Quote of the Week:

"He is no fool, who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." (Jim Elliot)

Drop me a line if you want to be notified of new posts to SiTG:

The Best of Sand:

The Blog
Greatest Hits
Faith and Life
Judo Chops
The Problem with Libertarians
Snapshots of Life

Creative Commons License
All work on this site and its subdirectories is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Search the Site:

My Writing Online:

On Crossing a Picket Line

Not Non-Fiction
Caroline's Journey
Coming Apart
My Christmas Story

The Craft:

Banshee Studios
CCM Magazine
Collected Miscellany
Doorknobs & Bodypaint
Faith in Fiction
Grassroots Music
Image Journal
Infuze Magazine
Missouri Review

Favorite Journals:

Atlantic Monthly
New Pantagruel

Blogs I Dig:

Education & Edification:

Arts & Letters Daily
Bill of Rights Institute
Junk Science
U.S. Constitution

It's good to be open-minded. It's better to be right:

Stand Athwart History
WSJ Opinion


Home School Legal Defense
Institute for Justice
Local Pregnancy Crisis
Mission Aviation
Prison Ministries
Russian Seminary


Cox & Forkum
Day by Day

last 50 referring URLs

Donors Hall of Fame

Susanna Cornett
Joe Drbohlav
Michael Heaney
Laurence Simon
The Timekeeper
Rob Long
Paul Seyferth

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

February 03, 2003
On the Nipple

I passed by a women's clothing store last week and saw in their display window something that gave me pause. Nipples. The mannequins (though these were definitely wo-mannequins) had underneath their sheer tops stark, bulging nipples.

Mannequins do not, to my knowledge, nurse their young. So what is the point of the nipples? To deliver the full effect of the featured clothing in today's increasingly brassiere-less and sheer-bra world, is the answer. I don't understand why this is necessary.

I wear pants. Think about this. Do I need an anatomically correct mannequin up in the window to show me how the trousers are going to hang? Lest some of you linger on that question, the answer is no, most definitely no. I'm familiar with the machinery down there; I don't need a mannequin to model that for me, thank you very much. What's more, if they built male mannequins the way they appear to build the females, I don't think most of us would appreciate the comparison.

So why the nipples? Are young hussies today so devoid of imagination that they cannot envision what the blouse will look like draped across their perky bits? Goodness, have they never put the cherry atop an ice cream sundae, or decorated a snowman? It's not that hard to figure our where the nipples will be, gals. Take it from a man -- we know.

I suspect this has more to do with selling a style choice than with being helpful to shoppers. But do we need to encourage this kind of dress? Ladies (and women), let me offer one man's opinion. Nipples jutting out through clothes, while sometimes sexually attractive, are not helpful. For those of us who are married, well, you are just getting on our nerves. For those of us who are single, you simply signal that you do not have enough appreciation for what the good Lord gave you to keep it even partially concealed from passersby. If this is what you signal to every single man you meet (and believe me, the "look at me" shirt is just one telltale sign of this self-conception), then don't expect to attract someone who will love, honor, and cherish you. At the very least, don't think that it will be easy to pick him out from the pack of dogs you are also likely to have nipping (if you'll pardon the pun) at your heels.

I want to anticipate some reactions, lest the "Comments" section below become a combination gender sexuality seminar and quilting bee:

Hey, you sexist, not every woman wants to be "loved, honored, and cherished," to quote your antiquated, misogynistic phrasing. To quote Cyndi Lauper, girls just want to have fun.

Trust me, you are in no danger of being afflicted with any of those three curses. Proceed to emulate the idealistic single male lifestyle that your unmarried Women's Studies professor with eleven cats told you is good for women.

Listen, I wear a triple-layered superbra with extra padding, and whenever the temperature drops below 80 degrees, my nipples still poke out like Bill Clinton's eyes at a cheerleading competition. Some of us are just accursed with nipples of steel. So lay off.

Have you considered a belt sander? Just kidding. Perhaps if you didn't wear blouses a half-size too small for your frame? There's this notion that a top which grips and grabs the torso is somehow attractive and decorous. It's as if we've let the female fashion industry be hijacked by people whose ideal of the perfect woman is either a Hooter's gal or a thirteen year-old boy.

You don't understand what it's like to be a woman in a man's world. My nipple-blouses give me that competitive edge I need to climb the corporate ladder. When I speak, people pay attention. They notice me. What's wrong with that?

I'm sorry sugar, I got distracted. What were you saying?

The real problem here is with the men. If they didn't find this so attractive, we women trying to find a mate wouldn't feel like we need to dress like harlots to have any hope of meeting a guy.

Most men are pigs -- you get no argument here. But think of this as an opportunity. By not dressing like Jennifer Anniston, you avoid the Brad Pitt's of the world. If you can't see why this is a good thing, I suppose there's nothing I can say to help you.

Posted by Woodlief on February 03, 2003 at 08:17 AM


Deep down, somewhere among the wording, there is a nude car wash joke waiting to be tied to this. *grin*

To be frank, I appreciate it when women choose to (either by active decision or inactive apathy) visually pinpoint the location of their nipples. Imagination is a powerful thing, but having firm *cough* evidence to aid that imagination is even better.

Distracting, yes. But compared to what we are being distracted from (work, shopping, taking out the trash), I find it a much-needed diversion. Highlights of the day that come in sets of two.

Posted by: Charles Hueter on February 3, 2003 11:13 AM

Tony, women have nipples. Get over it. The more stuff of yours I read, the more I think you'd really be a lot happier living in Afghanistan or Iraq or some other place where women have to wear tents and yashmaks.

Posted by: Lou on February 3, 2003 12:54 PM

As a nipple-bearing member of society, I feel I must express solidarity with Tony here. I'm not terribly excited about the fashion path we're travelling; at this rate, women are going to have to get a Brazilian Bikini Wax just to be able to sport the latest "casual Friday" wear.

I'm happy that you're proud of your nipples, but that doesn't give you the right to inflict them on me, dammit. Is this still America? My rights are being trampled by nipples! Somebody do something! I'm being oppressed by rampant mammary protrusions! Help!

Posted by: BAW on February 3, 2003 01:39 PM

Oh, come on, Lou--do you not think that a little over-the-top?

Just my humble opinion, but I find ladies more attractive when they are modest about their assets ("modest" does not mean wearing burkas, FYI. There are a whole lot of shades of gray here). It is a reverse of makeup to me: Too much makeup is just plain ugly; too little clothing is just, well, less attractive.

I suppose, analyzing this way beyond what it is worth, I feel a woman who is comfortable showing her figure without showing her, *ahem*, exudes more confidence and strength of character--highly desirable qualities to this silly male. Those ladies who show more than I care to see, to my mind, do not show as much self-confidence.

Of course, these are just "instant impressions", as it were. Very dangerous business, judging books by their covers. Then again, "the clothes make the man" (or woman). Ah, well. Enough blabbering. Heh.

Posted by: Clint on February 3, 2003 01:59 PM

Hey, I'm no nipple-exposer myself and personally I find a certain amount of mystery far more alluring. But I would defend anybody's right to dress how the hell ever they like. Me, I find musclebound blokes in G-strings highly unattractive, but I would defend their right to wear 'em.

Posted by: Lou on February 3, 2003 02:28 PM

No one here is trying to deny anyone the right to flash around their nips. ... As i understand it, Tony (and myself) is just plain annoyed at the tacky lack of concealment in some women's clothing. Yep, it's their right. But it's also my right to be disgusted.

Posted by: mpunkie on February 3, 2003 02:46 PM

Ah, Mpunkie, but if you are disgusted by such displays, would that not mean you would rather live "in Afghanistan or Iraq or some other place where women have to wear tents and yashmaks"?

Obviously not, which is my point. As I said, a whole lot of gray area.

Posted by: Clint on February 3, 2003 02:53 PM

Lou, (borrowing from your own method of argumentation)

Some people have issues with seeing nipples protruding from clothes. Get over it.

Posted by: Tony on February 3, 2003 02:53 PM

All I'm saying is that this whole corny debate isn't about rights, as Lou suggested. In Tony's words, "Some people have issues with seeing nipples protruding from clothes." That's it.

Posted by: mpunkie on February 3, 2003 03:40 PM

Well, excuse me all over the place!

Mpunkie - yeah, it's your right to be disgusted. Carry on.

Clint - if I knew what the hell your point was, I would be able to agree or disagree.

Tony - 'Get over it?' I'm loving it! It's fun to argue over daft things: isn't that the point of your whole messageboard? Oh yeah, and the fact that blokes find nipples distracting is something women know about, yer know. Like I said, I'm a T-shirt-and-jeans girl myself, but some women dress, let's say, provocatively, as a conscious effort to get what they want out of life. Erin Brockovich (sp), for example.

Mpunkie - Well done for making some sense out of Clint's post. I'm not starting a petition on human rights here, just putting out my thoughts on the subject.

Posted by: Lou on February 3, 2003 04:10 PM

Then there is (was?) the phenomenon of the erect nipple pasty, which a woman can (could?) wear to provide the proper profile in such clothes without the attending excitement.

Reminds me of the woman who said she KNEW Victoria's Secret. In her opinion, the clothes don't look worth a glance on a woman over 29.

Posted by: Janis Gore on February 3, 2003 08:01 PM


You are the one who made the "Afghanistan or Iraq" remark I quoted above. The idea, as you put forward, that disliking a certain (and rather extreme) style of attire on the female form makes one akin to the Taliban is absurd on the face of it. There is a broad range of modesty in dress, from a total nun look to "skimpy" outfits with hardly any modesty at all.

I just thought your comparison was a tad over-the-top. Can you not agree there is a range between "Taliban dress" and total nudity? (The point everyone seems to be missing--you know, all that "gray area"?)


I was agreeing with you. My second post was made in good fun, just using Lou's comment for the heck of it. Sorry if it was about as clear as mud. (Note to self: Slow down and edit!)

Posted by: Clint on February 4, 2003 07:35 AM

Hey, Clint

Lighten up, man. It was a jab at Tony, not a serious suggestion.

Posted by: Lou on February 4, 2003 12:45 PM

Aw Tony! You can't be serious!!

I'm one of those women who to put it MILDLY has great-big-honking-boobs without benefit of silicon. The bras I wear are as sturdy as those cranes around the WTC site. My British boyfriend says I have nipples like organ stops, which I certain do... and while he loves every bit of me, it's almost impossible to prevent getting "nippy" if there's the slightest breeze. They'd show if I was wearing a paper bag. They aren't a fashion accessory, any more than my ample ass is.

You know I love you man, but really!!!

Posted by: Suli on February 4, 2003 07:00 PM

OK, Tony. The Jesus stuff and the hero-of-the-unborn thing are fine by me. But I've got to draw a line in the sand here. I will die in the last ditch in defense of nipplitude. Extremism in defense of nipples is no vice. Give me nipples or give me breasts, er, death.

Posted by: Will Wilkinson on February 5, 2003 12:03 AM


I was quite light, which is why my initial discussion of your line was so brief (one sentence). A simple, "Yeah, it's over-the-top--It's called a joke, dimwit!" response earlier would have worked wonders. :)

Glad to see we are both just goofing around. This subject is too much fun to get too serious. Heh.

Posted by: Clint on February 5, 2003 07:29 AM

To Tony---Now do you see why "we can't all just get along"? You have to be INTELLIGENT to have a sense of humor. Many of your readers are cerebral,true. But they are not all....well, never mind.

Posted by: Llana on February 5, 2003 07:19 PM

Womens' perky bits: good. Very good.
Mens' perky bits: jarring. I'd rather see the little mister flopping in the wind.

Posted by: Greg on February 6, 2003 01:57 AM

BTW, I'm awfully proud that I posted a comment that used the phrases "perky bits" and "little mister." Good for me!

Posted by: Greg on February 6, 2003 01:59 AM

And there goes any chance that National Review Online will syndicate this site.

Posted by: Tony on February 6, 2003 09:17 AM

I don't know about "decorous", but I find that a top which, as you said, grips and grabs the torso is, in fact, often quite attractive.

Assuming the torso in question is of attractive quality, that is.

Posted by: Sigivald on February 7, 2003 05:11 PM

About the only thing I can find designed for girls my age are tight, low necked, high-hemmed shirts, all unbearably thin. About the only things I could find that aren't would be tinfoil and denim. I usually go around in hand-me-downs from my sister, from a time when loose, thicker clothing was considered acceptable on a fifteen year old. Although, gladly, I don't think I have a big 'nippular problem'.

I know several people who wear tight, revealing clothes for attention, sexual and otherwise, but I do know at least one or two girls that are genuinely comfortable that way. Not emotionally comfortable, but physically. Looser clothing may get caught on things, or, in the schools or even the workplace, the heat is constantly turned too high, and low-necked shirts are the only way to stay cool.

I'm not saying that this is the reason ALL women dress like this. Just consider that there may be other reasons than wanting men to drool over their chests.

Posted by: Jessica on February 7, 2003 05:55 PM

Tony, I am sorry that women's breasts terrify you so. Do they make you afraid that you will act in a manner unbecoming of a Christian man?

Boobies are happier free and unencumbered. Love them and be happy, my friend!

Posted by: Julie on February 17, 2003 10:30 AM

lake powell

Posted by: lake powell on March 31, 2005 03:55 PM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?