Saturday 25 March 2017

The downfall of cleavage has been a long time coming

Miranda Kerr for Wonderbra's 2015 campaign
Miranda Kerr for Wonderbra's 2015 campaign
Wonderbra's traffic-stopping advert featuring supermodel Eva Herzigova
Karlie Kloss attends amfAR's 22nd Cinema Against AIDS Gala, Presented By Bold Films And Harry Winston at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 21, 2015 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
Model Gigi Hadid is seen ot the GYM in Soho on November 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
Pamela Anderson in Baywatch
(L to R) Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne and Taylor Swift
The Downton Abbey actress came across as very un Lady Mary-like with her flash of side boob at the SAG awards.
Model Gigi Hadid presents a creation for fashion house Fendi during the 2017 Women's Spring / Summer collections shows at Milan Fashion Week
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Cleavage is over. It’s official. Dead and buried.

According to Vogue, women are covering up their décolletage in favour of flashing some midriff, a hint of shoulder or their legs.

How do they know such a thing? Firstly, because they’re Vogue; secondly, virtually no designers featured plunging looks in their collections at Fashion Week, and finally, they have eyes.

When you really think about it, when was the last time you saw a woman wearing a plunging dress or boasting about breast implants?

Pamela Anderson in Baywatch
Pamela Anderson in Baywatch

Vogue credits the increasing harassment of women on social media as the reason behind the covering up, though, declaring: “The cleavage – those magnificent mounds pushed together to display sexual empowerment, to seduce, to inspire lust or even just to show off – is over, or at least, taking a well-earned break.

"The tits will not be out for the lads. Or for anyone else, for that matter."

We've come a long way since the world reached peak cleavage in the ‘90s – at the time, women were emulating figures they saw plastered all over Playboy, Baywatch was the most watched show on television and everyone was lusting over Eva Herzigova's Wonderbra campaign.

But these days, Playboy no longer features naked women and instead off 'the original supers', long-legged and flat-chested models like Lily Aldridge and Behati Prinsloo are the stars of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

Wonderbra's traffic-stopping advert featuring supermodel Eva Herzigova
Wonderbra's traffic-stopping advert featuring supermodel Eva Herzigova

Sales of the push-up bra have dropped 19% with millennials opting instead for "comfort and ease of movement". In fact, if not for the Kardashians' obsession with curves, the entire underwear industry may have turned on its head entirely.

Instagram culture has created a world in which competitive clean eating and fitness regimes are the norm, so it’s only natural that fashion would follow.

Athleisure wear has become an acceptable dress code for day-to-day activities and doesn't it defeat the point of a lycra work-out top if your plunging push up bra could poke someone's eye out?

Besides, women need a flatter chest if they want to adhere to the trends of the last few years. Trends that I’m not too ashamed to admit I am no longer in the appropriate age category for.

Model Gigi Hadid is seen ot the GYM in Soho on November 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
Model Gigi Hadid is seen ot the GYM in Soho on November 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

They include: crop tops of varying length, body tops with cut-outs and quite frankly, anything with cut-out detail.

If you wear a C or D cup with a white bodysuit, your side boob will most definitely runneth over. So modern shoppers are flocking to purchase seamless bras and Asos have even launched a range of "side boob bras" to cope with demand, a cut which flattens your assets instead of pushing them to the fore.

You're more likely to see a woman going bra-less in a tailored suit than in a bodycon dress relying on strategically placed nipple tape to keep everything in place.

The style bible's controversial declaration is reflective of a slow, but notable change to "in-demand" body types in recent years.

Karlie Kloss attends amfAR's 22nd Cinema Against AIDS Gala, Presented By Bold Films And Harry Winston at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 21, 2015 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)
Karlie Kloss attends amfAR's 22nd Cinema Against AIDS Gala, Presented By Bold Films And Harry Winston at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 21, 2015 in Cap d'Antibes, France. (Photo by Tony Barson/FilmMagic)

Last month, Harper’s Bazaar ran a special report on women’s changing attitudes to breast implants – namely they want them smaller and more natural.

“They want them to look like what they could have naturally been born with,” plastic surgeon Dr Melissa Doft is quoted as saying.

Having spent most of my adult life trying to think of ways to naturally increase my bust size, I say down with this sort of thing.

But the feminist in me realises that if covering up your cleavage means more women feeling comfortable with showing off their style on social media and in real life, well that’s a step in the right direction.

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