A Study in the Zooming, Inflationary Curve
"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.
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!