I recently read a tit-illating (forgive me for the play on words) article in the New York Post “100 Years of Everyone’s Favorite Undergarment.” It’s a very interesting history lesson about breasts and brassieres. I was inspired to do some additional research as well as reminisce a bit about my mammary memoirs.
Though the first recorded use of bras was in India during the first century A.D., there is little doubt that they were used long before that such as on the island of Crete about 3000 B.C. Here’s a surprising fact that goes against the current American trend. The Romans did not like big breasts, and their women wore breast bands. On the other hand, Romans adored big phalluses. Go figure.
The claim that the modern brassiere was invented by a German scientist, Otto Titsling, for a buxom opera singer is apparently false. Bette Midler helped promote that myth with her very funny song about breasts in the movie Beaches. It is a must see mammary masterpiece! Bette is my favorite female entertainer.
Mary Phelps Jacob, a New York socialite, received the first patent for the modern brassiere in 1913. She designed this alternative to the painful whaleback corset of her day so she could dazzle her social set with plunging necklines rather than protruding whalebones.
The invention of the corset is attributed to Catherine di Medici of the famous Florentine Medici family of the Renaissance who married King Henri II of France. In the mid-1500’s she enforced a ban on broad waists at court which resulted in over 400 years of whalebones, steel rods and tummy torture. Lorenzo told me that he and G agree that the corset was a secret weapon of seduction for many women. Just think how Rhett Butler pursued Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind while she held her breath in her tightly tied corset!
I was surprised to learn that the brilliant, eccentric and rich Romeo, Howard Hughes, studied breasts beyond his bedroom. He contributed his extensive aeronautic research to uplift the contour of the bosom by creating the first steel, underwire push-up bra. Hollywood stars wearing tight sweaters made his “bullet bra” famous in the 40’s. At a recent concert Katy Perry revived the bullet bra spraying whipped cream from her pointy tips. Thanks to Howard, generations of women have enjoyed a cleavage lift from the push-up.
Move over Howard and get ready for this! Another Post article describes how Microsoft tech experts are working on a “smart bra” that can monitor the heart and skin – and may combat overeating due to stress. Embedded sensors in prototype bras detect changes in the body’s stress levels and alert the wearer. Researchers stated “The bra form-factor was ideal because it allowed us to collect EKG data near the heart.” The only problem is the batteries only last 4 hours at a time.
Just imagine the consequences if you are sexually stimulated and your hormone levels and heart rate increase! If your BGL or Brain Genital Law ignites, it could be embarrassing ruining what could have been a wonderful moment!
In 1963 at age 11, I was one of the first in my 6th grade class to wear a bra. It was not a welcome accessory at the time. I literally “stuck out” amongst my classmates!
I will continue my trip down Mammary Lane with another story. Back in the 70s, I was asked to accompany a gentleman named Bill from a European company who was trying to interest American pharmaceutical companies in their new product – a realistic looking prosthetic silicone breast that could be placed into a bra. He brought a large briefcase full of samples of all sizes and colors for display.
To be honest, this was not an assignment I was looking forward to. I will never forget our first meeting at Johnson and Johnson headquarters. I was the only female sitting around a conference table with Bill and about a dozen J & J employees. I was in my early 20’s, younger than all the men.
Bill enthusiastically opened his briefcase and proceeded to pass the breasts around the room for everyone to feel. I had never seen other versions, but the general consensus was that these breasts were a significant improvement over existing ones, particularly the realistic nipples. It might have been my imagination, but when they looked to me for comments I could swear some glances were moving from my eyes to my breasts. I couldn’t hold back a blush. What to say? I honestly had not ever felt any other breasts than my own!
They signed a secrecy agreement and planned to explore the project together. Bill and I had a week’s worth of meetings with other companies. One afternoon he asked me to come to his hotel room to show me more information on the breasts. There was no such information. To say that I was surprised is an understatement. He suddenly threw his arms around me and told me he was in love with me. My first thought was that he had just shared too many breasts with me. I gave him a gentle hug and thanked him for the compliment. Mercifully, it was time for him to pack up his breasts and fly home. I sometimes wonder what happened when he opened his suitcase for immigration officers, particularly the female ones!