Journalist who has a longtime love/hate affair with her well-developed bosom explores the world’s curious obsession with breasts.
Seligson (Going with the Grain, 2002) wears a 32DDD bra, she informs us. Her out-of-proportion appendages—“fleshy torpedoes, exploding from my narrow shoulders, hovering ominously above my tiny waist”—drive her, and male strangers, to distraction. “What is it about an anatomical feature possessed by half of humanity that can render the other half senseless?” she asks. This clutch of blithe, loosely strung-together essays won’t provide many answers, but the author at least has the right sort of voice for this assignment. A weekly humor columnist for the Provincetown Banner, she comes across as personable. She finds the humanity in just about all of her interview subjects. She hangs out with an exuberant L.A. plastic surgeon who charms her just like he charms his patients, each hoping desperately that he can work life-changing magic on them. The editor of Busty Beauties magazine (a Larry Flynt publication) turns out to be a gentlemanly fellow, declaring, “I never sleep with a woman I don’t want to marry.” In less focused pieces, Seligson delves into current research and historical studies in an attempt to understand contemporary culture’s demand that all women be impossibly thin and with unnaturally large breasts. Although this should be the heart of her text, none of her maunderings ever come to much.
Fuzzy and forgettable.