women’s breasts do not meet the porn/skin mag fake implant standard, the real, living, breathing, feeling, natural, un-airbrushed women are made to feel as if something is wrong with them — that their bodies are somehow misshapen or ugly if their breasts do not match society’s porn-induced standard.
Breasts come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors. Before passing judgment on a woman’s body that will make her feel less than human, think of other females you know — your sister or your daughter, even your mother. Would you want someone else to make them feel less than worthy as a human being just because of the way their body is naturally?
Then don’t pass the socio-cultural brainwashing on by passing judgment on your girlfriend or wife. And stop supporting the very industries that propagate the brainwashing. Stop buying porn and skin mags and comic books. Start buying erotica directed by women and starring natural women. Buy books about women written by women, or subscribe to sites that feature natural women being naturally sexy.
Better yet, get off the computer and go hug your woman.