Tits N’ Ass

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Soooo…for those of you who think the term tits n’ ass is contemporary…wrong.  It was reportedly coined by the entertainment industry decades ago, possibly by vaudevillians, to describe women in various stages of undress in theater productions.  Tits and ass brought in the crowds.

Today, the Urban Dictionary defines it as a derogatory term, but it’s just another indicator of the age-old obsession with breasts…bosoms, snowy peaks, hooters, headlights, rack, melons, mammaries, the girls.  You get the picture.  We used to joke about how many words Eskimos have for snow.  Slang for boobs wins!

Oh, and, using tits n’ ass as our title is a bit disingenuous; we’re only going to talk about tits…not ass.

The younger generation contends that it’s no longer taboo to flaunt what you’ve got.  We would argue for taste and common sense.  So, we enjoyed the comments of one young man polled recently about “billowing cleavage.”   Hmmm…that’s a new one.  Well, the billowing part, anyway.

He said, “Billowing cleavage in the grocery store at 10 a.m. and I crack a wry smile.  Billowing cleavage in a dance club at midnight and I break into a sh*t-eating grin.”  Other young men polled called billowing cleavage a sometimes “situational no-no” and agreed that there are times “to cover up.”  Another noted, “If you’re meeting my family, it’s a no-go on breast exposure.”  Yes!  Thank you!

We couldn’t agree more.  Billowing cleavage does not belong in the classroom, boardroom, workplace, or a place of worship, much less at a funeral.  We are, honestly, sick and tired of finding the “girls” in our face when we are ordering a McDonald’s breakfast biscuit.

We oldies certainly are not prudes!  Heck, we might have started wearing school uniforms and saddle shoes and often donned hats and white gloves, but we readily slithered into miniskirts in the 60s and hot pants in the 70s.  Apparently, we were all about legs, not tits.

In college, it was dresses and skirts only for the female students.  No slacks, trousers, or jeans.  It wasn’t until the early 70s that it was acceptable for women to wear pantsuits in the workplace.  We all read Malloy’s 1975 Dress for Success, which described the impact of clothing on a person’s success in business and personal life.

It’s 40 years later and the secretary of the Kansas Department of Revenue just approved a new employee dress code requiring that skirts fall to at least three inches above the knee, prohibiting thin or tight clothing that reveals undergarments or the wearer’s anatomy, and stipulating that clothing with a deep neckline be worn only with a “non-revealing shirt underneath.”  Wow!  Pretty drastic.

But, think about the warning of a fashion historian who writes that “before we are near enough to talk, our clothes announce our sex, age, social class, and possible information (or misinformation) as to occupation, personality, opinions, sexual desires, and mood.”

Since everyone is hard-wired to judge people by their appearance—subconscious, snap judgments—all the more reason clothes should be chosen appropriately with context, place, and circumstances in mind.

Yes, breasts have powered art, sex, sin, fashion, advertising, and entertainment, well, forever.  Jokes about breasts and men eyeballing them are a comedy staple.  Recent research indicates that half the men studied looked at a woman’s breasts before looking at her face.

Bombarded with blatant and subtle hints that size matters, women get the message.  Breast implants are a big business.  In 2016, nearly 280,000 women and teenagers had their breasts enlarged.  There were more than 23,000 surgeries the same year to remove implants, as debate continues to swirl around their safety.  (Quick aside: for us, it was big news if you got braces or a nose job!)

But…beware!  Research also indicates that a man’s preference for large and very large breasts is significantly correlated with overt sexism, female objectification, and hostile attitudes toward women.

So, our wrinkled wisdom for today?   Take a deep breath and exhale slowly.  We are out of ideas on this one.  Meanwhile, we wonder if these young women will have a change of mind when they have daughters. Maybe this column could be used to instigate a tactful conversation with youthful friends and relatives.  Also, a heads up to young women: beware of breast tattoos.  Aging and gravity affect even once perky twin peaks.

 

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