The Ultimate History of Boobs

By Vanessa Butler

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Think you know your stuff about boobs? You're wrong. Read on to find out the Ultimate History of Boobs.


Channeling our inner Plato and Socrates, we mused about the boobs of yesteryear as we pored over vintage issues and developed our own theories about how and why breasts have transformed throughout the years in the pages of our beloved magazine. We’re not saying we’re Darwin or anything, but our theory of evolution seems pretty sound. Here’s the ultimate history of boobs.

Sock hops, doo-wops and pinups come to mind when we think of the ’50s, and trying to get to second base at make out point, too! Marilyn Monroe was all the rage with the boys and girls while on the other end of the spectrum, beatniks were rebelling against postwar social norms while they necked between taking swigs of whiskey and puffs of cigarettes. Come to think of it, there was a lot of sex in literature, too. And under those Jackie O dresses, women were sporting all shapes and sizes of breasts. There was nothing fake about ’50s boobs; they were all-natural, perky, wholesome and fun!

Playmates of note: Marilyn Monroe

Boobs are groovy, baby, and the ’60s were all about living free and letting those babies loose. With a recurring role in pretty much every documentary made about Woodstock, boobs were definitely the talk of the town. While women were shakin’ what their mothers gave them at concerts and festivals, the first video game was being invented, man landed on the moon and feminism was on the rise. The basic consensus among the girls posing during this era was go big or go home: the bigger the breasts the better!

Playmates of note: Connie Kreski, Lisa Baker, Donna Michelle

And just like that, the world was changing. Feminism was on its second wave and Roe v. Wade was bringing the women’s movement to the forefront of political conversation. Disco was keeping the drug-addled dream alive with young folk while Hunter S. Thompson was Fear and Loathing his way across the Nixon campaign trail. Oh, and that little film called Star Wars made its big-screen debut in ’77. Whatever happened to that campy sci-fi film, anyway? Ask anyone who’s laid eyes on a ’70s centerfold and they’ll tell you the wonders of the natural-looking ’70s boob. Lots of women during that time were going braless, and their breasts were defying gravity, needing no artificial support to look attractive.

Playmates of note: Lillian Muller, Liv Lindeland, Cyndi Wood

Michael Jackson was the King of Pop and Madonna was the Queen. Sexuality was running rampant and the MTV generation couldn’t get enough of this new form of pop culture consumerism. Home computers were starting to crop up, and if you were cool enough to own an NES system, you’d have the pick of whichever perm-loving, neon Lycra-clad woman you wanted. This was really the first time in history breast augmentations became popular, so if you were one of the many who had a Playmate tacked beside your bed you’ll remember the implants many of our centerfolds rocked.

Playmates of note: Shannon Lee Tweed, Kimberly Conrad, Donna Edmonson

While it was the beginning of the internet, it would take us all a while to figure out how to get naked girls onto it. Until then, we’d keep busy by plugging into the proverbial music matrix the MTV empire had caused, trying to get the attention of the group of hot valley girls at the mall by flashing our mammoth-sized gray flip phone, playing N64 with our roommates and secretly developing a fear of Furbies. Thanks to the girls of the WNBA and the rise of the British supermodel, the centerfold boob fad was petite and perky.

Playmates of note: Jenny McCarthy, Anna Nicole Smith, Victoria Silvstedt

We finally did it, guys; we got naked girls on the internet! By the end of the ’90s it was apparent that on the World Wide Web, all tastes were being represented fairly. Whether you liked your girls with huge boobs and a butt to back it up or preferred those who are skinny and petite, it could be found. We don’t really remember major things that happened in this decade because of, well, naked girls on the internet, reality TV and iPods, but we remember not being too keen about Arrested Development being canceled.

Playmates of note: Sara Jean Underwood, Jayde Nicole, Tiffany Fallon

While we made huge advancements in technology, breast implants were evolving as well. We are still in the early days of this decade, but we’ve already noticed that natural-looking fake boobs are popping up everywhere. It seems as if we’re all a little obsessed with creating the perfect-looking boob even though that concept seems to change era by era. Maybe it’s because our media is becoming hypersexualized that some choose to obsess over the “perfect” boobs. 

Playmates of note: Jackyln Swedberg, Claire Sinclair


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