Natural, wholesome, fun—boobs were all of these during the '50s, and thus were a direct reflection of the post-war euphoria America was experiencing at the time. Sure, the Korean conflict was going on, but they made a funny movie about it that spawned one of the most successful situation comedies in history, so how bad could it have been? Regardless, the same attitude behind the boinking that gave rise to the Baby Boom generation was evident in the era's breasts: nothing contrived or fake, just pure, genuine joy expressed in a sexual fashion.
The Cuban Missile Crisis, the first serious confrontation in the Cold War, occurred in October 1962. Right around that time, something odd started happening to the shape of women's boobs. More and more, they began to look like missiles themselves. It was a palpable physiological response to the tension, almost as if to say "You're gonna point those things at us? Well, we're gonna point these things right back at you!" Now that's what we call staring down the enemy! But things would change heading into the next decade.
Hippie culture, bra burning, the second wave of the feminist movement—these phenomena that originated in the '60s all contributed to a noticeable falling of the breasts in the '70s. Their perky, straight-ahead trajectories disappeared, just as idealistic "peace and love" attitudes did when some serious reality set in. No need to get into specifics, as doing so would unnecessarily cast a dark cloud over this wondrous discussion. All that matters is the sheer awesomeness of the teardrop boobs of this era. How's that for a positive spin?
From junk bonds to "read my lips: no new taxes," the '80s was a decade characterized by falsehoods. B.S. was all over MTV as well, as more and more rock stars wore wigs on their heads and stuffed cucumbers and whatnot down their pants. Not surprisingly, breast implants became more common during this time period. Which isn't to say implants are inherently evil; quite the contrary, if they're done right. We'll take 'em over someone conning people out of their life savings or lying straight to the faces of millions any day.
Nirvana's Nevermind and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik were released on the same day in 1991. That 1-2 punch caused a seismic shift not only in the music industry but in pop culture as a whole. At the same time, smaller, more athletic breasts (an "alternative" to '80s racks, if you will) came back into vogue. As the decade progressed we saw the 1996 introduction of the WNBA and Brandi Chastain showing off her sports bra during the 1999 Women's World Cup, which helped push heavy, pendulous breasts into the background.
Gas prices down, gas prices up. Stock markets soaring, stock markets crashing. MySpace cool, MySpace passé. The "Aughts" were all over the place in a variety of ways, and the decade's breasts were no exception. Big, little, real, enhanced—there's no way to pinpoint a specific trend with regard to this era's boobs. Many historians have labeled the '00s as a lost decade. We'd like to remember it as a time when society found something again—an appreciation for all boobs great and small. And we think to ourselves, what a wonderful world!
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