more on history of fashion and the Wonderbra

Tue, 24 May 1994 08:18:29 CDT

First, I thank you all for your ideas and bibliography in trying to
contextualize the wonderbra. It's been a delightful thread.

Second, I want to share with you my wife's comments on the thread. She agrees
that the popularity of cleavage is a multifaceted problem with multiple lines
of explanation. She teaches English as a Second Language in a local Chicago
high school, and her view of the matter is based on what she sees and hears
from kids who are exploring their own sexuality.

This is not the 60s, when young people attracted one another by going from bed
to bed. Even the dullest teens know that it's dangerous out there, and
pregnanacy is hard enough, but it's the least of their worries. They know what
AIDS is and they know about Herpes and a few other dangers. Girls and young
women are much more worried about relationships and into monogamy. Petting is
back, and safety and relational security are up front concerns. These folks
see sleeping around as stupid and just asking for a death sentence. In the
interest of negotiating a monogamous relationship, young women (and men) are
concerned with public presentation as attractive persons. The Wonderbra
is part of the preening and posturing of today's courting rituals. It may
look like the 50s, but it's not. These are the children of parents who went
through the 60s, and they're much more sophisticated about their social context
than we were in the 50s.

To some of you, I know this sounds like something a Sociobiologist would write.
So be it. This is a perspective from the ground up, however.

Mike Lieber