The business of bums, breasts, and butt cleavage

Some things make me scratch my head. Others make me fear for the future of the human race. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but these things get a big thumbs down from me. How about you?
1) QR codes on women's butts

As part of a new advertising campaign, the British women's beach volleyball team will now be sporting QR codes on their bums. Yep, as if men didn't stare at women's butts enough, now they're being encouraged to zoom in and take a photo! The codes will appear on women's derrieres starting today.

2) Little girls strapping on boobies

Spanish toy company Berjuan has introduced a new doll that breastfeeds. Little girls just need to strap on the halter with petal-covered nipples and they're ready to nestle their doll's face into their non-existent breasts.

Yes, I know some women will say that this toy will help breastfeeding in public become more acceptable or help kids better understand their bodies, but I say let little girls be little girls! Part of the joy of childhood is being blissfully unaware of the adult responsibilities of life (I'm also anti toy vaccuum, but that's another story).
Let's leave breastfeeding to the grown ups with real nipples, eh?

3) Event photographers with butt cleavage

This month I went to an event for journalists, sponsored by Facebook. Lots of professionals on the panel and in the audience. I was in the front row and, much to my dismay, was exposed to massive amounts of butt crack. Yep, you read right. Butt crack.

A guy was there taking photos for his company (a photo collective in Los Angeles) and every time he kneeled down to take a shot, he mooned the audience. Consider this free advice: if you're going to take photos at an event, wear pants and underwear that cover your rump (I can't believe things have gotten so casual in business that I even need to say something so ridiculous!).

So what say you? Is this all just too much? Are you fed up with droopy drawers, sexually-charged advertising, and inappropriate kids' toys? Or, do I need a chill pill?

Let's hear it!


  1. You hit the nail on the head!  Bravo!  Perfectly said!

  2. Well Done, Amber! You can put the bottle of cool tablets back on the shelf :)
    I have an 18 year old daughter (so many years of 'girl clothes' shopping) Poor thing is burdened with an uber non-girly mom (still a ska' boarder chick) but I played along.

    About a decade ago, when LaSenza Girl started stocking two piece swimwear with padded bras - for SIX to ELEVEN year-olds, I took my business elsewhere... whoa. Really? yup.

    Love your post - could go on for ages and pages ... thank for this! (and the butt cleavage? You have my condolences ...)

    ~ peace

  3. Oh, yes, padded bras. Ugh. Don't women have their entire lives to obsess about their bodies? Who needs to start at six years old???? I keep waiting for children's thongs to hit the marketplace ;-(

    Thanks for the comment, Tobey! And for the condolences ;-)

  4. Thank you, Sanya! Glad to not be alone on this one ;-)

  5. Well said!!! Like Tobey, I have a daughter (almost 13) I have seen thongs for her with not very child-like messages splashed across them!  Low-rise jeans is another thing, they have no hips to hold them up!

    But-cracks are gross! PERIOD! Should be a law, seriously!

  6. Jennifer, thanks for adding to the discussion!

    I thought I was joking about the children's thongs! They actually make them????? OMG. That is tragic!

    I'm with you on the butt crack law. Used to be that people made fun of such things. Back in the days when it was called plumber's crack and only blue collar workmen who crawled under your kitchen sink subjected us to it! Now, it's fashion?

    How far we've fallen, huh?

  7. I agree Amber - unfortunately the list could be endless!  I was also horrified to see that a 10yr old had been featured on a Vogue cover (French?) - I wouldn't have minded if she looked like a 10 yr old but a pouting 22yr old? Nasty!  And don't get me started on the clothes that are available for my 9yr old daughter. The 'decency line' seems to have been erased. I wonder what would happen if the British beach volley ball team refused to wear the QR codes!!

  8. A dolled up 10 year old? Ugh.

    I can't imagine raising a daughter in today's world. You're right. The line hasn't just moved; it's gone!


  9. Can't tell you how much I loved this!  I worked with a counselor who had a "no boobs, no butts, no bellies" rule for her group therapy sessions, so we deal with it there, too.  There are some things that we just don't want to see and a time and a place for others.  Butt cleavage falls into "never want to see." 

    It is a fine line between living a "natural" lifestyle where nudity is acceptable and breast-feeding is embraced and exposing children to things best left to their later years.  And I think the boobie doll crossed that line.  

  10. Hey Jeanie! Thanks for weighing in.

    I think you hit the nail on the head. It's not about being a prude or denying children the facts, it's about age appropriateness. Pre-teen girls already obsess about their chests and when they'll start growing, do we really need little girls thinking about nipples and why they don't have them yet? Sheesh. All in good time.

    As for the counselor, that sounds smart. Excessive body exposure can be distracting at best. Even I can catch myself staring at women with skimpy clothing, so I can imagine how men feel! :-) No one needs to be accosted by, as you say, "boobs, butts, or bellies".

  11. EWWWWWW. To all of it. I believe that the very unimaginative among us has to resort to using sex to promote their products and services. It's like potty humor - easy to get attention, but doesn't stay around for long. And the baby breast feeding doll? Have they lost their minds? Babies don't need to be thinking about birthin' or feedin' babies. Geez. Butt crack - ewwwww again.

  12. YUUUUCK! to all of these things Amber! I so agree with you and the rest of your commenters. But for me the most distasteful is the breastfeeding baby. My God!!! let children be children for as long as possible. Mind you I don't like seeing breast-feeding in public anyway. What is really strange is, I live in Spain and I have never seen a woman breast-feeding in public. There are some things the Spanish are quite prudish about. I saw it practically everyday when I lived in London. So it's a surprise the toy company is Spanish. Or perhaps their aim is to promote breast-feeding in public more than actually happens now!

  13. E-gads! I can think of nothing worse than giving my daughter a breast feeding apparatus so that she can simulate breast feeding with her dolls.  She already walks around with my bras on, finds the boobs oh so fascinating,but c'mon...let's leave it at that!

    And butt cracks...don't get me started.  I CAN NOT STAND THAT!  Yes, I really shouted it.  We have a festival in Asheville each year called Belle Chere; this year a photographer set out to snap pics of all the butt cracks in the crowd.  Believe me, there were plenty. I'll try to find a link for you. Or, maybe not; let's not fuel that frenzy, shall we?

  14. QR codes on a woman's butt - F-ing AWESOME! Why the hell not? Butt cleavage - urgh, gross, look the other way?
    Something up with a breastfeeding doll? Urr WHY? Is it better to provide a plastic bottle? Oh yes, because breasts should be embellished with QR codes right??? The breastfeeding doll WITHOUT the vest/crop top is totally fine and normal. The breastfeeding doll will always be a niche product purchased by breastfeeding mothers end of. Breastfeeding is normal and should not be aliked to the same social sin as butts and butt cleavage. FFS. 

    Teaming a breastfeeding doll designed for children with QR codes on the butts of a volleyball team and the butt cleavage of some journos just screams SEO desperation. END OF. 

  15. Children mimic constantly. Why is practically every baby doll in the market sold with a bottle? A breastfeeding doll is hardly stealing a child of it's innocence. Get real. Up until I was pregnant I thought every baby was fed with a bottle - NOW THAT is messed up. 

  16. yes, I saw that and it was NASTY and wrong. I have a massive issue with the sexualisation of minors. 

  17. Ameena, I breast fed both my kids and my oldest, my son, always sat with me while I breast fed his sister.  I have no problem showing him or her how it's done. I also agree with you in the double standard of bottle and breast feeding and hadn't thought of it in that light until your comment! Thanks for highlighting it.  I'm still not sure I want my daughter to strap on the shirt...but I'll think more about it after your comment. 

  18. Hi Ameena. Making little girls strap on nipples is the part that I think is too much. As for being an adult who is unaware of breastfeeding, well, I'd say that's on a parent to educate her daughter as to the real role of a woman's breasts.

  19. Just as I already replied to your other comment below, I don't think the issue is breastfeeding itself. It's about age appropriate toys. Pre teen girls already obsess about their chests. When will they grow and will they be big enough? Frankly, I don't want any little girl of mine worrying about why she doesn't have "real" nipples yet and starting the obsession with body image that much earlier.

    As for SEO desperation, that's an insulting accusation that's no way to start a relationship. I write what I write with no regard for SEO. And, I'm a lot of things, but desperate is not one of them.

  20. A butt cleavage photo montage? Yikes! Yeah, the link is best not shared. I see enough on my own.

    As for your little girl and the bras, that just goes to show you she's already thinking boobies! Imagine if she had started earlier after she had the strap-on nipples? I'm all for teaching children about their bodies, but just like "the sex talk", there's an age that makes sense. Making little girls thinking they're missing out on something because they don't have breasts yet is not something that should be on a little girl's mind.

    Thanks for weighing in, Erica.

  21. Thanks for chiming in, Vanessa. I'm totally with you. Let children be children for as long as possible. There's a time and a place for the grown-up stuff and it will come soon enough.

  22. I love your comments, Jean. No holds barred. ;-)

    As for potty humor, I'm with ya. Caters to the lowest common denominator.

    EWWWWWW ;-)

  23. Breastfeeding is not the norm anymore. Obviously I was aware, albeit distantly, of breastfeeding but all images of babies go hand in hand with a bottle. Breastfeeding isn't a FMCG industry so it doesn't get in on the airtime. 
    The breastfeeding doll is an excellent way for parents to educate their daughters, and sons, on the role of women's breasts. At the end of the day this doll is not being pushed on kids on street corners - it's a consumers choice. Plus it comes with a pretty big price tag. There are a lot of dolls on the market that I take greater offence to (that serve an array of different purposes) but at the end of the day it's choice to buy or not. 

  24. This is a topic that does drive me mad. Children don't ever fully understand how EVERYTHING works. The breastfeeding doll doesn't get into details such as correct latch etc so how could it cause a child to obsess over their nipples? Maybe young girls shouldn't wear bikini's because they haven't got the body yet or they shouldn't wear make up during dress up? It's up to the parents to control how the "play" is conducted. Kids are more likely to get complexes from their peers than a plastic toy. 

    Ok, I apologise with the word "desperation" - personally I don't see the problem in writing SEO friendly posts - I am sure you could have found something more relevant to the butts to capture breasts. 

  25. I am against the shirt ... just leave it in the box! 

  26. It is quite scary to think of what these people will come up with next. I did not have any daughters, but I do have 3 sons. It is hard enough to raise children with good morals these days, now we are adding advertisements on bikini bottoms to literally draw attention!?! I spent a lot of time teaching my sons to be respectful for women. What are they to think and how are they to act now that permission has been given to oggle the female form CLOSE UP?

    Oh, and don't even get me started on the babydoll breast feeding thing or the "so called" professional photographer!   One word - Rediculous!!!

    Remember when your boss sent you home to change (with a warning) if you showed up to work unappropriately dressed? Let's bring back those days. :)

  27. Hi Gidget! Thanks for chiming in.

    Kudos to you for raising your boys with high ethical standards. That's so important, but so often overlooked. Your job is that much harder when, as you say, people are encouraged to ogle women's derrieres!

    I never actually worked anywhere where people got sent home for inappropriate clothing, but I know of the practice. I can think of a few occasions in the workplace where someone, who always seems to be a woman and not a man, should have been sent home. Having your girlie parts fall out of your top and onto the conference room table is hardly appropriate for any office setting!

  28. Quoting my son here "Crack kills". Unless you are a plumber (where butt crack is a recognized occupational stereotype) there should be no butt cleavage at *any* professional gathering.

    As for the breastfeeding ... don't little girls (and some boys) already simulate it when playing house? My daughter did because she was nursed. The fake boobies though ... that's up there with the pre-teen push-up bra bikini.

  29. Yeah, it used to be called plumber's crack for just that reason! Now, it's a fashion statement. Geez.

    Great analogy on the push up bra. Yeah, the strap-on petal boobies just bother me.

    Thanks for stopping by, Annette!

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