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6th October 2015

The history of breasts and fashion: A rise and fall

Sarah Kilcourse takes a look back at some breasts-starring moments in popular culture

Breasts, boobs, tits—whatever you like to call them—have undergone multiple makeovers in recent years. In the early noughties, getting a boob job was a status symbol for WAGs and low list celebrities—the more fake they looked, the better. Meanwhile, the fashion industry was embracing dangerously thin models with boyish figures.

Then along came Mad Men and the buxom Christina Hendricks in 2007, showcasing the gifts she had been given. Since then, breasts, in a variety of ways, have been ‘in fashion’. Whether it be the sideboob, the underboob, or just the traditional cleavage, décolletage has been, and still is, taking the spotlight.

It no longer matters what your boobs are like naturally; you can transform them with the wide range of lingerie solutions available. Push up bras can now make your humble bosom appear two times bigger or, if you prefer a more natural look, just wear no bra at all. Throw caution to the wind and let your boobs be free—everyone else is doing it.

Social media has created a platform for women to share, embrace, and appreciate their bodies. This includes people from across the globe sharing the stories of women who have survived breast cancer, encouraging other women to check their breast health. Angelina Jolie’s preventative double mastectomy was definitely a turning point for breast cancer awareness. When one of the world’s most famous ‘sex symbols’ announces that she has had her breasts removed for the sake of her health, it encourages women everywhere that, by choosing their health over their breasts, they will not lose their femininity.

Developments in plastic surgery mean that there are more procedures available for breast augmentation, but this does not mean that there is no risk associated with the surgery. Back in 2012, PIP silicone breast implants were discovered to contain non-medical silicone that were susceptible to ruptures, arousing fears for the safety of the 40,000 UK women who had paid to have the implants privately. The risk associated with the procedure became a mainstream news story and arguably led to increased interest in other forms of procedure. One popular treatment is saline injections, offering a 24-hour boob lift, favoured by celebrities for the ‘red carpet’.

Despite there being trends for breast size and shape, women are always going to have individual preferences. What does it matter if yours don’t fit the status quo?

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