Sunday, April 1, 2007

Got Nipples?

Visiting a department store in San Francisco reminded me of one of the key differences between the USA and Europe: nipples. Everyone has them, but they're ignored in the USA and celebrated in Europe.

One of the first questions I asked my (European) wife was whether all manikins in Europe have nipples. She thought this question odd, because, (naturally) they all do. Why not?

In the USA I've never seen a manikin with nipples and so I always notice nipples in Europe. This happened again this morning when I looked at The Economist (March 17-23) and there (right on the cover!) was a drawing of a big breasted women (representing the EU at 50) with nipples! Imagine if Time did likewise, the religious right would be apoplectic.

I think we may be able to trace this problem back to the French. If only
Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi - the French sculptor who created the statue - had included nipples, we would not have our nipple hang-up. (Some think Bartholdi used his mother as a model, perhaps including nipples on mom would have even offended Europeans.)

As an aside, it took me a while to find a good photo to be sure that the Statue of Liberty did not, in fact, have nipples. The best photo I found was on flickr which has 1200 photos tagged Statue of Liberty. Many great photos are available on lots of sites.

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