Girls Night Out

I liked the "what you see is what you get" honesty of being braless, but then I woke up one day and found my girls were no longer in style

Photograph by © Moviestore Collection / Rex Feat

My "girls" used to be in fashion. It was during the British Invasion in the late 1960s. The Beatles had us pining for a boy who, counter to biology, just wanted to hold our hand. And a London fashion model with eyes the size of saucers and boobs the size of cherries was on the cover of every magazine. Her name said it all: Twiggy. Stick-thin limbs, a prepubescent body, false eyelashes and a dead-pan expression, as if she had just flunked a math quiz or smoked prodigious amounts of weed.

We all wanted to look like Twiggy. For me, it was easy. At 16, I was skinny and still waiting to "develop." I wore a padded AA bra and when boys tried to feel me up in a movie theater, they caressed layers of foam rubber while I happily nibbled popcorn. Twiggy made us underendowed girls feel good about ourselves. WE no longer felt it was necessary to stuff our bras with Kleenex to mimic the voluptuous curves of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

Thanks to Twiggy, I stopped wearing bras. I never really needed one anyway. I didn't jiggle or sag. My parents were horrified. It was the time of the miniskirt, nipples popping through T-shirts and the Pill. I breezed through the Summer of Love, the Age of Aquarius and my twenties totally at ease with my flat chest. I liked the "what you see is what you get" honesty of being braless. I couldn't imagine the embarrassment of attracting a man with my fake boobs, only to have him unhook my bra and find out that the object of his affections was manufactured in China.

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I don't remember exactly when the pendulum started to swing back, but I woke up one day and my girls were no longer in style. Big bazooms were back with a vengeance. This time, the goal wasn't to merely look like a 1950s pinup but a surreal combination of pneumatic boobies and boyish body.

Overnight, women were flaunting their frankly fake breasts. They were either pumping them up with silicone implants or buying bras that were so stiffly underwired and padded they could go out on a date by themselves. An entire industry sprung up to, uh, support them. Push-up bras, which used to be strictly for eveningwear, became the norm for the office and car pool. Women displayed cleavage so high it could've been a third chin. I, too, started wearing bras again and each day I had the option of expanding my bust size to match my mood. Substitute teaching? Let's go with an A cup. High school reunion? Bring out the DD knockers!

Mercifully, fashion trends are destined to fade. The Big Boob Movement won't last. It will shimmy back to where it all began in strip clubs and porn. Eventually, another body part will dominate the fashion industry. If Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj are any indication, Big Bottoms will be the next "must have."

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There is already a new line of jeans that promises to "lift and separate." Cleavage will be a strictly back-door issue. Large bottomed babes will stop hiding under flowing tunics and less endowed women will be rushing to get double-wide implants and padded panties.

I, for one, will sigh relief. Whatever Nature neglected to provide upstairs, she generously bestowed below. I won't need implants or padding. Once again, my body will be in style. Good thing I still have the original chassis and engine!