Pamela, Delia and obsessions with cups

Share
Related Topics
When I look at the cover of the current edition of the Radio Times, I am reminded of something said by a member of the Platters singing group in 1960.

He came to the microphone and said: "OK, now we're going to sing a song from a film in which Jayne Mansfield had a small part ... Well, two small parts, actually."

I remember that joke 36 years later because it pinpoints in my mind the fact that in 1960 it was Jayne Mansfield who was playing the part of the girl with the big bosom. Today it is Pamela Anderson, and she is on the front of the Radio Times for it. For that and nothing else.

You do not have to have actually seen Pamela Anderson. I have never seen Pamela Anderson. But I have heard her being mentioned and talked about and being made the subject of jokes, and I do not need to have seen her.

All you have to do is listen to the tone of voice in which people (they tend to be men) talk about her, to know that she is the one who is playing the part of the girl with the big boobs today.

There is always one.

There only needs to be one.

When I was a young lad, the one on this side of the Atlantic was called Diana Dors. She was famous for having a big bosom. I do not think she was famous for anything else, except a bit of acting, but no one noticed the acting. Her bosom stood out like the figurehead of a sailing vessel, so it did not really matter what the rest of her body was doing.

It might have been acting, it might have been weight-lifting, it might have been riding a unicycle, but what really mattered was the fact that in front of her projected two breasts which attracted people's attention like a lorry's twin headlights in the dark.

When I say "people", I actually mean "men".

Women have always scratched their heads in puzzlement over the way in which the twin attachments that nature has put on their chests to give milk to babies have been turned into sexual objects by men. Still, women have always scratched their heads in puzzlement over almost anything that men do.

When women get together and shake their heads in wonderment over the doings of men, it is almost as if they were talking about children. In fact, that is why women are so good at dealing with children. They have already had a lot of practice when dealing with men ...

The only reason I can think of to explain why women are so puzzled by the male fascination with female breasts is that it seems to be the only part of the body where the feeling is not reciprocated.

Both sexes can admire the other's legs, and bottoms, and eyes, and noses, and mouths, and so on up and down the anatomy. But I have never heard a woman say of a man: "By gum, he's got a lovely pair of nipples." So they must be puzzled to hear such a remark themselves.

And in any age, there is usually one poor woman, or rather one rich woman, who becomes the nation's pin-up.

Once it was Jane Russell.

Once it was Marilyn Monroe.

There was a woman in the Fifties called Mamie van Doren, who was Jayne Mansfield's understudy.

Then there was a woman called Sabrina, who had a bust and nothing else.

Later, everyone's favourite busty blonde was Barbara Windsor ...

And now it is Pamela Anderson. She is on the front of the Radio Times because she has what is now called a cleavage. That is all she has to do to get on the cover of the Radio Times. Have a cleavage.

Well, that is not quite all. You could also cook like Delia Smith, of course. Then you would be featured on the cover of the Radio Times every week. You would also get pages and pages of recipes inside.

(It might be easier if the Radio Times just had Delia Smith recipes, and Delia Smith had her own magazine that just listed TV and radio schedules ...)

But Delia Smith represents the other side of male fantasy, the motherly, capable, no nonsense, sensible, warm, unsexy side of womanhood. Delia Smith is the Vera Lynn of cooking.

Men would be very confused if Delia Smith were sexy.

Men would be very confused if Pamela Anderson could cook up a storm and explain recipes very easily in a best-selling sort of way.

Men are very easily confused.

Poor things. Aren't they sweet?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executives - Outbound & Inbound

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Recruitment Genius: National Account Manager / Key Account Sales

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Political Editor: Mr. Cameron is beginning to earn small victories in Europe

Andrew Grice
Pakistani volunteers carry a student injured in the shootout at a school under attack by Taliban gunmen, at a local hospital in Peshawar  

The Only Way is Ethics: The paper’s readers and users of our website want different things

Will Gore
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'