Entertainment

[Confessions of a Showgirl]

The evolution of cleavage

Imagine Stone-Age bra padding … ouch!

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Photo: Patrick Rivera
Maren Wade

Attention, men: I’m going to reveal a deep dark secret that some women don’t want you to know.

I know this might come as a shock to you, but not all of our breasts are real. And the news is about to get even worse: Not all showgirls’ breasts are real.

For those of us not blessed with natural cleavage, we need a little help from our friends. The friends I’m referring to are known as chicken cutlets. Not the ones you eat; the ones you stuff into your bra.

But women haven’t always been able to use poultry-like boob prosthetics. It’s time to recount the evolution of cleavage!

Four score and seven years ago, we started with toilet paper. (Okay, I’m not sure when women started boosting their breasts with toilet paper, but the point I’m trying to make is that it was a really long time ago.)

Women would stuff toilet paper into their bras and their cup size would go up one to two sizes. Sure it was lumpy, but it was a huge improvement over the rocks that cavewomen used in the Stone Age.

During the Victorian era, Victoria’s Secret invented the padded bra. This worked particularly well for less-endowed ladies—or to be politically correct, the “cleavage-challenged.” However, the padded bra was still missing that natural bounce.

Moving right along to modern times, things really got popping with silicone. I’m not talking about implants; I’m talking about silicone pads that are nestled into bras, cheaper and far less painful than nestling them into your actual breasts. They’re referred to as chicken cutlets because, well, that’s what they look like. These jiggily enhancers make cleavage appear almost as real as the real thing. But I must warn you, when wearing these slippery little suckers during a big dance number, watch out for booby traps. I speak from experience.

Okay, here’s what happened: It was a musical revue. The song was “Big Spender.” My role called for cleavage, so I enlisted the help of my chicken cutlets. In this iconic number, I’m partnered up with another showgirl. She does a cartwheel. I catch her legs. We freeze upright in a precarious position. The number 69 comes to mind.

Anyway, there was a lot of sweat. My left chicken cutlet started to slide down my chest, all the way down my dress, landing on my partner’s face.

Thank goodness for silicone. Could you imagine if we were still using rocks?

I felt so bad for her. Meanwhile, she quickly stuffed the chicken cutlet into her right boob, making her lopsided. Which I thought was pretty funny, until I realized I was lopsided too. Between the two of us, we had one pretty nice rack.

Of course in the future, these kinds of mishaps won’t happen. Once we achieve the singularity, only one boob will be necessary, rendering cleavage obsolete … and impossible, come to think of it.

So ends today’s history lesson on cleavage. Men, tune in next week. I’ll expound upon the theory of relativity, more specifically, whether in the grand scheme of the universe, size really matters.

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