Cleavage as a Crime

UPDATE: “Boobquake” on Facebook. WIN.

My boobs are too big.

At least, that’s what ABC and Fox would have me believe. Lane Bryant, a company that sells women’s plus size clothing, tried to sell an ad to air between 9pm and 10pm:

According to Lane Bryant, “The network exclaimed, she has ‘too much cleavage.’”

Neither network would show the ad outside of the last ten minutes of the time slot. Apparently, Victoria’s Secret ads, which are shown during this time slot, are cleaner. Probably because, you know, THEIR MODELS DON’T HAVE CLEAVAGE.

That Lane Bryant model is wearing the exact same clothing as her VS counterparts – the same bra and underwear. She’s selling the same sex as the VS models – but her sex involves more breast, and therefore, is inappropriate for broadcast television.

Just for comparison, here is what these same networks say is TOTALLY appropriate for broadcast television:

What does this say about women’s bodies? We idolize women with large breasts but apparently also think they look like sluts. Amanda Hess, from the The Sexist, relates a story about her friends who saw a woman wearing a low-cut shirt at a party:

“They were speculating as to why a woman would wear such a shirt in public and what her intentions were in putting it on. ‘If I were wearing that same shirt, it wouldn’t seem inappropriate at all,’ I noted. Of course, it wasn’t really the shirt—it was the size of the woman’s breasts that was deemed socially unacceptable.”

Women’s breast sizes are not our fault. I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “hey, I think I’ll be THIS size today!” Nor did my friends who barely bother with training bras make the decision that they weren’t interested. It’s genetics. It’s weight. It’s a lot of things that we don’t make consciousness decisions about. Why are women getting demonized because their breasts are too big or too small?

The woman in the Lane Bryant ad is HOT. She’s not overweight, and actually, she’s relatively in shape – her stomach is almost flat, I wouldn’t criticize her arms the way I’d criticize my own, her calves are muscular. She just happens to be tall and curvy. She has big boobs and normal hips. The Victoria’s Secret models also have disproportionately big boobs, but theirs are a lot smaller, and apparently, that’s okay. But looking more standard? Looking healthier? Oh no! Don’t show THAT on television.

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