Today, female toplessness is taboo in Western culture, but did you know that until quite recently indeed, showing nip was normal? Not only was it normal, but it was often the height of fashion. Noble women and even queens all sported this particular wardrobe choice. So, when did this begin, and how did it come to be taboo? We find out in this showcase episode from Dead Ideas.
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Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels (depiction of Agnès Sorel) by Jean Fouquet, c.1450 from Wikipedia.
Podcast theme music mixed from “Gregorian Chant”, “Mystery Sax”, and “There It Is” by Kevin MacLeod.
Episode originally aired as “The Topless Renaissance” on Dead Ideas.
Dead Ideas theme song by Rachel Westhoff
Boileu, J. (fl. 1678). A Just and Seasonable Reprehension of Naked Breasts and Shoulders Written by a Grave and Learned Papist. Cooke, E., Trans.
“Historian Reveals Janet Jackson’s ‘Accidental’ Exposing of her Breast was the Height of Fashion in the 1600s.” (Press Release). University of Warwick. Retrieved: Apr 29, 2018, from: https://web.archive.org/web/20040803155530/http:/www.newsandevents.warwick.ac.uk/index.cfm?page=pressrelease&id=1858
McShane, A. (2004, Mar). “Revealing Mary.” History Today, 54(3). Retrieved Apr 29, 2018, from: https://www.historytoday.com/angela-jones/revealing-mary
Randolph, T. (1875). “The Muse’s Looking Glass.” Poetical and Dramatic Works of Thomas Randolph, Vol. 1. P. 240.
Thorpe, V. (2015, Jan. 24). “From Venus to Katie Price: A Brief History of the Breast.” The Guardian. Retrieved Apr 30, 2018, from: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jan/25/beauty-breast-the-sun-female-form