It’s 2017: why can’t we just let boobs be boobs?

When the internet wasn’t in meltdown about the Best Picture blunder there was another Oscars moment that caught people’s attention: Ryan Gosling’s sister’s boobs.

You could practically smell the Daily Mail’s glee as it joked about “best supported actor”, and Twitter was no better. Ryan Gosling’s sister’s boobs were well and truly welcomed to the internet.

Maybe it’s my own love/hate relationship with boobs but I can’t help but feel indignant for Mandi Gosling (plot twist: the boobs have a name.) She looked great, her dress was beautiful – and yeah, her boobs looked pretty good too. But maybe Mandi might have preferred it if her impressive cleavage was just incidental, rather than finding itself at the eye of a Twitstorm.

And I can hear the responses already. “If she didn’t want people to talk about her boobs then she shouldn’t have had them on show.” Yeah, well, I have my hands on show for 90 per cent of the year and so far my fingernails haven’t managed to break the internet.

What I don’t understand is why we have to attach meaning to certain body parts. Who was it that decided big boobs or long legs suggested sexual availability? Why do women always have to be ‘flaunting our curves’ / ‘flashing a hint of sideboob’ / ‘showing *insert ex-boyfriend here* what he’s missing?’ Why can’t we just like a dress, wear it, and that be that? After all, no one ever accuses you of flaunting your elbow.

I felt a similar indignance when, at the end of last year, Vogue declared the cleavage ‘over’, as though we can all just pop our boobs into a pre-paid jiffy bag and send them back to ASOS. Women’s bodies are subjected to enough scrutiny without being made to feel like anything above a 34B should be hidden away at the back of a wardrobe next to Jungle pants and the flatform.

If I’m being totally honest, I think I’ve finally made peace with my boobs. But I’ve also spent an awful lot of my life feeling embarrassed of them. Society says that if you have your cleavage on show, at best you’re looking for attention; at worst you’re a bit of slut.

Boobs at a wedding? Unsuitable. Boobs in the workplace? Unsuitable. Boobs meeting your new boyfriend’s parents? Unsuitable.

I don’t want to feel like my body is unsuitable.

But I do. I imagine lots of people do. And while articles like the ones about Mandi Gosling and the Vogue piece are still being written, I can’t see that changing.

It’s 2017 for God’s sake, can’t we just let boobs be boobs?

Disclaimer: I’ve written the word ‘boobs’ so many times it’s lost all meaning…

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