November 11, 2009


Whoosh! That was the sound of my hit count trippling as boob-hunters surf in from Google. WHEE!

Today Mir blogged about how she was reading a blog she likes and BOOM, her eyes were attacked/treated (it’s all about perspective, isn’t it?) to a naked boob picture of the Bloggess. YARG! And it is Not That Kind of Blog. She was wondering why she doesn’t mind a good, funny boob story, but she doesn’t want to SEE said boobs a’boobsin out at her from a jpeg.

The Comments. Are. Hilarious.

Most women are saying, yes, yes, goodness, put those things away!

And most men are saying, quite earnestly, No, No the human body is lovely, let’s ALLLLL take our boobs out. Oh wait, we have none, but in solidarity for boob showing, we will sit RIGHT here on this sofa with a beer while you do that, and PEE ESS if you do not take your boobs out SOONEST you are very prudish and probably oppress breastfeeding MOTHERS and can we get a POLE in here? And some good lighting? And just out of idle curiousity, where was this boob pic, Mir? Can you link?

It’s almost as if the men had another agenda...

Me? The only Facebook friend offer I ever turned down had a panty shot for her profile photo. If that makes me a prude, super, sign me up to sit at the prude table. I don’t want to see that. It's a visual overshare. And the overshare in ANY format makes me wildly uncomfortable. I ALSO, for the record, do not like strangers sitting beside on busses and launching into an explanation of the effect their mental health medications have on their bowels. Too. Much. Information.

The context of the nakedness/subject MATTERS. I do not mind Mir’s boob stories on her blog because of context. The TONE of that blog is intimate, chummy, very come-sit-by-me-and-let’s-dish, self-deprecating, and friendly. A good, funny boob story there is expected because the blog entry FEELS like a chat with an amusing friend. This is a very DIFFERENT context then a stranger on the bus with a bowel story.

A (very young, very pretty) friend of mine (who did not need it) recently got a boob job and I have seen her boobies several times since then, checking on how the new girls are settling. But she and I have a high level of comfort with each other. CONTEXT. I do not want to check the boob job results of a woman I just met at a punch-and-cookie PTA mixer.

And do not give me the nudity as ART thing here, My Beloveds. We aren’t talking about art. We are talking about the casual flashing of a blogess. I am reacting to the every day idea that we should all just take our boobs out and go to Starbucks. For the record, I do not want to go put a modesty drape on The David, much less get all Victorian Pope on his butt and chip that thing RIGHT OFF and paste a fig leaf over the spot.

DIGRESSION: Do you know one of the Victorian popes did that? De-penised all the Vatican art with a chisel and pasted the leaves on. Can you IMAGINE that trash day? I picture a Dempsey Dumpster full of sad marble man-removals and a crew of very puzzled Sanitation Technicians. “What are those? What IS that? What....oh. Yikes.

Mir, I think you have been remarkably non-judgey on this. I say, let’s all be a little MORE judgy. I wish everyone would just PUT THEIR BOOBS AND JUNK AWAY, THANKS. Not just boobs---BUY A BATHING SUIT WITH A BACK PANEL IN IT, this BUTT FLOSS bikini thing is getting insane and looks itchy and unsanitary. Also JEANS good LORD, I am so so tired of seeing the butt-plumage of teenagers in those awful low pants. I ALSO emphatically do not want to see the butt plumage of women who are OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER muffin topping along after their butt-be-plumed daughters. DEAR PANTS MAUFACTURERS STOP IT THANKS AND PEE ESS YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN.

And yet anyone who has read any of my books will tell you I am probably NOT a prude. I just value modesty. What’s wrong with NOT showing your boobs to everyone? What’s wrong with setting a standard where we say, I have an IDEA and it is THIS, let’s ALL not casually show our boobs to everyone as if our boobs were a cheese sandwich. I see several male hands raising in the back, hee! And I love that about men. I love that men want to see boobies with such fervent dedication. I love when my husband’s eyes kindle and his gaze drifts as he looks at me. I don’t want to change that dynamic; it is super.

At the same time, I don’t want to see boobs out of context. Your right to swing those things ends where my gaze begins, unless I deliberately put myself in a context where boobs are likely. R rated movie? I expect I may see some boobs. And if Viggo Mortensen is in it I expect I will see many many things that I can never never never unsee.... Friendly chatty blog? No. Nude beach? Boobs. The mall? No. Breastfeeding mom? I do not expect to see boobs, but if the kid get s a good blanket grip and tugs, it could happen, and I am sympathetically amused because I have been THERE. Stinking babies with the blanket tugging! Disney World? I saw a pair at Disney because this woman was wandering around in overalls with NO TOP OR BRA on but I surely did not wish to see them there. Friend has a new boob job? I expect I will see some new boobs. Total stranger has a new boob job? CONRATS OR WHATEVER, and pls keep your clothes on. Context. CONTEXT.

Are we so far gone that we are accused of being JUDGY MCJUDGERS if we say, “HEY! I KNOW! Maybe we should only show our boobies to people we REALLY REALLY ESPECIALLY LIKE and who would like to see them, which by definition does not include ‘everyone on the internet.’”?

If so? I am super comfortable with being judgy then. If you need me, I will be sitting here in a rather cute full coverage blouse, harshly judging naked people. If you have a top on, you are welcome to join me.

Posted by joshilyn at November 11, 2009 7:56 AM

I don't know if you're referring to Viggo in Eastern Promises but that is one fight scene I will never be able to unsee.

Posted by: Emily at November 11, 2009 8:50 AM

Me love you long time.

I also feel compelled to point out that there is a (great, funny) blogger who goes by The Bloggess, and I was NOT referring to her, nor, I think, did you mean her in this post. Just wanted to clarify.

Posted by: Mir at November 11, 2009 8:51 AM

I am visiting my parents this week and I am very happy I got up early to check my google reader. Otherwise my mother might walk by and think I'm into lesbian porn what with the capitalized boobs sitting right there at the top, lol.

Posted by: Jessica at November 11, 2009 8:56 AM

YES YES! Eastern Promises. See also (and I DO mean "see also" in SEVERAL ways): A History of Violence.

By the way? These two movies are BOTH in my five best movies ever in the history of movies.

WHENEVER David Kronenberg and Viggo Mortensen work togther, I have come to expect to see cinematic perfection. And, apparently, testicles.

But man those are the best movies.
They are thematic bookends.
They speak to each other.
They are beautiful
(THE MOVIES, the MOVIES are beautiful, just to be crystal, crystal clear.)

Posted by: Joshilyn at November 11, 2009 9:29 AM

I have a friend who regularly blogs her "garden porn" - she gets hits from all over!

Posted by: Elisabeth at November 11, 2009 9:40 AM

I'd forgotten about the nakedness in History of Violence but you are so right.
It's funny that you mention it because I was talking to a friend about Eastern Promises just last night.

Posted by: Emily at November 11, 2009 9:50 AM

I'm in! I will bring the wine.

Posted by: Ann from St. Peter MN at November 11, 2009 10:06 AM

Here here! Clothing is highly underrated. (Nothing against boobs--I have a pair myself that my husband is quite fond of.) But this is excellent stategy for getting blog hits. I think I'll go write something about getting naked. Or perhaps nekkid...

Posted by: Susan M. Boyer at November 11, 2009 10:31 AM

We were at the mall last week and saw a woman who was most assuredly old enough to know better wearing low, low, LOW rise jeans and a midriff top and it stopped my husband in his tracks- in a bad way. He leaned over and muttered "Perhaps we've been to quick to judge the burqa..."

Posted by: Laura at November 11, 2009 11:01 AM

Thanks for clearing that up, Mir! I read The Bloggess everyday and I had not been so flashed so I was wondering...

Posted by: Jill W. at November 11, 2009 11:07 AM

Butt Plumage.

Awesome term for a not-awesome phenomenon. Thank you for that!

Posted by: kris at November 11, 2009 12:00 PM

you know, I wasn't judging Mir when I made my comments on her post, and I really don't appreciate you judging me based on what little I wrote.

You are quite welcome to your opinions regarding what body parts are and are not acceptably bared for public view, there is room in this world for everyone. But just because I am a man and might not (or even might) agree with you I resent being regarded as a beer-drinking neanderthal who likes watching strippers pole-dance and think that more women should go around baring their breasts just to satisfy my desires.

You could have equally made your point here without the ad hominem attack on the men who offered differing opinions on Mir's blog - or men in general. Does your disdain include her father? As I recall, he didn't think it was that big of a deal either.

I have enjoyed reading your blog for several years now and am upset to find myself so disparaged. This is not what I had expected to find here.

Posted by: Bob at November 11, 2009 1:01 PM

About the Vatican dumpster-- my hubby said the cleaning ladies probably had a ball. I said probably two.

Posted by: Laura L at November 11, 2009 1:05 PM

Gots to agree! Please bring back modesty!

Posted by: Kathy at November 11, 2009 1:23 PM

Haha I thought it was The Bloggess too!!

Posted by: Heather at November 11, 2009 2:39 PM


I don't think its an attack to say men---straight men anyway -- like looking at boobs and will vote in favor of boobs in most cases. And how sad it would be for us if they did not...

BRING A POLE in was hyperbole, meant to be amusing, way too over the top to be serious, and never meant as mean. I'm sorry you took it as an attack... I DO NOT think pro-boob regular red blooded american men are neanderthals just because they -- including Mir's dad and my own dad and my own personal husband and my own son who chose to raptly watch the women's volleyball Olympic games from start to finish---appreciate the female form.

Viva la difference, but I think the differences are funny and fun, and I guess I said so here in a way that hit a button of yours, or hit you the wrong way, and for that I apologize.

Posted by: Joshilyn at November 11, 2009 3:02 PM


Posted by: Avallia at November 11, 2009 3:30 PM

Loved this post!

Posted by: pendy at November 11, 2009 7:36 PM

If you get a chance to read Jess Walter's "The Financial Lives of Poets" (and don't be turned off by the title, it's a GREAT book), his protagonist does one entire chapter -- in verse, which is astonishingly good -- on mothers' underwear and why thongs are just wrong.

It's a hoot.

And as one of the resident lesbians in this section, may I just say that while I too am all in favor of boobs, I have to agree, context is all! There's nothing enticing about free-flowing boobs just jiggling around the supermarket. Just say no, IMHO.

Posted by: Fran at November 11, 2009 11:32 PM

Oh my god, I could not agree with you more. It has nothing to do with a lack of appreciation for the human form, etc. You just can't unsee something you've seen, and there are things I just don't need to know about people I interact with. Like what their junk looks like.

I used to do some photography for a local theater that put on sketch shows and one night I was asked before the show by one of the regular performers not to photograph the sketch he was going to be in. No big deal, I thought. I assumed he just didn't feel like having his picture taken that night. Little did I know...

His sketch rolls around. Guy gets up on stage BUCK NAKED. And I am in the FRONT ROW because I've been photographing all of the other sketches. The entire dumb sketch, as far as I could tell, was built around expecting the audience to think it was hilarious when he swung a golf club and his, um, dangly parts dangled and shook. I. Am. Not. Even. Kidding.

Seared into my brain for the rest of my life. SO not what I want to be thinking about every time I see this dude. Or go to that theater. Ugh.

Posted by: thisgirlremembers at November 12, 2009 3:54 AM

HA! This girl remembers INDEED.

Posted by: Joshilyn at November 12, 2009 5:27 AM

I'll join you in your judging. I was at a Girl Scout training recently where we were asked why we need clothes -- this being in the context of "camping." While others were saying things like, to keep the sun off, to stay warm, to keep the bugs off, etc., I laughed and made some quip about not being naked. The trainer got rather snippy and said "Who cares about modesty!?!" Uh, really? Who cares about their Girl Scout daughter being modest? That would be me. Yeah, me. Over here. The one sitting up on my Judgy McJudger throne and proud of it. Thanks.

And Laura, your husband's comment about the burqa made me laugh out loud!

Posted by: Lori B. at November 12, 2009 2:05 PM

Hear, hear! Modesty is definitely going the wayside lately, and it's a little frightening what ha been considered "acceptable" clothing lately.

It's not only about being modest. It's also about self-respect. How does one respect oneself when dressing in that manner? This is something we need to teach our daughters.

Also, in reference to that Girl Scout trainer above, I am in shock. Seriously. I am a Girl Guide leader in Canada and I would never have said such a thing. Our recent advertising motto was "Girls need Guides," and in this day and age, it sure rings true.

Posted by: Lindsey at November 14, 2009 3:16 PM

Oh, I love your description of the workings of men's minds about nekkidness. Even if Bob didn't get 'cha.
Prolly my favorite thing my ex ever said to me:
Me: I am so sick of these BOOBS. I think I'll get a reduction.
Him: (trembling with earnestness) God MADE you that way.
Men are adorable.
But still, yes, let's keep the bathing suit parts covered. Amazing that that is a controversial statement...

Posted by: Kira at November 15, 2009 8:44 PM

I should really know better than to have ANYTHING liquid in my mouth while I read your blog. "A'boobsin" juuuust about did me in.

And you can put me in the Judgity-judge-judge column, too. While I think cleavage can be sexy and daring in the right CONTEXT (candlelit dinner with beloved, and BTW BOOB cleavage, not butt-cleavage or first-and-second-fat-roll BELLY cleavage!), "letting it all hang out" with no consideration for where you will be or whom you will be flashing is inappropriate! The average American Boob over the age of twenty-five years is a beautiful thing, but, let's face it, lighting and perspective are not always KIND. There is no airbrushing (or eye-bleach!) that will undo the sight of a Pendulous Pair that reaches for the basement when their owner bends over, braless, to pick up something on the bottom shelf of the grocery store. It may be Too.Much.Information, but I think the girls look so much nicer sitting in their lace balcony.

Posted by: JMixx at November 16, 2009 4:18 PM

Sorry, had to comment again. Was scrolling through my Facebook live feed last night when up pops a picture of a naked woman! Artfully done, but naked nonetheless. And being shocked by nakedness made me think of this post. My cousin, the yoga instructor, actress, photographer who now lives in Germany, was posting her latest photography session. I just wonder if she had her subject's permission. Knowing her and her earnestness towards her art, it never crossed her mind that all of FB would not want to see that. Gotta love her.

Posted by: Lori B. at November 17, 2009 9:30 AM


Some of us don't mean to show our boobies.... and yet we do....

Posted by: BELINDA at November 19, 2009 12:21 AM