Friday, 20 May 2016

Just putting it (or them) out there...

One woman: 'I mustn't wear that – it'll give me cleavage!'
Another woman: 'That top is perfect, maximum cleavage!' 

I've been feeling recently that there is a strong divide when it comes to the issue of cleavage. Wait, issue? Is it an issue? Some seem to think it is while others see it as an excellent feat of clothing, an opportunity, just a happy and lovely thing! 
Right now it's a topic; of this blog post, and some recent discussions.


Now, I had a very brief relationship of sorts with cleavage. When I was 17 I woke up one morning and I had breasts. Seriously, it was an overnight thing I swear. Suddenly the days of wearing the flimsy (and empty) T-shirt bras to school on PE days purely to look like I was developing when the other girls saw me unbutton my blouse were GONE, folks! To celebrate I indulged in the absolute finest in New Look and La Senza lingerie – super lacey, plunge fit and padding galore. The straps were rather itchy, mind you, and the bras left a burning line across my ribs every day but damn it, it was worth it for the confidence I felt and the unsubtle ogles I received from the other side of the Sociology classroom. 

I never had the traditional cleavage, mind you. Not the sweet bubbles pushed together with the unmistakable deep line between them, y'know? I had the other kind, the gentle hint of cleavage that is two separate breasts sitting alongside one another with the light sitting atop them just so...yeah, that was my deal.
I think every woman's cleavage is different depending firstly on how it's actually physically and genetically formed, and then how it's dressed. 

These days I am not such a fan of my cleavage. Not since first year of uni when I wore a bikini under a vest on a night out and just felt...ugly. It's not me making a statement, I cannot say that enough guys, this is just me and my personal feelings about my body.
Y'all know I love my body and appreciate it in all its weirdness – I just don't like showing much of my chest these days. It's not a 'leave things to the imagination' situation, either. Because hiya, I don't dress for anyone else. It's just me. Just how I feel. I feel that my strongest features can be exhibited in a scoop neck shirt (collar bones), a skater skirt/dress (waist) and a pair of high-waisted jeans (butt). I know what works for me. 

I must interrupt the intenseness of this post here with a charming anecdote and quote that may have set the ball rolling for this whole post – from my 3 year-old best pal Dexter Williams, that his mama was kind enough to share with the world:


I totally appreciate that there are thousands of women out there in the world who feel differently, if not the complete opposite, to me. Some ladies love their cleavage, as well they should! If you're proud of it, if you want to work it day-to-day and plan outfits around it, then do! I am slightly envious of your pride and love for that part of you, you utter babes.
I asked a few of my female friends for their thoughts on this – I honestly just said 'How do you feel about cleavage?', nothing specific, just a general wondering. I loved the responses! 

***

'OK cleavage: FUN TO LOOK DOWN ON (that was how it first popped into my head but that came out wrong -- I don't mean like 'look down your nose at' I mean literally looking down and seeing your own boobs is fun!)' 
- Emma Oulton, eggplantemoji.com

'First off, I hate the word! Something about the word always makes me cringe and I have no idea why! 
...I think it's awesome. But very conflicting in my head. I think - if someone has boobage and feels comfortable accentuating it then they should go for it! Doesn't matter if it's an A cup or a DD. I don't necessarily think it's something that should be expected or commented on. We don't make a point of saying to someone wearing a t-shirt 'Ohhh look your arms are out!' So there isn't a need to comment when another body part is on show.' 
- Amy Whitear, acharlottew.com

'I love cleavage. That's my answer.' 
- Louise Jones, hiyalouise.blogspot.co.uk

'Don't like it. I don't like squashed boobies - I don't mind a cleavage if they're spread nicely, and look a healthy shape. When they're squished it's not so pretty. I really don't like cleavage on me!' 
- my mama, deborahlattercolourandstyle.co.uk

'I have enormous boobs. So if I wear anything that gives me cleavage - or rather, if I ever try anything on that gives me cleavage - I feel it looks a bit...rude. I can appreciate it on other women, but it doesn't really feel comfortable for me.' 
- Keris Stainton, author of 'Della Says OMG', 'Counting Stars' and many more! 

'Hahaha what a weird question, you are a strange fellow. I feel about cleavage probably how I feel about most body parts e.g. elbows i.e. no strong feelings. I don't have one to speak of, but good luck to those who do. (A cleavage, that is. I have two fine elbows). 
- Jess Vallance, author of 'Birdy' and 'The Yellow Room'
(She later added 'I love boobs') 

'Cleavage? I LOVE IT. It makes me feel sexy and womanly to have a little on show and I think most of the time I probably do!
That's the first thought that popped into my head...' 

- Kathy B, iamkb.co.uk


I considered asking some fellas I know how they feel about cleavage, whether they find it attractive or not, and then I realised that's not only kinda evil but also completely irrelevant. I'll say it again – we do not dress for men. *growls* 

Well, I'm not totally sure what this post is but I think it's a blend of 
body positivity and an exploration of a concept; it's been such fun to write and research, and I'm hoping something else will present itself to be explored soon...yes, that sounded odd, but I'm sticking with it. 
Love yourself, people. That's always my overarching message. 

1 comment

  1. Cleavage! As an "I almost have negative boobs" gal, cleavage doesn't work for me. I have none. Far too much sternum. But, like you, I think I have rather wonderful collarbones. Trying to dress for cleavage just makes me feel ugly. However, my partner-of-6-years has wonderful cleavage, and recently she's become a lot more confident in showing it off. I always encourage her to dress however she likes to make herself feel sexy and positive, and if that means showing off her cleavage then show it off! So, cleavage: not for me, but definitely for whoever wants it (and I am still a Fan™ of it).

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