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A Study in the Zooming, Inflationary Curve

Jayne Mansfield

"When Will The Bosom Boom Bust?"

by James V. Lawrence



Vol. 2, No. 5, 1958

     ARE THEY GONNA keep right on growing bigger and bigger, or is America's most zooming inflationary curve due to bust? This is a question that is seriously agitating not only psychiatrists, bra-and-falsie manufacturers, distributors and salesfolk, entertainment moguls and small-fry, but millions of American women of all ages, sizes and shapes. It is also a backof-the-mind concern to millions of American males.
     The subject under discussion here is, of course, the great bosom boom that
has increasingly preoccupied all of the above-mentioned folk over recent years. Where, in the long-skirt era, the preoccupation of the woman sizer-upper was divided evenly between a wasp waist and a well-turned ankle, later to be concentrated, during the short-skirt decades, on a shapely set of gams, most of the guys have been schooled to turn eyes right or left, like tennis watchers, from one empress-size globe to the other, where and whenever it may appear.
     In 1950, a girl with an upper-balcony perfect thirty-six was a true queen bee. She went into navel-terminal plunging gowns with all the assurance of a professional football league halfback playing on a high-school eleven. Nowadays, likely as not, this same girl is going in for bust-developers, surgical operations or gay deceivers in an effort to keep up with the inflationary parade.
     Marilyn Monroe, with her 39-inchers was sensational only a few years back...today, for all of her attractions, la Monroe is scarcely considered big-league in the breastworks circuit. The current mammary-gland title holders, at least in the entertainment world, seem to be Jaynie Mansfield, with her tremendous 43, and Meg Myles with those big, bigger, maybe-biggest dimensions...in actuality ranging between 45 and 46, depending on how deeply Miss Myles is breathing at the moment of measurement. Even little Kathryn Grayson, the movie thrush, who considered her 44-inch mammoth mammaries a distortion on her tiny, if lovely frame, has removed the bonds of restraint and let nature take its glorious course.
     Meanwhile, the psychiatrists have been raising all sorts of howls about the preoccupation of the American male with the bulbous female breast. The gist of their charges seems to be that this preoccupation is merely another symptom of Momism, or the fact that our men are, really arrested adolescents emotionally (that means sexually, son) because of the fact they have been too much preoccupied by their mothers and/or female teachers from birth. Since the bosom has actually nothing to do with the much more essential business of procreation, they think the current slobbering over female chest development is more a worship of maternity than love.
     And the men and boys keep right on slobbering over pinup pictures, when the real 44-inch article is unavailable for fondling, and murmuring, "Boy! Look at all that beautiful meat!" And the great mass of girls and women, unfavored by nature with any great chest expansion, are being increasingly forced to wearing dry-land water-wings in an effort to keep in the swim.
     However, there is a limit to which the female bosom can grow...and a limited number of females who can grow theirs to the limit. Also, fashions in female figures have a way of changing suddenly and unpredictably once an extreme is reached. Already, there are clouds on the big-bust horizon.
     Unquestionably, the hottest young actress in Hollywood today is virtually flat-chested--we are speaking of Audrey Hepburn, of course, whose lithe, dancing, boyish body, alert; pert, exotic face and unquestioned acting talents have raised her price per picture to a fat $250,000. Natalie Wood, the gifted 18-year-old idol of America's younger set, while cute as a button and a fine little actress, is not pectorally talented. She was recently described, by a writer on the Warner's lot, where she works, as "talented, all right, but for my dough she makes a very fine boy!"
     Yes, to the relief of about 50 million normally or subnormally bosomed women, there are indications that the pendulous pendulum may at last be turning. The bosom bit has had an uncommonly long run for a feminine figure-fashion, but no fashion endures forever. Either some comely wench turns up with a whole new set of assets, or the girls grow tired of distorting themselves in one direction, or both.
     The current swing to the 44-inch dream-girl was inaugurated some 25 years ago by none other than Mae West. Until then, for some 15 years, the strapped-in, straight-up-and-down female figure of the flapper had been the object of male desire (before that, the hour-glass Gibson Girl was the ideal woman). Mae, although she had been strutting about for years with her bosoms protruding, almost unnoticed by America at large, became a national rage overnight.
     Girls well gifted by nature, who had been battling restraining bras for years, threw them away with a sigh of relief and began taking deep breaths. The results of this revolution we have with us, in near-grotesque measure today and, what with surgical sponge operations and falsies, it has grown as uncomfortable and occasionally embarrassing for most girls and women as were the tight bras of the twenties.
     It's going to take time, and big busters like Lollabrigida and Loren will be giving their twin alls for years to come. But it begins to look as if the boys will soon be transferring their attentions downstairs, where they belong and give the psychiatrists something else to point to with alarm!

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