Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cleavage! Yes, I said cleavage.

Just look at that photo! Sophia Loren's perfectly arched eyebrows. Jayne Mansfield's perfectly displayed cleavage. Ah, I adore both of them.
It's such a tricky thing, isn't it, ladies? Cleavage. It's a hair thin line between sexy and, well, slutty. As a culture, we hold a high fascination with cleavage. We all have days where we feel like vixens or vamps, and the easiest, quickest way to express that is with cleavage.
Did I say easiest? Okay, I was wrong there. There are a million cleavage issues. How much is too much? At the office? At the club? At the beach? At your sister's wedding? At a funeral? How much to cover up, push up, push together, cover up, show off? How much of a vamp are you allowed to be wherever you might be going today?

Here's a fabulous quote on our cultural fascination with cleavage:

"I interviewed a young anthropologist working with women in Mali, in a country in Africa where women go around with bare breasts. They're always feeding their babies. And when she told them that in our culture men are fascinated with breasts there was an instant of shock. The women burst out laughing. They laughed so hard, they fell on the floor. They said, 'You mean, men act like babies?'"
—Carolyn Latteier, Breasts, the women's perspective on an American obsession

But it's not just men, although hot-blooded American men are the most ardent fans of cleavage. We women are also far too conscious of the implications of our cleavage. As a rather well-endowed lady, I know that it's easy to show too much in the wrong setting without really meaning too. Cleavage is power, yes, but unfortunately it's also the quickest way to send the wrong message. A too short skirt can make you look cheap, but too much cleavage in an office setting can give you the instant tramp stamp, if you know what I'm saying.

I don't own a single turtleneck. If you've watched as much "What Not To Wear" as I have, then you know that a v-neck makes you look longer and leaner, elongates the neck, opens up the face. Sure, you have to keep an eye on the southern most point of the v-neck, to make sure it doesn't go too far south, so to speak, but Stacey and Clinton are right--a v-neck changes your appearance, no matter how you're built or your cleavage potential.

And the perfect pairing with a v-neck? A lovely glittering pendant. You get the v-neck benefits with a little extra v-shaped ornamentation, and without the flash of too much cleavage. We all have some Jayne Mansfield in us, thank goodness, but most of us also have a healthy dash of Sophia Loren. And Miss Sophia gave you cleavage, and she still does, without the danger of an impending public nipple flash mishap.

Of course, if your pendant offers a large enough, unusual enough distraction, it might serve to camouflage and diffuse any mishap of exposure that could occur. . .

1 comment:

  1. Why don't Jayne's boobs just POP out of that dress? Are they glued in???? I think that is what Sophia is wondering....