Breasts were Invisible in Hollywood Movies until the 1940s

I like to watch old movies on Turner Classic. I often joke with my wife that boobs weren’t invented until the 1940’s because silent movie actresses whose careers continued until well into the 1930’s talkie era were flat-chested. I google-searched images of silent movie actresses and confirmed the 56 most famous actresses before World War II wore A-cup bras. Occasionally, little-known actresses with big or at least medium-sized breasts were given bit parts in early movies, but they invariably played maids or matronly figures unimportant to the script. 19th century literature portrayed the ideal woman most desired by men as frail and sickly. Men supposedly pined over helpless women on the verge of their death beds. Love was associated with sadness and a sense of loss. I wonder if this notion influenced early 20th century cinema. Most people were poor, and plenty were malnourished back then, perhaps contributing to smaller average breasts sizes. Maybe, there were simply more flat-chested actresses available for work during this time period.

Clara Bow, a famous silent movie star. The 56 most successful actresses of the silent era and early talkies were all flat-chested.

During World War II America was flexing its muscles, and Americans were becoming more prosperous. Hollywood finally started featuring healthy-looking voluptuous actresses. Howard Hughes produced a western (The Outlaw) that prominently featured Jane Russell’s cleavage. The film, released during 1943, broke barriers and defied censors. Voluptuous women including Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak, and Elizabeth Taylor began to take center stage as the baby boom exploded. Macho war veterans came home from service and impregnated their Mrs. America wives. Women with 36-24-36 figures were the ideal–the opposite of the frail damsels-in-distress so sought after during the previous era.

Jane Russell was the first Hollywood star with big boobs. Howard Hughes featured her breasts prominently in his epic Western, The Outlaw.
Iconic photo of Sophia Loren eyeing Jane Mansfield’s tits. Mansfield was the first actress to perform nude in a mainstream Hollywood movie. Stag movies featuring nude women were among the first films ever made, but they were not distributed to mainstream audiences.

The 1960’s and 1970’s saw a trend of skinny actresses, but full-figured women were no longer completely absent, and they eventually returned to popularity. Even lean actresses rejected the flat-chested look and often chose to have surgically enhanced breasts. A great majority of mainstream actresses have frequent plastic surgery, and porn actresses seek ever-expanding cleavages. There seems to be no limit to how large they will go. I prefer naturally large breasts.

Modern actress Christina Hendricks with her ex-husband Geoffrey Arend. She probably has the largest breasts in Hollywood history. They make Jane Mansfield’s look small. Breasts are modified sweat glands found on all mammals, including the primitive egg-laying monotremes. Wow! Those are some modified sweat glands.

Surprisingly, there are few scientific studies of breasts and culture. The United States is tied with the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, and Luxembourg for largest average bra size; but the claim that Americans have the biggest boobs in the world was a hoax. A few years ago, 18 media outlets from The New York Daily Times to Teen Magazine reported a find by The Journal of Female Health Science that Americans had the biggest average boobs in the world. This journal doesn’t exist. I did find 1 scientific study that surveyed men from Brazil, Cameroon, Namibia, and Czechoslovakia on their breast size preference. Most men from those countries preferred medium-sized breasts. Not me. I favor the biggest breasts and the fattest asses. I told my wife, if I outlive her, I will replace her with a sex doll. (Amazon.com sells realistic, voluptuous, life-size sex dolls for a few hundred dollars.) I have gotten particular in my old age, and if a real woman wanted sex with me, she would have to make a minimum weight limit. She would have to weigh at least 170 pounds. I have been making love to a heavyset woman for 30 years, and I am too old to change.

Happy Valentines Day

Reference:

Havlicek, J. et. al.

“Men’s Preference for Women’s Breast Size and Shape in 4 Cultures”

Evolution and Human Behavior 38 (2) 2017

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One Response to “Breasts were Invisible in Hollywood Movies until the 1940s”

  1. Dorrie Says:

    I do want to point out that many pre-code movies show a whole lotta nipple and jiggle. See Jean Harlow movies. She reputedly used to ice her nipples to make them poke out more, and didn’t wear a bra under thin, silky dresses. Bettye Davis reportedly would not wear bras and the costumers had to engineer her dresses to “support” her.

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