December 17, 2002 10:15 PM
Caught half of the A&E special documentary Cleavage on the television last weekend. Oh, my. I don't know what it says about me that I'd rather be angry than turn off the television.
Wait. I do know what it says. It says I like to get angry. And amused. And annoyed. These are all things I was as a result of this show.
First, it was not a documentary. It was a silliness. You can't have a real documentary if Joan Rivers appears within as an expert. It's simply impossible. And I'd be fine with it, if only the darn show weren't so clearly presented as representative of history.
Hello! Joan Rivers! Enough said.
And then it suffered from every "girlist" misapprehension one might imagine. Breasts are power. Breasts are debilitating. Women with large breasts are stupid cows. Wait, no, they're just very sexual and blah blah blah...
But, as a girl of large breasts, what irked me was the same problem of fat acceptance discussions in the mainstream media - that is, the explanation of what it means to be or have x. Thin people guessing at what it means to be fat. Small-breasted women guessing at what it means to have large breasts.
I started to wonder if I'd missed anything, then realized that this was the case. I mean, I've always had exceptionally large breasts for my age/weight/size, and I've never experienced either the benefits or detractions attributed to breastiness by that show. Because those things are all about conventional wisdom and stereotype; so, what the show was actually documenting was our preconceptions about breasts (and not cleavage, by the way), not their history as a fashion element.
And that gets us back to my first annoyance. I hate entertainment masquerading as education [Entertainment as education is quite something else.], and that's exactly what I was watching - fluff, disguised as something weightier.
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