Not breast cancer awareness. Just breasts. Boobies, tatas, hooters. Those bulbous things protruding from your daughter’s shirt, exhibiting them in a way that our generation never thought of doing outside of prom night. Then again, we didn’t show cleavage even there. Rather, we dressed much like the Duggars in our lacy, gauzy Gunne Sax gowns.
Today, however, breasts are a symbol of Girl Power, and not just because we can feed babies with them. As a result, teens display their boobs with low-cut shirts that can’t be practical when you’re leaning over to pick up your Spanish textbook. But they seem fine with it.
I was starting to get used to the boob parade until Sunday at the pancake breakfast in town, where I witnessed a tall teen boy squeezing past a short teen girl in a crowded firehouse. As he passed her, he took the liberty of exacting a healthy look down her shirt, a low-cut, long-sleeved T that displayed her ample chest.
“Thanks for the view,” he told her after he passed, and immediately I felt embarrassed for her, like when one (shorter) boy spent a seemingly long song at my eighth grade dance staring at my chest with his tongue hanging out. By today’s standards, the dress I was wearing was akin to a very long turtleneck, but alas.
What I wonder is how is “Thanks for the view” Girl Power? That felt more like Boy Power with an ample dose of Obnoxious.
She followed him out of the firehouse, I hope to give him a piece of her mind, but I could picture that event as yet another free show for him. Just follow the bouncing boobs. If she didn’t say anything, that might be worse, like saying, “I wore this shirt for your personal enjoyment.” Or maybe she used her Girl Powers to freeze him into a block of Kryptonite. I dunno.
While I’m not calling for a return of the Molly Ringwald look — oversized buttoned-up blouse with jumbo shoulder pads — I wonder how displaying your wares so publicly and so often really is empowering.
Empowering is football players decked in pink ribbons and maybe even “Save the Boobies” T-shirts. But if it makes adolescent boys stare with their tongues hanging out or thank you for the view? I’m not so sure.
What do you think? Is cleavage empowering?