Yesterday was the ten year anniversary of the infamous Janet Jackson halftime show, often referred to as Nipplegate. Ten years later, Janet Jackson’s career has not recovered and as a nation, we are not any more comfortable with seeing a nipple in a public setting. 2013 was no stranger to breast related controversy. Breastfeeding mothers made headlines over the last year after being kicked out of restaurants, stores, and even courtrooms. While it is legal for women to breastfeed in all but three states in America, this doesn’t stop people from continuing to criminalize breastfeeding.
Recently, I watched a documentary on Netflix called “Busting Out”. The documentary was filled with interesting information but what I was most surprised to learn was that the breast obsession we have here in the United States, is not shared by most of the world. In a society so obsessed with breasts, it is hard to believe that in some parts of the world, people would be much more interested in seeing a pair of ankles.
Our breast obsession clearly leads to problems when it is time for a woman to use breasts for what they were actually intended for. It can also lead to self-esteem issues for those who are not the ideal size. The desired breast size in America has changed overtime but the obsession has always been there. We obviously live in a breast obsessed nation when women are going under the knife to achieve the most desired breast size and shape.
The question is where would we be as a nation if we didn’t sexualize breasts? Certainly, women would be able to feed their babies whenever it was necessary without judgment and ridicule. Perhaps young girls and women alike would not feel inferior or insecure in regards to breast size. While I have no gripes at all with people loving breasts (I am a boudoir photographer, after all) I do wish that as a society, we would realize that women of all shapes and sizes as well as breast shapes and sizes, are beautiful in their own way. I also think that it is imperative that we recognize that breasts were made to allow mothers to provide nutrition for their children.
Hopefully with some education and open minds we can change the way we view breasts, breastfeeding, and breast size. I believe there is a balance in finding breasts to be attractive while embracing all shapes and sizes and respecting that breasts have a greater purpose.