Created By: abramlincoln on January 4, 2013 Last Edited By: abramlincoln on January 4, 2013

Meet Jane, Who Has Breasts

A female character is introduced. Here are her measurements

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Trope
Tendency for the narrator or author to describe or point out a female character's assets immediately upon introduction, typically during a physical description. Occurs more in contemporary fiction.

Examples:

-Jack Kerouac's On the Road, when Sal meets Terry:

"I had bought my ticket and was waiting for the LA bus when all of a sudden I saw the cutest little Mexican girl in slacks come cutting across my sight. She was in one of the buses that had just pulled in with a big sigh of airbrakes; it was discharging passengers for a rest stop. Her breasts stuck out straight and true; her little flanks looked delicious; her hair was long and lustrous black; and her eyes were great big blue things with timidities inside. I wished I was on her bus."

-Albert Camus's The Stranger, when Marie first appears

"It was quite like old times; a lot of young people were in the swimming pool, amongst them Marie Cardona, who used to be a typist at the office. I was rather keen on her in those days, and I fancy she liked me, too. But she was with us so short a time that nothing came of it. While I was helping her to climb on to a raft, I let my hand stray over her breasts."

-Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, when Joe first meets Rosa:

"His short flight through the window had landed him on the floor of the bedroom, and Joe had chosen to draw Rosa Saks the way he'd first seen her, at eye level as he picked himself up from the floor, looking past a carved acorn that crowned the footboard of the bed. She was lying passed out on her belly, her sprawling right leg kicked free of the blankets and leaving exposed rather more than half of a big and fetching tuchis. Her right foot loomed large in the foreground, slender, toes curled. The lines of her bare and of her blanketed leg converged, at the ultimate vanishing point, in a coarse black bramble of shadow. In the distance of the picture, the hollows and long central valley of her back rose to a charcoal Niagara of hair that obscured all but the lower portion of her face, her lips parted, her jaw wide and perhaps a bit heavy. It was a four-by-nine-inch slice cut fresh from Joe's memory but, for all its immediacy, rendered in clean, unhurried lines, with a precision at once anatomical and emotional: you felt Joe's tenderness toward that curled little foot, that hollow back, that open, dreaming mouth drawing a last deep breath of unconsciousness. You wanted her to be able to go on sleeping, as long as you could watch. "You didn't show her boobs!" said Julie."

-Every single girl in Neil Strauss's The Game, justifiably so because it's a book about pick-up artists

-Cormac Mc Carthy's The Road, when the father first remembers his wife:

"In dreams his pale bride came to him out of a green and leafy canopy. Her nipples pipeclayed and her rib bones painted white. She wore a dress of gauze and her dark hair was carried up in combs of ivory, combs of shell. Her smile, her downturned eyes."

Fuck formatting
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • January 4, 2013
    FastEddie
    They also describe their eyes, how they dress, etc. I suppose the point tried for here is about a breast fixation or something, but it doesn't seem supported. Women have breast. They differ, form woman to woman. It is just a physical characteristic.
  • January 4, 2013
    StarSword
    Shonen manga especially has a tendency to list female characters' measurements in the fluff. For example, Busou Renkin does this on the tankoubons' character pages.
  • January 4, 2013
    SharleeD
  • January 4, 2013
    XFllo
    QUOTE Fuck formatting UNQUOTE Troll much?
  • January 4, 2013
    lexicon
    Maybe Breast Fixation could be a trope but the OP doesn't know how to make links let alone a decent description. Support to discard.
  • January 4, 2013
    Xtifr
    I'm not seeing a trope here either. As Sharlee D said, Male Gaze would seem to cover it. The only think I can think of that seems like it might be worth discussing is the fact that using Male Gaze on breasts used to be somewhat taboo, especially in literature (so works from the forties, for example, would be more likely to discuss legs, or "gams"). But that would be more appropriate on the analysis page of Male Gaze than as a separate trope.

    Of course, if we're all agreed, we might want to make sure that some of these examples are on the Male Gaze page before discarding.
  • January 4, 2013
    johnnye
    From the brief I thought you meant using vital statistics as a lazy physical description. That... might be something, if there were a few examples of it. This, at least from the examples you've given, I'm not so sure about.

    The second of those quotes isn't even describing her breasts, it's the narrator saying he felt her up. The third seems to be a deliberate and lampshaded subversion of what you're suggesting -- he gives a long and extremely detailed description, but doesn't mention breasts.

    The other two... I see your point, but they are after all from the POV of someone who finds that person attractive, so it makes sense that they notice their boobs. It's more a matter of telling the reader about the person making the observation, rather than about the person being noticed. If it were the authorial voice introducing a woman and describing her breasts before anything else, that'd be slightly more notable.
  • January 4, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    I can't think of the name but one science-fiction short story introduced the main female character thusly: "A pair of breasts entered the room, followed a fraction of a second later by their owner".
  • January 4, 2013
    lakingsif
    I do believe we could have something with the Breast Fixation idea on how Male Gaze could once not be on breasts, heading towards Ms Fanservice (if they're not the same thing) and Best Known For The Fanservice if the character is basically introduced (not by another character but narrator) as in the comment above. A few times, though, or it is just a different way to saying "Jane walked in" every time it happens.
  • January 4, 2013
    abramlincoln
    @johnnye Every time Marie is introduced he comments on her breasts; subsequently in chapter 4: "She had a very pretty dress, with red and white stripes, and leather sandals, and I couldn’t take my eyes off her. One could see the outline of her firm little breasts, and her sun-tanned face was like a velvety brown flower."

    @X Filo You're the reason why SA hates this site's users.

    If the general consensus is that it's Male Gaze, then just let it die
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