Trends don’t always go from the runway to the masses overnight. And looking, um, cold is no exception. London’s spring 2009 runways were awash in nipples showing clearly through sheer tops, glorifying the areola to a level never before seen. But with much of the world not quite comfortable walking around essentially topless, the trend has adapted to (more or less) real-woman celebrities, who flaunt their nipples through opaque fabrics. Recently, it seems an increasing number of famous gals are stepping before cameras with nipples unabashedly ablaze.
Statistics also point to a rise in nipple pride. According to the Daily Mail, London’s Harley Medical Group has seen a 30 percent boost in nipple surgery over the last twelve months. These procedures include nipple lifts to push them up and out, surgery to reshape asymmetrical nipples, and the correction of inverted nipples, which can interfere with breast-feeding. Many of these surgeries are performed on mastectomy patients, but an increasing number of women are getting them for purely aesthetic reasons. Those unwilling or unable to go under the knife are getting fake nipples, like the ones Samantha had in that one episode of Sex and the City. Bosomfriends.co.uk, a website devoted to prosthetic nipples, has seen a “significant increase” in sales over the past year.
Since Victoria Beckham caused quite the stir when she stepped out with erect nipples on June 10, debate has ensued over whether hers were real or fake. That issue aside, a doctor at the Harley Medical Group says Victoria is a nipple pioneer, ushering in an age of “nipple role models.” Patients used to come in and ask for breasts like Pam Anderson, but now this doctor predicts women will start asking for so-and-so’s nipples. Already Beckham, Megan Fox, and Christina Ricci stand to be that so-and-so. Surely, there are more.
But has good old-fashioned cleavage really become so passé? Are purposely erect nipples not vulgar? Tell us, do you think nipples are fashion’s best new accessory? Or do these ladies need a once-over with a hair dryer and a lesson in decency?