A Brief History of Cleavage

Vogue says cleavage is dead. Let us review its finest moments.

By Alex Lauer

 
A Brief History of Cleavage
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03 November 2016

It is with heavy hearts that we bring you the news that cleavage was officially pronounced dead earlier this week by Vogue. It is survived by bare shoulders, stomachs and legs, according to the December issue of the women’s fashion bible.

Since we’re not in the business of telling ladies which part of their body is out of style this season but we do want to honor the distinguished legacy cleavage leaves behind, we encourage you to join us on a neckline-esque plunge into some of its most defining moments.

Pangea breaks apart
~175 million years ago

The single most monumental cleavage in our planet’s existence.

Homo and Pan sever ties
2.8 million years ago

If it wasn’t for the cleaving of these genera from the tribe of Hominini, we’d still be chimps.

An anonymous Aurignacian makes the Venus of Hohle Fels
38,000 - 33,000 BCE

This carved mammoth tusk — which features a considerable bust — is the oldest undisputed sculpture of a human.

The East-West Schism
1054

The break between the great Christian factions of Europe was going to be called the East-West Cleavage, but of course the Orthodox Church wasn’t having any of that.

The Papal Schism
1378

A 40-year-long fight for the papacy split the Roman Catholic Church into factions. Now that, my friends, is election fatigue.

Botticelli leaves it up to the imagination with Primavera
1482

The Renaissance was a high point for gods and goddesses frolicking in the buff, but painters like Sandro Botticelli adopted the less-is-more strategy.

The U.S. declares independence from Great Britain
1776

Everyone knows the George Washington chopping the cherry tree story is a fabrication. What he cleaved with his hatchet was the United States, from England.

The Republican Party is born
1854

When the Whigs Party split, we got the Republican Party. If the Trump faction breaks off after this election, we might get a new Wig Party.

Jane Russell appears in The Outlaw
1943

Jane Russell is the reason for “cleavage.” The word, that is. The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America coined the term to talk about her breasts, for which director Howard Hughes created a custom push-up bra.

Sophia Loren side-eyes Jayne Mansfield
1957

In Loren’s own words, from Entertainment Weekly, “I’m staring at her nipples because I am afraid they are about to come onto my plate.” Also: first photographic evidence of side-eye.

The Beatles part ways
1970

Paul McCartney’s public announcement of the split followed years of smaller cracks. His massive stadium concerts to this day show we’re still dealing with this one as a species.

Michael Jackson leaves the Jackson Five
1979

Without cleavage, the King of Pop would have simply remained the youngest member of the Royal Family of Pop.

Pamela Anderson stars in Baywatch
1992-1997

You say cleavage, the world thinks Pam Anderson in a red swimsuit.

No one remembers the Grammys because of J. Lo
2000

You can thank Jennifer Lopez and her green Versace dress for creating Google Images.

Hillary Clinton introduces it to Congress
2007

Hillary Clinton had to wait until 2016 to become the first female candidate for president of a major U.S. political party. But leading up to her bid in 2008, she became the first to teach the U.S. that cleavage and Congress are not mutually exclusive.

Beyoncé decides to leave Destiny’s Child, become Independent Woman
2005

There are classic songs on every album Destiny’s Child released (even the Christmas one), but without leaving the group, Beyoncé wouldn’t have been able to release six classic albums in a row. We’re open to a DC reunion, but not an uncleaving.

Kate Upton arrives
2010 - Now

Her Twitter. That GQ cover. That Sports Illustrated cover. Even that weird Game of War Super Bowl ad.

With the fashion industry finally accepting women of all bust sizes, you’d think cleavage would be permanently in style. But Vogue says it’s dead.

So go ahead, take the day off to mourn.

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