If Cleavage Is Currency, Celebs Are Cashing In
By Jessica Mahler Posted Mar 12th 2011 06:00PM
Flip through your favorite magazines and TV networks, and you're bound to see cleavage just about everywhere you look. It's all part of the constant exposure plan: The more a woman bares, the more work she'll get. Celebs are cashing in on cleavage to grab our attention, and in the celebrity equation, the more interest we invest in a certain star equates to increased fame, raising her score on the popularity scale.
Bonnie Fuller, editor-in-chief of HollywoodLife.com, visited the 'Today' show this week to talk about celebrities baring cleavage on the red carpet and on the covers of magazines and how it affects their success. A woman in a low-cut dress or top will no doubt draw some attention, and we Americans do love breasts; the strategic placement of the ads, photos, TV shows and movies we constantly see these cleavage-baring women in have normalized a look that at one time -- believe it or not -- was considered risque. It's like supply and demand: If people like what they see, they are going to want to see more of it.
"There's never been so much pressure on actresses as today to bare it all. They think they have to do it," says Fuller. "There's enormous pressure on these women."
But does this pigeonhole a celebrity into the sultry category? Will her breasts, if she leaves little to the imagination, keep her from landing more serious work? Helen Mirren has angrily recounted the fact that her girls were what kept her from the more serious roles she coveted when she first started out.
Shannon Elizabeth plays the sexy exchange student who walks around Jason Biggs' bedroom topless in 'American Pie,' then got knocked up on 'That '70s Show' by Kelso, who drools over her body much like her co-stars from 'American Pie' for all nine episodes she guest stars.
An entire show was created around the idea of women's bouncing breasts wearing nothing but bathing suits. Tommy Lee and Kid Rock aside, what else is Pamela Anderson known for? And Kim Kardashian's breasts are not-so-subtly hinted at on countless covers of magazines, but we're still wondering why the world should want to keep up with the Kardashians.
Then there are celebs like Halle Berry, who has long displayed her talents on the big screen without ever having to do a nude scene. That is until she landed her role in 'Swordfish,' finally daring to bare for a hefty price tag. Yes, the world waited a decade for the star to take her clothes off on film, and all we got was a gratuitous shot, to say the least -- it wasn't exactly a necessary scene for the film. But it wasn't until after she bore her breasts as Ginger Knowles that she was nominated for an Oscar her next go-round for her performance in 'Monster's Ball' -- and won.
So it would seem that stripping on film poses a double standard to female celebrities. You're not taken seriously as an actress if you start stripping Day One, yet aren't considered legit with impressive titles and performances under your belt until you do. Damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
Even with millions of dollars in the bag, a girl just can't seem to catch a break, which makes normal, middle class women feel hopeless.
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