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Hooters opens in Japan.
A week before the first Hooters restaurant opened in Tokyo late in October, five Japanese staff-in-training huddled in the bathroom to talk padding. They debated the merits of gel inserts, classic cushioned cups, and a range of inflatable bust-boosting doodads sold at Don Quijote, a Japanese chain that is sort of a mix of fetish shop and your local grocery store. One girl whispered that modeling her artificially amplified oomph prompted her own mother to ask, "What happened?" Earlier that week, as part of a lesson on proper uniforming, a visiting American manager ordered recruits to "Push UP," cupping her hands together and gesturing toward the ceiling.

For Americans, Hooters, with more than 460 restaurants nationwide, needs no introduction. Big burgers, cold beer, and top-heavy waitresses poured into short-shorts add up to the chain's slogan of "delightfully tacky, yet unrefined." In Japan, however, food portions are small, women's shoulders are modestly covered, and Pamela Anderson's breasts are not a certified national obsession. This makes Hooters' innuendo-heavy version of family dining an odd fit that the chain's Japan team had to coach into reality.

And so a team of managers and image trainers flew to Japan from Texas, Illinois, and Georgia to transform 30 Japanese recruits and 10 Tokyo-dwelling foreigners, including me, into American-style Hooters girls. I'd lobbed my résumé into a pile of nearly 400 reported applicants. After a brief interview (where I was asked, of all things, my shoe size), I was invited to attend to a weeklong Hooters boot camp. The good news came via e-mail that instructed me to wear a flesh-colored bra and thong underwear and promised, "everything else you need to know about the Hooters Girl image will be taught during training."

As we filed into the restaurant's newly constructed storefront on a Sunday morning in October, two executive Hooters girls greeted us at the door. They were glorious—professional waitresses, with perfect makeup and prom hair, who moved in their short-shorts and tanks without a trace of self-consciousness. We newbies, by comparison, were dressed in conservative layers. Many of the recruits were college students, making me, at 28, one of the oldest in the room. Sitting in groups, the girls traded cell-phone information, marveled at the advertised pay (1,500 yen, or around $18 an hour), and giggled nervously about the framed photos on the walls, which featured buxom blondes hoisting their chests over celebrities like Bill Gates.

"This is your bible," a blonde trainer from Lawrenceville, Ga., said as training commenced, holding up a pamphlet called "Hooters Girl Image: Get the Look." The cover featured a well-built brunette hoisting a hula hoop. The trainer flipped to the hygiene section and intoned, "You need to shower every day." For a Japanese audience, who use the same word for beautiful and clean, this edict was so obvious as to be puzzling.

Harder to impart was the delicate line between tongue-in-cheek titillation and overt sleaze. "This is correct," the blond trainer said, posing a foot from a countertop-level table with barstool seating while miming virtuous order-taking. "This is not." She leaned forward 90 degrees and performed a chest plant on the table while two male managers played the roles of customers getting an eyeful. Also, she said, "You don't touch customers, and they don't touch you."

"What if a customer wants to shake hands?" one girl asked.

After three days of training, we were deemed ready for uniforms. No one asked for sizing information; shorts and tanks in size XXS were distributed to all. We retreated to the bathrooms to wrestle ourselves into suntan-colored pantyhose and elastic tanks—assuring one another the look was cute, or kawaii—and lined up in front of the trainers. They inspected us for uncovered tattoos, forbidden nail jewelry, and proper shorts length.(As the trainer said, showing us do and don't photos from the Hooters Bible, Page 9: Shorts should never reveal any posterior cheek. They should just come very, very close.)

Our trainers never mentioned that Hooters is a frat-house term for breasts, and I didn't hear any of the Japanese recruits ask for a translation. Instead, they understood the restaurant to be "cheergirl" or cheerleader themed. This may be a tiptoe around vulgarity, but it's also an easier cultural fit: Themed dress-up, or cosplay, has a solid place in the Japanese sexual imagination that ogling big breasts does not. In her 2006 book Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics, anthropologist Laura Miller points out that in traditional Japanese shunga (erotic artwork) the breasts aren't treated as erotic zones and get little to no action. Japanese even has a derogatory term, hatomune desshiri, or "pigeon's chest," for a person whose chest sticks out too much, disturbing the kimono's pillar shape.

Branding Hooters as a themed dress-up restaurant also works in Japan because of the prevalence of a close equivalent. In Tokyo's famous gadget district, Akihabara, young women stand on the street dressed as French maids, entreating customers into cafes. Inside, male visitors, mostly of the otaku or comic-book-loving type, are called "master." Their maid waitresses doodle ketchup hearts on their eggs and sometimes cut up their food for them.

In Akihabara, certain maids have come to enjoy quasi-celebrity status, with devoted fans returning to the same cafe week after week. One girl I met viewed being a Hooters Girl as the path to stardom. She imagined moving on to become one of the peace sign-flashing idols who populate variety shows and Japanese pop charts. (Japan's hottest group of idols, a 48-girl teenage pop army called AKB-48, dance in spiced-up schoolgirl uniforms.) Next year, a Japanese server from the new Tokyo restaurant will be chosen to compete in the Miss Hooters International beauty pageant.

When Tokyo Hooters finally launched at the end of October, an entirely male line of customers waited outside for hours before the 5 p.m. opening. As they filed inside one by one (after a ribbon cutting presided over by Miss Hooters International, LeAngela Davis), we lined up and cheered them to their tables. The inaugural customers weren't backslapping, beer-guzzling foreigners, or even raucous office workers out for a laugh. They were exceedingly polite young men, some of whom blushed at the big welcome. Many had an endearingly nerdy familiarity with the restaurant. "We've been waiting," a spectacled Japanese man told me in English, then unrolled a signed Hooters T-shirt he'd taken around the world and asked if I'd add my autograph.

Since the first day of training, we girls had undergone a transformation. We were blushed and powdered and lip-glossed, with newly applied eyelash and hair extensions. We were even walking differently—shoulders back, chest out, like our trainers. "YMCA" blared over the store's stereo, and the girls on either side of me stopped their conversation and sang with both rehearsed American pronunciation and gusto.

During training, the managers had talked about banning photos in Tokyo Hooters. (Most maid cafes don't allow them.) But none of the girls protested as the first wave of customers took out their cell-phone cameras to document goofy rituals like the "Cotton-Eyed Joe" country line dance, the birthday cheer, and the "first time at Hooters" chant, during which customers are told to stand up, hold a menu in each hand, and flap their arms like chickens.

The restaurant stayed full all evening. The average tab was beer-heavy and came to tens of thousands of yen. Outside, a crowd peered through the store's floor-to-ceiling windows, hoping to sneak in before closing. Toward the end of the night, a gentleman in a suit who'd spent most of the night staring at the screen of his handheld Nintendo DS at a table near my station beckoned me over. Would I mind taking a picture with his girlfriend? I agreed and asked if she would be coming soon. He turned around the screen of his device to show an animated computer image constructed through a dating simulation game, Love Plus.

His girlfriend's name was Nene, my customer explained. She'd like to meet a real Hooters girl. On the screen, an animated brunette wearing a modest yellow diner-waitress uniform, with a high collar and ¾ sleeves, blinked back at me expectantly. I struck a pose and said cheezu.

Click here to see a slide show about Hooters in Japan.

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Hooters  Japanse-breasts  breasts  Laura-Miller 
august 2018 by thegrandnarrative
Emma Watson's Boobs Prove Why We Still Need Feminism | HuffPost
In her latest interview with Vanity Fair, Emma Watson revealed a lot more than she probably intended.

No, I’m not talking about her revelation that she refuses to take selfies, nor am I even talking about the infamous ‘underboob’ featured in the cover story that has seemingly overtaken the discussion of Trump’s latest tweet (a welcome tangent, might I add). I am talking about the fact that Emma Watson has revealed that our culture cannot handle a woman who is both “sexual AND serious,” to quote Naomi Wolf.

In one simple photo, Watson has inadvertently bared a troubling truth that our society still, in 2017, cannot fathom the possibility that women can both express themselves sexually AND express a desire for equality, simultaneously. It appears as though flaunting one’s figure and a feminist agenda are mutually exclusive.

Throughout her career, Watson has been a champion for women’s rights. From her appointment as a UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, to her HeForShe campaign that inspires men and boys to be agents of change in reducing the gender gap, to her feminist book that inspires members to read and educate themselves about female equality, Emma Watson has been a beacon for change when it comes to feminism.

Yet with one photograph, she has allegedly been stripped (no pun intended) of recognition for her leadership towards equality and of her title as a feminist.

After the cover story made its rounds on the internet, many took the productive and always-amicable route of airing their grievances with Watson on Twitter, claiming this photo undermined her fight to diminish the gender wage gap and that she was being hypocritical by baring her body while still touting notions of female equality. The most egregious of the claims against Watson in the aftermath of this photo, though, is that she is a “bad feminist.”

This accusation is the most offensive because it is rooted in a complete and utter misunderstanding of feminism and its core values. The fight towards gender equality is contingent on women having a CHOICE. The choice to enter the workforce or stay at home. The choice to have children or use contraception. The choice to dress how we please or the choice to bare it all.

The choices we make as women do not undermine our loyalty to equality for our gender, but rather support it, nay embolden it. Intrinsic in anyone’s feminist agenda should lie the power of choice and the power to be multi-dimensional human beings of society. Women can be smart and sexual and sassy and sophisticated and still want to make the same amount of money as their male counterparts, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Maybe we’re just expert multi-taskers or maybe we are just sick and tired of being put in a box that continuously deprives us of our humanity.

One expression of self does not detract from the other. Our messages and means of expression all work in concert to create the multi-faceted, multi- layered, and multi-talented badasses that we, as women, are and will continue to be.

Follow Hannah Cranston on Instagram and Twitter.
breasts  nipples  free-the-nipple  female-sexuality  slut-shaming 
july 2018 by thegrandnarrative
Why did humans evolve big penises but small testicles?
Male gorilla are also much larger than females, but they have a polygynous or harem-style mating system where many females live with a single male. With little or no competition actually inside the uterus, gorillas have had no need for a testicular arms race to facilitate the production of more and more sperm. Their testes, therefore, are relatively small. This is similar to modern humans, whose testes are also of very modest size and produce a relatively small amount of sperm. In fact human sperm count reduces by more than 80% if men ejaculate more than about two times a day.

The human penis is large when compared with those of our closest relatives: chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. However, primatologist Alan Dixson in his wonderfully detailed book, Primate Sexuality, suggests that if we look at all primates, including monkeys, this is just wishful thinking.

Comparative measurements show the human penis is not exceptionally long. The Hamadryas baboon, for instance, a native of the Horn of Africa, has an erect penis that is five and half inches long – slightly shorter than an average human male, but they weigh only a third of our weight.

The human penis is in fact extremely dull – it does not have lumps, ridges, flanges, kinks or any other exciting feature that other primates have. In primates, this lack of penis complexity is usually found in monogamous species.

Monogamy mystery

This observation clashes with the fact that men are significantly larger than women. This suggests our evolutionary background involved a significant degree of polygynous, rather than exclusively monogamous, mating. This is supported by anthropological data showing that most modern human populations engage in polygynous marriage. Anthropologists Clellan Ford and Frank Beach in their book Patterns of Sexual Behaviour suggested that 84% of the 185 human cultures they had data on engaged in polygyny.

However, even in these societies most people remain monogamous. Polygynous marriages are usually a privilege reserved only for high status or wealthy men. It is worth noting that hunter-gathers around the world practice only monogamy or serial-monogamy which suggests that our ancestors may have used this mating system.

At first sight, however, it would seem sensible for males to reproduce with as many females as possible. Human monogamy has long puzzled anthropologists, and lots of effort has gone in to working out what keeps males hanging around.

Three main theories have been put forward. First is the need for long-term parental care and teaching, as our children take a long time to mature. Second, males need to guard their female from other males. Third, our children are vulnerable for a long time and infanticide could be a risk from other males. So to ensure that children are able to reach maturity the male is likely to stay to protect them, both socially and physically. This may be why males have maintained their larger relative size.

If we view the evolution of monogamy mating systems in humans through the lens of human society it is clear that it takes a huge amount of social effort to maintain and protect more than one mate at a time. It is only when males have access to additional resources and power that they can protect multiple females, usually by ensuring other males protect them. So monogamy seems to be an adaptation to protect one’s mate and children from other males. This monogamy is reinforced by the high social cost and stress of attempting to do this for multiple partners, and it has become supported by cultural norms.

So when living in complex human societies the largest and most important sexual organ is the brain. Somewhere in our evolutionary past how smart and social we are became the major control on our access to sexual partners – not how big or fancy a male’s penis is.
testicles  penis-size  evolution  human-sexuality  mating  breasts  monogamy 
july 2018 by thegrandnarrative

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