Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Breast Envy; Even Liz Hurley Could Feel She Doesn't Measure Up to the Latest Look

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Breast Envy; Even Liz Hurley Could Feel She Doesn't Measure Up to the Latest Look

Article excerpt

Byline: MELANIE MCDONAGH

IT'S in bad taste to say this, but did you ever think you'd see Elizabeth Hurley look under-endowed?

Think she regrets losing all that weight? This photo, right, the cream of the Oscar pictures, confirms what has been increasingly apparent over the past five years that Breasts are Big again. And, because they're so in-your-face, there's another phenomenon to go with the increasingly visible bosom, the sin of Breast Envy.

Look again at Liz. Doesn't she look just a tiny bit po-faced beside Pamela Anderson? A bit like the girl who doesn't know what to do with her embarrassing friend at a party, but also like one who's been outclassed in her home patch.

It would be wrong to pronounce that breasts are the new erogenous zone half the population would pipe up to remind us that they've never stopped being a fixation. But for women, it's another matter. We look at other women's breasts now in a way we never used to. Not in an unwholesome way, just appraising. What' s more, we talk about them. Where once you might have said of another girl that she's got a nice figure or good legs, you're now not being a hussy to say that a woman has got good boobs.

A former editor of Elle magazine said to me thoughtfully that, five years ago, Helena Christensen was the only model in the business with a prominent bosom, juicy, in Elle parlance. Now we'd love big breasts. They're what women want in a way they didn't used to be. Back then, if you wore a Wonderbra it was a kind of joke. Wonderbras are, of course, still doing well, but there are now any number of variants on the bust-boost: bras with built-in gel pads, bras you literally pump up to give a higher and firmer cleavage.

One reason for the about-turn might be Madonna, whose pointy bra was a trademark: she used to split her T-shirt; now everyone does it. The other obvious influence is Gisele Bundchen, the Brazilian model who, over the past two years, has turned round the idea of the perfect body to include large pneumatic breasts appended to a waif-like body. The rest of us can reflect that normal women usually get the entire package in either direction: if they have large breasts, they seem to go with childbearing hips; if the hips and thighs are nice and slim, the breasts are on Kate Moss lines too. …

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