As I mentioned last week, I've recently acquired a copy of Simon Sheridan's excellent history of the British sex film, Keeping The British End Up. Perusing this wittily written and well illustrated volume, a question formed in my head - just when did we become obsessed with huge breasts in this country? Now, I know that I'm in danger of making myself look like some sad old perv who spends his spare time wanking off over yellowing pictures of 1970s pin ups, but, whilst looking at the various stills in the book, I couldn't help but notice that most of the actresses employed in these films weren't massively top heavy. So to speak. Sure, there were a number of lager breasted ladies, but we're not talking freakishly over-sized mammarys like, say, Katie Price. No, it seems that throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the average British viewer of smut (and by the mid 1970s they constituted most of the UK's mainstream cinema audiences), favoured normally endowed ladies.
Now, it could be argued that, until the advent of British sex comedies, the UK's cinema goers had been so starved of female nudity since the invention of the moving image, that they'd gladly accept any kind of female breast, provided it was uncovered. In this case, the later obsession with over sized breasts, it could be argued, were simply the porn industries way of keeping audiences interested once female nudity had become common place, even on TV and in mainstream cinema. A sort of mammary arms race, with the pornographers trying to up the ante by giving audiences something they couldn't see anywhere else. Indeed, it's notable that the 'big guns'.so to speak, weren't rolled out by sex film makers until the 1980s, when their movies were increasingly forced out of cinemas and onto video. The result, here in the UK, seems to be perception that women can only be truly sexually desirable if they have huge breasts. A perception perpetuated in the popular press on a regular basis.
Of course, there's nothing new in the idea that men prefer overly endowed women - just look at the continuing fetishisation of Barbara Windsor and her breasts in the Carry On
films throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. (Though, interestingly, they were never really bared, viewers instead being treated to lots of 'side boob' shots). However, over the past few decades it really has become an unhealthy obsession. It's also largely a myth that men like large breasts, (contrary to what the media might have you believe ladies, most of us don't objectify women, seeing them simply as a collection of sexual organs). Actually, here I feel moved to go into a quick digression for the benefit of a friend who sometimes reads this blog. That time I told you that I thought there was only one woman I knew who was more attractive than you, and you challenged me on what criteria I was making this judgement, well, when I said that it was because she had (and I quote) 'bigger knockers than you', I didn't actually mean it. The fact is that you'd caught me cold there and I just said the first thing that came into my head. I would never judge a woman on the basis of her bust. Not only that, but I've changed my mind. On reflection, you are obviously more attractive than my other friend, (who doesn't
read this blog).
OK, back to the point. Is this fetish for over sized breasts a sign of the increasing infantilism of modern male culture in the UK? I mean, it's all of a piece with the rise of 'Lad's Mags' during the 1990s and the continued popularity of things like Top Gear
, which promote the notion of fast cars, rule-breaking and anti-social behaviour as some kind of expression of masculinity. Then again, I suppose it could all be a plot on the part of cosmetic surgeons - by making women insecure over the size of their breasts they hope to drum up business for their breast enlargement clinics. But, on balance, I suspect that it's more likely to be an expression of infantilism.
Labels: Friends and Family, Musings From the Mind of Doc Sleaze, Nostalgic Naughtiness, Rise of the Idiots