I’ve seen a lot of children/family movies lately where some of the women looked like they got their sexy wardrobes from a Bond girl. Seeing cleavage everywhere is nothing new, but it seems to be getting more prominent and mainstream everyday. Don’t even get me started on swimsuits. When I am talking to a woman whose breasts appear to be coming up for air, I try to think like a good ol boy. Don’t gawk. Look at her face. Be respectful. Unlike with men, it’s not because I’m stimulated by all that skin. It’s because some girls have their “girls” pushed up so high and their necklines so low that it really is an art form how they even manage to keep their nipples covered. Sorry to be so descriptive.
For years I have tried to ignore this. I don’t want to be judgmental or legalistic. I was hoping that eventually I would just get used to it. Surely once we see enough boobs we’ll all be desensitized and we won’t even notice them anymore.
Being as open and objective as I possibly can, I tried to compare cleavage to going sleeveless.
Not that long ago showing your shoulders was scandalous. My mother in law told me about a time her daughters were scheduled to sing a gospel song at church, but one of them had a sleeveless dress and so it was considered inappropriate for them to be on the platform and they were turned away. Pants used to be immodest as well and there are still plenty of cultures and religions where some of these practices are still in place, but it’s certainly not the norm.
So maybe that’s how it is with cleavage now. It’s something that used to be a big deal, but now it’s not. There are modest ways to expose your breasts and I just need to embrace change.
Except I don’t buy that. To me it’s still a big deal. Keep in mind this is my personal conviction and opinion as a Christian woman. I have decided that breasts are not the same as shoulders. People don’t get shoulder implants. There aren’t restaurants named after women’s shoulders (ahem Hooters). Women don’t sustain a newborn life with their shoulders. Children and men have shoulders, but they do not have mammary glands. I know those are weird examples, but what I am trying to get at is that breasts are still sacred in my book. It’s not just the nipples, I’m talking about the whole organ. Medicalook explains “The glands are associated with the female reproductive system in part due to their assistance in attracting a mate as well as their role in nourishing a baby.” In other words, from a scientific standpoint female breasts are not sexual organs, but they are largely associated with sexuality because they are in some ways part of reproduction. No matter how much we try to normalize it breasts are sexual and cleavage is provocative.
There are so many different lines that can be drawn when it comes to cleavage and it’s not a one size fits all issue (literally). My well endowed friends know what I’m talking about. This isn’t about shaming women for having curves. It’s about loving our curves enough to have some dignity. I wear what I feel comfortable wearing. I went through a season where I beat myself up about the issue of modesty. Everyday I would obsess about every detail of my jeans, shirt, or dress and whether or not it could be something that would be a trigger for a man. This was bondage I had because of my past which I have thankfully been delivered from. I still want to dress modestly, but I feel like it’s a who I am as a transformed and renewed daughter of the King not because of a modesty checklist. That’s another topic entirely, but I just want to be clear that this isn’t me looking down on other women because of how they dress. It’s simply the stance I take for myself and the message I want to send to my daughter.
I am not ready to just accept that breasts are the new shoulders. It’s such a lovely, complicated, mysterious part of the body and I don’t want to exploit that. I want my daughter to know that unlike what you see on TV you can be beautiful, elegant, and feminine without having your breasts on display. That’s where I stand.