This article originally appeared on VICE UK
Rita Ora is in hot water this week for wearing a blazer without a modesty dickie to keep her (it must be said) truly banging chest away from the delicate eyes of BBC viewers.
More than 400 people have complained to the broadcaster since her appearance on The One Show, with 28 more going as far as complaining to Ofcom, the UK regulatory agency. Many of the comments on BBC message boards take a "won't somebody think of the children?!?" stance, as though a bit of (lovely) cleavage at 7 PM on a Monday evening is going to blind their sensitive offspring who are just trying to pray their god damn way through dinner in peace.
While the BBC initially issued a statement saying that The One Show allows guests to select their own attire, politely suggesting that it's fairly normal for a young pop star to dress in something more "glamorous or striking" than the average show guest, they have since apologized, saying, "We're sorry to those of you who were offended by Rita Ora's choice of outfit on yesterday's show. If we had been consulted on it we would have requested she wore something more suitable for 7 PM."
I realize 424 complaints is not, in the grand scheme of things, that many complaints. But do we reallyneed Ofcom looking into a singular instance of "perhaps more breasts than some think necessary"?
It feels impossible to know what amount of breast exposure might be considered television appropriate and at what hour. What's a female potential television guest to do? Should you be displaying no cleavage ( The One Show), moderate cleavage (Take Me Out), or going fully topless, asking someone to lance an angry cyst on the underside of your left breast (Embarrassing Bodies)?
Here are some helpful tips if you find yourself in a situation—televised or otherwise—where you think you might wind up on the receiving end of a cleavage complaint.
TURN YOUR OUTFIT AROUND—LITERALLY
The only way to combat backwards attitudes is with a backwards suit. Rita Ora could have saved herself a lot of trouble if she'd simply turned her entire jacket around, a la Celine Dion's 1999 Academy Awards reverse-business look. (Jaunty hat optional, but recommended.)
BE SIMON COWELL
"Do you think today we might try a slightly less tight—no, you're absolutely right. This one fits fine. It's great. Really, you're going to leave all those buttons? You don't even want to do up one or two? Fair enough. Of course. Yes, you absolutely could pass for 40, the other wardrobe assistants and I were just saying so. Great to work with you Mr. Cowell, as always."
CARRY A FAKE BABY EVERYWHERE AND PRETEND TO BREASTFEED IT WHEN CONFRONTED
NB: This does not work particularly well at clubs or bars—the spiritual home of cleavage—but should get you a few minutes of me-time in those mom-friendly cafés around Stoke Newington.
BE RUSSELL BRAND
Second in line to the confusingly deep V-neck throne after Cowell, Brand's been freely airing his creamy, fuzzy chest reservoir for years without complaint.
DO SOMETHING REALLY, REALLY WEIRD WITH YOUR FACE
No one's going to be writing to the BBC about your tits when you've got a partial Drake lyric tattooed on your forehead, or, you know, teardrops hammered into your face with printer ink. "I got the font too big for all of it, so it just says YOL, but I think it's actually a lot deeper that way," you can tell Matt Baker. He'll get ya.
REBRAND YOUR BREASTS
Take a big ol' PR swing at misogyny by flip-reversing the script on getting your norks out. I feel like someone already got the ball rolling for us with "sweater puppies," but if that's not working consider "modesty spheres," "health orbs," or "a part of my body like any other part of my body, Jesus fucking Christ calm down."
BE JUDE LAW
Honestly, what is that guy's deal? Why didn't anyone call the police?
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