If you’re nonplussed by the current state of your cleavage, don’t pack away your plunging necklines just yet. The ubiquitous art of face contouring has finally made its way into your blouse. Yes, boob contouring is officially a thing.
The 5-minute, cleavage-enhancing makeup technique is a cheaper, DIY alternative to breast implants, push-up bras, and removable cutlets — and, of course, tutorials are popping up all over YouTube.
But in this age of body confidence, is boob contouring just another way to make women feel as though their natural bodies simply aren’t good enough?
Women’s Health magazine recently announced plans to drop the term “bikini body,” confidently standing behind the idea that all bodies are bikini bodies — not just toned, size-2 figures.
Like false lashes, temporary tattoos, and even face contouring, noncommittal beauty experimentation can be a harmless form of self-expression — but there are limits. “While [boob contouring] can be fun every once in a while, it can become a real issue when it becomes a necessary ‘requirement’ for leaving the house,” says Dr. Robyn Silverman, body confidence expert and author of body-empowerment book Good Girls Don’t Get Fat.
She cites recent body-shaming viral sensations like the “bikini bridge” and the “sheet of paper challenge” as just two of many ways that our culture reinforces the dangerous idea that there is such a thing as the “perfect body.”
“Taken apart, each trend might not seem like a big deal, but when we keep adding to the requirements of beauty, young people learn that they can never be enough.” In other words, boob contouring could easily be misinterpreted as a message that “perfect boobs” exist — and if yours aren’t flawless, they’re unacceptable.
In fact, the contrary is true. According to a study done by lingerie company Third Love, there are seven different types of breast out there. Shapes include round, tear-drop, and bell-shaped, and orientations include side-set, slender, east-west, and asymmetric. Clearly, we are a diverse species right down to our mammaries.
So embrace your boobs (literally?) in all their diverse glory. Own the cleavage (or lack thereof) that you were born with. And if a party comes along and you’re compelled to tweak the shape of your décolletage with boob contouring, watch get thee to You Tube for instructions.
But know that boob contouring is just for fun. And that — just like all bodies — all breasts are beautiful. Vive la différence!