After the great Janet Jackson nip slip that defined the 2004 U.S. Super Bowl, performers everywhere have experienced sleepless nights (I presume) fearing the same "wardrobe malfunction" might one day befall them.
The incident, which many critics saw as more of a publicity stunt and less of an accident, received lots of exposure, mostly negative. Jackson bore the brunt of it while Timberlake's career flourished. One thing it did show us was that a woman's areolas continue to make the public uneasy.
There is still a bizarre sexist double standard when it comes to male and female nipples.
But where do we stand now? We've become used to seeing Miley's side-boob and under-boob, girls' bum cheeks spilling out of denim cut-offs, red carpet low-low-low backs and high-high-high slits – but we are still concerned with some nipple? Is it the last taboo?
The fear of smuggling raisins has seen women klap their boobs way more than they should. Surrender nipple, gaan lê!
But it hasn't always been like this. Broadly.Vice.com notes that in the 1700s exposed nipples were the order of the day. Court ladies were often painted with one exposed breast, and royals like Queen Mary II were spotted walking around with both their breasts out.
"Dressing tables, too, stayed stocked with nipple makeup, in an orange-red carnelian shade", notes the article.
To me, personally, exposed nipples have always - for as long as I can remember - been very French. From their burlesque nipple tassels to their fashion magazines and designers, the French are not shy of the nip.
Sure, I don't think Parisian women actually walk around like Saint Laurent ALWAYS suggests they should..