Rude question about Meghan McCain’s boobs

Friday, October 16th, 2009 · 39 Comments »

This is excellent. Jill has just posted a sublime feminist analysis of the Meghan McCain Boobage Contretemps, which I urge you to read before proceeding any further into the noxious bowels of this post: Ways In Which the Internet Sucks.

Meghan McCain's twitpic.

Meghan McCain's twitpic.

Okay, all done? Ready for the noxious bowels? Great. Having covered-by-proxy the feminist bases, I’m now going to indulge my curiosity and ask the group at large (including everyone in Finlandhei, ystävyys kotona Suomi!) the thing I’ve been wondering ever since I saw Meghan’s picture: what’s up with her boobs? I’m not criticizing or attacking or snarking; I’m just trying to figure out what the deal is. Are those implants? The shadowing is very weird.

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39 Responses to “Rude question about Meghan McCain’s boobs”

  1. Adrienne in CA says:

    They look like they’ve been implanted in her clavicle.


  2. yttik says:

    Poor Gal, she probably didn’t realize the horror people feel when exposed to the upper part of a woman’s breast. Good thing she didn’t expose the bottom half, that’s actually criminal in most states.

    You’re not alone, Violet. I was puzzled, too, that just looks unnatural. I suspect it’s just the camera angle. It looks like she was leaning over the camera and what is closest to the lens gets bigger and more distorted.

  3. LabRat says:

    I think yttik has it right and she’s probably leaning down and over. Could be one of the more aggressive pushup/balcony/corset style bras, but that wouldn’t be terribly in character for Meghan and isn’t as simple an explanation.

    No implants I’ve ever seen, no matter how hugemongous, look like that- but I can get the same effect by leaning straight over.

  4. DancesWithPumas says:

    Agree, it’s foreshortening due to the position of the camera relative to the subject.

  5. bygones says:

    Question: What would possess someone to take a camera and snap a photo of their breasts then send the pic out all over the blogosphere? I mean, what is the point? Am I missing something here or what?

    Not sure what message this is supposed to convey. Is it for the titillation of the male audience, the envy of the females, the fact that both fit into the picture or what? Guess I must be behind the times these days since her action makes absolutely no sense at all to me. But I suppose I must be way behind the times in the case being made for “female empowerment” but as I said, I just don’t get it.

  6. Violet says:

    Question: What would possess someone to take a camera and snap a photo of their breasts then send the pic out all over the blogosphere?

    Actually, she snapped a photo of herself.

    You might want to read the post by Jill that I linked to.

  7. later says:

    I agree, the weirdness is due to a funky camera angle and lens distortion.

    As for why she took the picture, it seems like a fairly standard “look I have a new book!” picture people post online all the time.

  8. Jeff says:

    An innocuous “Hey look, Warhol glam.” moment.

    Built-in camera in a MacBook, Photo Booth software (reverse, and always very strange distortions). Table lamp to the right of computer with shadow being cast by book. Recessed light over left shoulder, reflected in computer screen to her forehead.

    The upper corner of the book gives a shadow line on her breasts that makes it look like rolls from implants.

    Important because…

    Mysteries of Don Rickles, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar & Meghan McCain Breasts Solved

    Amazing. My border collie has a better attention span than the MSM.

  9. SYD says:

    Thank you for alerting me to the fact that Meghan tweets. I am a fan of hers, ever since she came out in defense of gay marriage. The girls got balls, as well as boobs!

    I will now subscribe to her tweets.

    Ahhhh… she looks about like my daughter does about now. Experimenting with her sexuality. On her own terms. I’m cool with that.

    OK. I’ll fess up and give a professional opinion. I am, after all, a bit of a boob expert. Having been a lactation consultant for some years in my “real working” life. Doesn’t look like implants to me. I don’t think she needs ‘em. She is amply endowed and probably made a visit to Victoria’s Secret this week. (Alas, my own engineering student daughter goes there for fun too. I know… cuz she asks for gift certificates from the place….)

    Just want to say one more thing…..

    Go Meghan! If and when you are ever breastfeeding your own children… I hope you will be bold enough to put a photo of that on your Twitter as well!


  10. Alison says:

    She has big boobs, big deal. My friends who have really big boobs are forever trying to hide them in oversized shirts which make them look like they weigh 40 extra pounds. God forbid the girl should wear a tank top.

    God raise us Westerners to worship and fear the really big boobs!

  11. purplefinn says:

    Great link and great post, Violet. The comments are wonderful too. I agree with the commenter who noted that exposing as much breast as is legal seems a prerequisite for female celebrities. Damned if you do…..

  12. Unree says:

    Not that I need to know why, but the photo of McCain on this site is reversed/mirrored and on Jill’s it’s unreversed/unmirrored.

  13. yttik says:

    Don’t Call Me a Slut

    Don’t miss her response, it’s good.

  14. Alessandro Machi says:

    I tried to post on that topic and my posts never showed up.

    If they are real, then it is what it is and they are what they are and I would have rather not known about it since I am not a “follower” of hers.

    If they are implants AND she was wearing lingerie designed to make them even more prominent, then I think it’s somewhat a tacky picture.

    My analogy would be if a guy had augmentation to get washboard abs and then twittered a picture of that. It just seems wrong on some level to publicize something that requires surgery to achieve, UNLESS you just go for it and make it an actual advertisement for the product or service.

    On the other hand, to turn the photo into a blatant ad would have been criticized as well.

    What if everybody on her twitter list had agreed not to rebroadcast the picture elsewhere? That might have been the best scenario of all.

  15. datechguy says:

    Your post gives me the perfect excuse for my Sarah Palin story that I’ve been avoiding.

    However I can’t tell that story without my Passion of the Christ story…so here goes…

    My mother is VERY Catholic. When the Passion of the Christ came out I took her to the first showing, as we sat down, a man with a seeing eye dog sat in front of us. Considering the movie was in Aramaic and Latin that was rather odd, but anyway…

    …when the movie was over everyone left very somberly. I asked my mother what she thought, she said she was VERY impressed…

    …she couldn’t believe the dog had sat quiet through the entire movie. When ever the subject of the movie she talks about the dog, she still can’t get over it.

    Last year my son and I went to a Sarah Palin Rally in NH. She was really impressive and authentic. At the end she was signing autographs (both my son and I failed to get one) as the crowd thinned I saw her from the waist down for the first time…

    …and I still shake my head. I’m from a big Italian family, I went to a Catholic school I have known and do know more women with 5 kids or more than most people these days.

    Her hips are the wrong shape. When you’ve had 5 kids your hips have a particular shape, her’s are wrong, they just don’t fit the paradigm. It still makes me shake my head. It’s like Babe Ruth’s legs; they make her look weird. They’re just all wrong!

    I think Sarah Palin is awesome, I would support her as a national candidate over any other candidate. No pol has ever matched my positions as close or impressed me more…

    …just don’t get me started on her hips. I’m my mother’s son.

  16. Lori says:

    Alright, so hubby did photographic analysis for the city of Manhattan for many years. He says that she probably does have on a push up bra but that the light at the bottom of the picture lands on her breasts, while simultaneously casting a dark shadow on the top of her chest and recessing her upper chest and neck. Look at the highlighting on her hair. That makes her breasts look far more prominent than they would if she was lit in a more professional and balanced fashion.

    Make up artists, when they want to make an actress’s breasts look bigger than they are, fill in the cleavage with a shadow and can extend that shadow to their chest and neck. In this photo, the light is accidentally causing the same effect.

    As for the rightwing brou-haha, my husband just said, “someone needs to point out that elephants produce infinitely more shit than donkeys.”

  17. Sis says:

    “experimenting with her sexuality”? That’s not her sexuality. That’s menz sexuality being worked there. The patriarchy has convinced women that performing is their sexuality.

  18. octogalore says:

    It feels awkward to me speculating about MMcC’s breasts. While certainly no act of flaunting sexuality can be isolated from the patriarchy, query whether there’s anything really wrong with a busty (pics of McC from her teens demonstrate that she has always been well endowed)– or non-busty as the case may be — woman having fun showing off her body. Especially in the case of a woman of non-Hollywood-acceptable-weight.

    As McC points out, Congressmen Schock and Flake have posed for beefcake shots, and these are guys with “serious” jobs. McC is in her mid-20s. Most of us have done goofy things at that age, of one sort or another. Speculating about her body looking odd seems to me to be getting close to shaming her for something quite innocent.

  19. cellocat says:

    Cameras and lighting can do funny things to how one’s body appears in photos. And large breasts can shift around quite a bit depending on angle of body and camera.

    I think that this focus on Meghan’s breasts, despite innocuous motives, is not ideal. As a woman with quite a large chest I can say that sometimes it seems like I’m living in a constant spotlight. I have been harrassed and hollered at on the street, stared at, etc. I had a male manager reach over and button the top button of my shirt once. In order to hide my breasts irl or in photos that are a normal part of real life, I’d have to wear only a small subset of clothing, and be radically uncomfortable in the summer. I am f-ing sick and tired of feeling, processing, and trying to let go of the shame I feel on some level when I see a pic of myself in which cleavage or the upper part of my breast is visible.

    On the other hand, breastfeeding has been fantastic, and I have loved experiencing my breasts in this context, so natural and so practical.

  20. Violet says:

    Not that I need to know why, but the photo of McCain on this site is reversed/mirrored and on Jill’s it’s unreversed/unmirrored.

    I grabbed the original twitpic (I think), which is reversed/mirrored.

    I think that this focus on Meghan’s breasts, despite innocuous motives, is not ideal.

    I understand that, but I was just curious because I couldn’t make sense of the picture. Things like that drive me nuts — pictures where the shadowing or lighting or something is so strange that you can’t figure out what’s going on. And since we’re all friends and Finns here, it seemed like an appropriate place to ask other people if they could interpret the image.

  21. Violet says:

    Also: the reason I asked about implants is because I was reminded of the extraordinarily weird boobage pictures of celebrities with implants. God knows how anyone can find that attractive, but whatever. But with implants you get that kind of natural shadow from the crease of the body, plus the extra shadow from the implant (which doesn’t match the natural crease), plus strange valleys and depressions — just weird.

  22. Cyn says:

    Quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

  23. yttik says:

    “Congressmen Schock and Flake have posed for beefcake shots…”

    Hmmm, as long as we’re asking rude questions, Schock’s photos do seem to go way over board in the proving my heterosexuality dept. The last one I saw had him posing sexily in a lounge chair, with some token boobs framing his head.

  24. Alessandro Machi says:

    Andy Warhol spelled backwards (minus the l ) is “oh raw, y dna”.

  25. Sis says:

    It’s token fluffed up dangley bits that would be the male analogy to the shot at the top of the post.

    By the way, I will throw in a guess no one else has. I have breasts. And have worked as a photog, and I say, she’s pushing them up not only with a too-tight and balcony style push-up bra, but also with her free arm. She’s workin’ it.

  26. Violet says:

    Sis, perhaps I’m misconstruing your intent, but I’m getting a whiff of judgmentalism from your comment that is making me squirmy.

  27. Myytinmurtaja says:

    Sorry, I can’t help. We have nothing like this in Finland. Never has there been anything like this in Finland.

    Could it be that she’s wearing a corset? Sort of like this.

    (Plus: Why did I think that rashly googling “corset cleavage” was a good idea?)

  28. Violet says:

    Yes, but that wouldn’t explain the uppermost sharp dark line, the one high up on the right side (as we look at the picture) that curves down into her hair. See? That’s the line that baffles me. The cleavage on its own is understandable visually, but that uppermost dark line doesn’t match the rest of her.

    I guess it’s what a couple of people have suggested — a shadow being thrown by some other object.

    By the way, when I was an actor I did a number of shows in corsets — 17th century corsets are the worst, bar none; you simply pray for death. And I’ve painted my cleavage to accentuate it onstage for Restoration comedies, etc. But I’m not large-busted, so I’ve never seen this particular shadow situation on myself.

  29. Violet says:

    By the way, I feel compelled to note that my interest here is not in Meghan’s breasts, nor do I wish to add to the unseemly attention to the woman’s body. This is just me on my “what the fuck is that picture?” neurotic thing. Longtime readers may recall that in the past we’ve done this with a screen cap from South Park and an incredibly mysterious photo that eventually turned out to be glazed donuts. What can I say.

  30. monchichipox says:

    Ahhhh the fascination with the milk bags never stops. But she is getting a lot of publicity for her new book isn’t she? If I were her I would have posed for the picture again wearing only pasties and then watching my ranking on Amazon rise. Not that there is anything wrong with it but I feel she knew exactly how she was posing and exactly what the results would be. In fact if it were me I’d start a new twitter account and my name would be titmonster

  31. Myytinmurtaja says:

    It is a strange line. Make-up? A photo-retouching mistake? Like when you edit a picture in the plain old Paint program and accidentally draw a black line on it.

  32. Sis says:

    I posted, and forgot my e-mail address. When hit the back arrow it disappeared.

    This only happens here as far as blogs I post to. Is there some way that can be fixed.

    I will answer you, but right now, I’m sick.

  33. anniethena says:

    Violet, I hope you don’t mind if I post something a little OT here. It does involve cleavage but I want to share something about Halloween costumes ( wasn’t it this site that posted about the the pornification of Halloween? – might have been Shakesville but I know you’ll , love this).
    I was shopping today with my daughter and her friend (both 11 y.o.). They wanted to check out the Halloween masks – I looked briefly at the complete-costumes-in-a-bag. The men’s kits all had young, good-looking models but they were all fully-dressed, often in uniforms : cop, firefigher, marine, etc.
    Of course, the women models were all skimpily dressed, and the word “sexy” found often in the titles. Sexy Nurse? check. yawn.Head Nurse? oh, I see, this one has stripes added to the V-neck lapels – all the better to draw eyes to the cleavage line between the lines. Sexy Lube? a female car mechanic – funny, the men don’t wear jumpers with 1″-hem short cuffs.
    Cleavage and thighs everywhere – then I saw one that just floored me.
    It took me a minute to get it : in Canada there’s an extremely popular donut/coffee chain called Tim Hortons. This costume was called Tim’s Ho . At first glance the model resembled a Victoria’s Secret agent about to embark on a safari – but closer inspection revealed her to be wearing a food service visor and name tag, both emblazened with Tim’s Ho.
    I’m at a loss for words here – just, just ugh

  34. Violet says:

    Sis, the blog is running on the standard WordPress platform, using the built-in commenting function. I haven’t done anything special to it.

    anniethena, I think we were talking about Halloween costumes recently in one of the threads, but I can’t remember where. Actually I started a post on that and had to put it aside. I’ll probably revisit it some time this week.

  35. laterose says:

    that wouldn’t explain the uppermost sharp dark line, the one high up on the right side (as we look at the picture) that curves down into her hair. See? That’s the line that baffles me.

    I believe that shadow is being cast by her head/chin. If she was standing straight up the top part of her chest would be flatter and that line would just go down in a more natural shape. Also the light is from a very high angle making that shadow come down pretty far on her chest. In most lighting scenarios that shadow wouldn’t even make it down farther than the neck. So it’s normally a very small shadow, but in this case, due to lighting and pose, it’s a very large one.

    As for the very dark line along the edge of that shadow; it’s what’s knows as the “core” of the shadow. It’s caused by the shadow around it being lightened by reflected light. Basically it’s darker than the rest of the shadow because it’s in a position where the light reflecting off her hair isn’t hitting it. I hope that makes sense.

  36. laterose says:

    In case that doesn’t make sense, I did some googling. Some images illustrating core shadows can be found a little over half-way down this page:

    If you do a word search for core it’ll take you right to it.

  37. octopod says:

    Man, haven’t any of you ever seen a busty woman lying down on her back with her bra on? They migrate straight up just like that.

  38. Meghan McCain mystery solved! | Reclusive Leftist says:

    [...] off, this post is a direct follow-up to this post and its subsequent comment thread. The issue here is not Meghan McCain or her politics or any of [...]

  39. Gayle says:

    She’s not lying down. She’s just busty.