Below is an exchange between DC Comics' Power Girl and Cyclone (in case you don't already know, PG is the blond and Cyclone is the redhead) in January 2010's issue of the Justice Society of America 80-Page Giant #1.
If you wish, go ahead and scroll down to read the exchange before I continue. What I wish to discuss is related to the exchange below. I'll wait. Hmmhmhmhm... lalala...
Okay, what did you think? Cyclone gets it on why PG has the famous "cleavage hole" in her costume. Pretty much, it's the same reason I have the cleavage hole in my costume: It's theater. A little more on this in a bit.
I've attempted before to explain one of the purposes of my blog: To tease you guys on your obsession with boobs. I've also discovered that in the process of teasing you guys on this, I am also partly contributing to the objectification of women, which was not quite what I was shooting for with my blog - but it also demonstrated to me on how easy it is to drop into the trap of objectifying women. So then - why do this? Why make this blog on boobs, and why have that cleavage hole (and the smiley face on my boob, for that matter)?
I thought about this, and I'll try again to explain. I want to keep working on this until I get a good working explanation that will be functional for such discussions. I know I haven't gotten to that point yet, and I am not certain that I'll get to it this time around, but hey - nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh? So let's have at it, shall we?
Most women who want to show cleavage would simply wear a low-cut top or dress. There's trashy ways to show cleavage of course, but there are outfits that can both show cleavage and yet still be fashionable, stylish and elegant. For example, think of most formal ballroom outfits or bridal dresses. Like I said previously, those outfits show cleavage by being low cut enough to show cleavage.
An outfit with a cleavage hole, however, simply has a hole cut where cleavage can be seen. PG's outfit has an oval shaped opening while mine is more of a chevron shape. The thing is, an outfit can be designed to be low cut and yet still not show cleavage, but an outfit with a cleavage hole ain't designed for anything else BUT to show cleavage! Because of the deliberate intent to show cleavage, a cleavage hole is often considered one of the "trashy" ways of showing cleavage.
So what do I think? Do I think cleavage holes are trashy? If I did, I wouldn't have one on my costume, would I? Do you think I would deliberately wear something that I regard as trashy - especially since I'm an admitted conservative? Do conservative women dress trashy? It's just not done, is it? Would June Cleaver sport a cleavage hole in one of her classy 50's dresses that she seemed to always wear?
Let's hit the questions above in order. I think cleavage holes are fine under certain circumstances; for example, in a superhero costume, or perhaps a cheerleader costume. In other circumstances, while I don't think they're trashy per se, I do think that they can look very odd on a woman's standard everyday top. You can have holes in your jeans and look fashionable, but holes in tops would just look odd, or like you don't take care of your clothes.
In regards to conservatism and attire, just because I am conservative does not mean that I wouldn't wear something a little revealing. There is a reason I wear the long sleeve crop-top with the cleavage hole and the short skirt: It looks good on me for one, and it serves as a great distraction in battles with bad guys - and bad girls, for that matter.
And the thing is, who says that being a conservative woman means dressing like the stereotypical school marm? Why can't we be conservative yet hot? Have you seen some of the women on FOX News? They look pretty hot to me. This is in contrast to the liberal women I've seen who dress in various degrees of sloppy. Basically though, nearly their entire wardrobe consists of blue jeans, t-shirt and flip-flops.
Which brings me to my costume. Like I said above, while tops with cleavage holes might not be appropriate for everyday wear, it's a different story for a superhero costume. Superheroes are supposed to be showy and larger than life. It's theater, as Cyclone explained in the exchange below. As egotistical as it may sound, superheroes are meant to draw attention to themselves for various reasons, but two primary ones are:
1.) To provide a visible symbol of hope to the general population that no matter how bad things get, someone is on the job to set things aright (Captain America is one such example), and
2.) To draw the attention of the bad guys away from innocent bystanders by drawing attention towards the superhero. Thus, the costume has to stand out from your usual everyday attire.
Because of my long (I'm 6 foot 1) and curvy proportions, my costume emphasizes those aspects of myself even more. I have long legs, so I wear a short skirt. And of course, I have big boobs, so I have a crop top which ends just below the bustline as added emphasis, and of course the top also has the cleavage hole. As for the smiley face, it's mainly to draw attention there even more, plus it's a memory device; that is, it's one feature on how you remember me: as the superhero chick with the smiley face on her boob. Theater! And marketing! LOL
In my next blog post, I'll discuss how we superheroes utilize the attention we draw from supervillains.