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#1
Old 04-02-2006, 07:25 PM
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Why are tribal women so, ummm, "floppy"?

I was watching an interesting series on the Travel Channel today that profiled "a day in the life of" a tribal village. All of the women were topless and had the typical National Geographic profile. I'm curious why this occurs? Would Western women look this way if they never consumed hormone-laden meat and dairy products and went sans bra too?
#2
Old 04-02-2006, 07:26 PM
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It's mostly the sans bra part.
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Old 04-02-2006, 07:33 PM
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Another interesting thing was how the men dressed. The scrotum was fully exposed, but their penis was stuffed into a tube made of leaves. The other end of the tube was fastened to a piece of cloth around their waist. A village full of men walking around stark naked, except for a loop below their waist. Odd sight.
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Old 04-02-2006, 07:37 PM
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Was this about Papua New Guinea, by any chance?

I have to wonder if you took a random sample of mature, western women if they wouldn't be "floppy", too. I've seen plenty of NG documentaries where the younger women were quite "perky".

Garvity is no one's friend as we age.
#5
Old 04-02-2006, 07:46 PM
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I'm surprised no one's mentioned BABIES. They really suck at this sort of thing.
#6
Old 04-02-2006, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baffle
It's mostly the sans bra part.
Cite? Seriously.
#7
Old 04-02-2006, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
Was this about Papua New Guinea, by any chance?
Bunlap Village, Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.
#8
Old 04-02-2006, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beware of Doug
I'm surprised no one's mentioned BABIES. They really suck at this sort of thing.
Terrible. Just terrible.
#9
Old 04-02-2006, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortBus
Bunlap Village, Pentecost Island, Vanuatu.
Yeah, I was just watching that too. Fascinating stuff. I think some of the villagers were actually speaking a pidgin English.

There were some smaller breasted women that weren't as floppy, I figure they probalby weren't as old. The tribe as a whole was fairly lean (I only noticed one somewhat chunky woman) so maybe the floppiness comes from a lack of fat to "fill out" the breasts. Many large breasted American women tend to on the heavier side. Plus, there may be plenty of floppy breasted Western women but you wouldn't notice it becasue they wear supportive bras. I've noticed some of the women on the plastic surgery shows going in for breast augmentation are fairly floppy in the "before" shots.
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Old 04-02-2006, 11:25 PM
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SamClem I don't have a specific website but here's some information that should get everyone off to a good start.

I'd have to agree with baffle and say it is (unfortunately) the result of having gone braless their entire lives, which hastens a phenomenon known as "Cooper's droop". Eventually, all women succumb to this but going braless just helps gravity have its way.
Anyway, the affliction gets its name from the suspensory ligaments of Cooper, named after Sir Astley Paston Cooper (1768-1841) a British anatomist.
#11
Old 04-02-2006, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
Cite? Seriously.
Tons of 'em. Google on "Cooper's Droop".

In a nutshell, the Cooper's ligaments tear and stretch over time, leading to sagging. Wearing a bra forestalls this.
#12
Old 04-02-2006, 11:41 PM
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There must be some selection effect as well. In Western culture, women with sagging breasts tend not to display them prominently.
#13
Old 04-03-2006, 01:11 PM
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Going bra-less probably speeds up the process, but the major culprit is most likely breastfeeding. Breasts enlarge during pregnancy and breastfeeding to be able to supply milk; once that stimulus/ need is gone, the glandular breast shrinks but the skin stays stretched out. Some women are luckier than others in this respect, though.
#14
Old 04-03-2006, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by serious lark
Going bra-less probably speeds up the process, but the major culprit is most likely breastfeeding. Breasts enlarge during pregnancy and breastfeeding to be able to supply milk; once that stimulus/ need is gone, the glandular breast shrinks but the skin stays stretched out. Some women are luckier than others in this respect, though.
Not to mention that most Western women breastfeed for 12-18 months (max), while some tribal women breastfeed until the child is 3-4 years old.
#15
Old 04-03-2006, 02:13 PM
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In Africa at least, I think part of the issue is the way women carry their babies -- on their back, held on with a sheet of cloth that's wrapped around their chest -- think of the way Western women wear bath towels -- and also tied at the waist. So women have the weight of the baby essentially compressing their breasts. With a high birth rate, this means lots of compression over the years.
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