Throughout history the ubiquitous female breast has been exposed, exploited and envied. From the under dressed native women in the Polynesian islands to actress Jane Russell, for whom Howard Hughes is said to have designed a bra, the breast is a subject of interest. Those who do’t have them, want them. Those who have them, want them bigger.

Olivia de Haviland, star of “Gone With the Wind”, while living in France for a time, wrote a humorous book, “Every Frenchman Has One”. I read her book with interest because a cousin now lives in the house de Haviand resided in during the filming of “Gone With the Wind”.

Apparently the difference between the French and the American view of the bosom can be summed up this way: the American philosophy is of the Bosom Rampant, while the French subscribe to the principle “The Bust Trussed.”

This attitude became clear to her, expressed in the world of couture. She was faithful to the House of Dior as it went through a series of three head designers. She found it a question as to which one tried the hardest to flatten her bosom. Not permanently, just under a dress.

She wrote “The whole thing started at my first fitting on my first Dior dress. There I was standing in the fitting room, half undressed, in merely my stockings, my slip and my bust, and the next moment I was fully clothed and bustless. At first I couldn’t think where I’d gone to. Then I was struck rigid by the idea that some sort of instantaneous and lasting transformation had occurred and that I’d suddenly lost forever what is every girl’s pride. Springing out of my paralysis and into action, I looked frantically down m,y decollete to see what had happened to me. Fortunately I was still there, both of me. But bound and gagged. By a framework of net and bone. The dress’s basic foundation.

“You mustn’t think, here, that I have one of those overexuberant superstructures that really needs lashing to the decks to keep it from going overboard. No, no not at all. It is, rather the sort that you might call appropriate, quite becoming, so it’s been said. Neat but not gaudy. But try as I may, I have never been able to convince the French that the American way is better, and they have always won the War of Containment.

“Of course, I know just as well as you do, that back home in the States, if a girl’s got a delicate, elfin 32, she has no chance but to commit suicide. If she has a tender, swelling 34, she can however, enter a nunnery. If hers is a warm and promising 36, there’s hope. On the other hand, with a cummbersome 40, Hollywood is bound to find her. And with anything over 42, national adulation is assured.”


“But I must say I do look darn well dressed. And I’m beginning to accept the French notion that a girl’s bust is really more important when she’s got her clothes off tan when she’s got them on.’

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

25 thoughts on “EVERY WOMAN HAS ONE”

  1. Yes, Kayti. What a problem it must be for many women. For men, their insane worry and desire about the size of things lives much lower. For some reason or other I sometimes get spam e-mails promising wonders by using special creams, whereby it is almost a given a ‘real’ man will just about need a wheel-barrow to carry his equipment around. However, and I don’t want to brag, I have yet to see advertisements of the possibility of reduction cream possibilities.
    At 78 years I can do without those e-mails and worries.


    1. At 78 years old you don’t need to be pushing a wheelbarrow. Years ago there was a man who advertised exercise to enlarge the mammary glands. Obviously that didn’t work either because shortly after they began enlarging via surgery. Too bad humans are never satisfied with what they have. No four legged creature ever complains after a neuter job.


  2. So funny, Kayti! I guess in my heyday, I was a 36, so I was spared. I wouldn’t survive long today, if they decided to do away with any woman who was under 34. Time has done its thing! In retrospect, it was such a silly cultural obsession!


  3. And then there are some of us who have WAY more than we deserve, and would love to have some of it whittled down!


  4. This post is hilarious. Once women get over 50, we are glad if we have a petite bust line. One of my friends has to put a bra on if she comes out in her robe because they hang down to her waistline. I prefer my cupcakes which still stand up, albeit in a petite fashion. LOL!


    1. The other thing not discussed, is the problem of sleeping on one’s tummy. Must seem like a pilates ball to some. No, petite comes out as being preferable. The French are correct too. It makes the clothes look better–not that I can afford French couterie!


  5. I had coffee with a friend a couple of days ago, and in the course of conversation, she mentioned that her mother had a fourteen-inch waistline when she was young. I accused her of lying, but she swore it was true. Given that her mother was just a little under 5′, I suppose it could have been. Still, anything under 30″ (ok, maybe 28″) in an adult seems flat unhealthy to me.

    I couldn’t help thinking of the Chinese practice of binding feet. That ended in changes far more permanent and injurious, but still… I suspect a relationship.


    1. Very hard to believe. 18 in Scarlet’s time must have been difficult breathing. Vanity is the curse of some. Even without binding feet, just wearing high heels in a size too small does wonders for the podiatrists. I never gave my feet much attention until I couldn’t walk. It was awfully nice to dance, but I never thought how lucky I was. Walking the dog came naturally, and putting in my 2-5 miles jogging each day was part of my routine Be kind to your feet, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.


    1. It has always amused me when thinking of the extraordinary interest everyone has in the female breast. A few years ago, a tremendous amount of silica (?) was injected to enlarge them, but now the models could not be flatter. At last I am in style!


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