Editor’s note: “Again with the clickbait.” I know, I know.

I don’t know when “sideboob” became a thing or when people started calling it “sideboob.” All I know is that in the past few years, this became everybody’s go-to phrase to describe the phenomenon of seeing sides of breasts in addition to the upper area.

But what I love is the implications this has for censorship, and I’d be curious to do a little TV experiment to just see how much sideboob it is possible to get away with on the air without people complaining. And I’m not talking about those family groups trolling the airwaves for something to be outraged about, they’re a special case. No, I mean how much sideboob it would take before the FCC jumped in and said, “Okay, really, this is too far.”

First off, we know we can’t have any part of the nipple showing, that sets them right off. So what percentage of one half of one breast is acceptable before the FCC gets to fine someone? Just a third of the way in? Just the edges? What about the translucent factor? How much can be visible before someone gets in trouble?

I’m only asking because our standards for sexual censorship are so much more obsessive and meticulous than our standards for censoring violent material. Hollywood loves pushing the boundaries for both, that’s why movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre exist, and why Jaimie Alexander was wearing this at the Thor 2 premiere. But somewhere along the way, we became so tightly wound about human sexuality that just the mere presence of skin at an awards show inspires so much “OMG celeb skin!” and it carries into the next-day conversation as if it was the key takeaway from a night of glamour, extravagance, and self-congratulation.

That being said, I don’t know who woke up one day and thought, “Hmm, men seem to be attracted to these women wearing dresses that leave the tops of their breasts exposed, but what if we showed off the sides instead?” I’m afraid to look up whether “underboob” is a thing too.

It’s thoughts like these that make me question my sanity.


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