Believe it or not, this is a fun book… and I am reposting this review, because it was a fun book to read. Also, I discovered it when we lived in Germany the first time. Great if you like boobs! I left my copy in the States, though, because it took up too much of our 5000 pound moving allowance. The review appears here as it was written in 2012.
Picture it. It’s June 2009 and I’m in Munich, Germany with a bunch of American tourists who had come up from Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the day. We pass a bookstore. I cast my eyes to the right and spot an intriguing looking book in the window. There’s a picture of a lovely woman’s torso in a lacy black strapless bra. On the cover, it says The Big Book of Breasts by Dian Hanson. Even though I am a heterosexual woman with an impressive set of breasts of my own, I was halfway tempted to buy that book. But the price was 40 euros and I didn’t feel like paying that much.
Fast forward a few years. I’m on Amazon.com and suddenly remember that book I saw in Germany. I search for it and easily find it, along with several other “body part” books. Only this time, I see that aside from the normal Big Book of Breasts I spotted in Germany, there’s also The Big Book of Breasts 3-D! And the book comes with its very own set of 3-D glasses! Curiosity gets the better of me and I buy it.
An eye-popping cover
The Big Book of Breasts 3-D made an immediate impression on me when I removed it from the Amazon box. The book was shrinkwrapped and the front cover has a grooved plastic layer that makes the brassiered torso look like it’s in 3-D. Opening the cover, I see a vintage looking picture that looks like lots of people from the early 60s wearing 3-D glasses. When I turn to the back cover, I find a pair of cardboard and plastic 3-D glasses neatly tucked into a plastic sleeve. Is it strange that this coffee table book is all about milk producing glands?
Gives new meaning to the term “pop art”…
On page 7, the very minimal text of the introduction begins, written in English, German, and French. The three languages are presented in narrow columns. Photographer Dian Hansen explains the origins of the word breast and the history of 3-D technology. Then she marries the two topics, explaining that the first topless photo was produced in 1839. The breasts were French and not particularly large, but they cleared the way for more daring photos. Hanson writes that nude stereo views soon followed the naked French breasts. The models were mostly Parisian prostitutes and many French men were familiar with the nudes, though they kept them hidden from their families, since such photos were considered pornography.
Bare breasts began appearing in American magazines back in 1925. Most of the photos were billed as artistic photo instruction manuals. Of course, once they began appearing, the nude photos began to appear with openly sexual titles. The nudie pictures prospered until 1933, when Prohibition failed. Once people began drinking legally again, the citizens’ decency leagues started focusing their efforts on suppressing the nude shots, pressing for censorship of the sexy photos.
Though this book is chock full of campy vintage photos of topless women in sexy poses, Dian Hanson’s introduction is surprisingly interesting and educational. However, I sincerely doubt most people who would purchase this big heavy book are after Hanson’s intellectual discussion of how nude photography came about. Nevertheless, as a heterosexual woman with a modicum of artistic curiosity, I thought Hanson’s introduction was very informative and interesting. Dian Hanson was the editor of JUGGS magazine in the 1980s, so she has an intimate view of how this genre of photography evolved. In the 80s, it was unsusual to see a woman with enhanced breasts. Nowadays, of course, it’s a career necessity for a boob model.
Hanson’s introduction runs a full seventeen pages. After that, it’s titty city! From page 25 until the end of the book, it’s nothing but large black and white photos of topless vintage model after model, posing in various sexy positions. The opposite pages have only the model’s name in large, appreciative print.
Really? In 3-D?
Yes, these photos are all in 3-D. Looking at them with the naked eye, you will see subtle red and blue outlines that are not too intrusive. Slip on the cheap 3-D glasses, and you’ll get an eyeful. Though not every 3-D photo is equally successful, there’s plenty of reason to bother with the 3-D glasses, if only because they make the models look like they’re popping off the pages.
Is this book “dirty”?
While I’d definitely describe The Big Book of Breasts 3-D as sexy, I wouldn’t call it dirty or pornographic. Many of the women are photographed in a tasteful, coquettish, flirty, or even an innocent way. There are only a few shots that looked vulgar to me. And though there are a few shots of other female private parts, most of the women in this book are only showing their breasts. Admittedly, many of the breasts are very large, but they are mostly quite beautiful and natural.
Do I feel threatened?
I am a married woman, but I don’t care if my husband looks at this book of boobs. I know he loves my boobs best! Besides, the models in this book are vintage ladies from the 1950s-70s. They are not threatening to me.
Would I recommend The Big Book of Breasts 3-D?
I would. I do wish Dian Hanson had written more instead of just relying on the eye-popping photos. I thought her introduction outlining the history of nude photos and 3-D was very interesting and would appeal to those who want to learn something rather than just ogle the sexy women. And as a heterosexual woman, I don’t get that much out of looking at boobs, especially really big ones. I am glad I didn’t pay 40 euros for this book, but I do think it’s entertaining to look at. I will warn that it’s a large, heavy book… not unlike my boobs!
I give The Big Book of Breasts 3-D four stars and my recommendation.
ETA: I see that the version I own is now out of print and offered for big bucks. There is a “little” version of this book going for a lot less money. Personally, I like the big book with its 3D schtick. Wish I’d brought it to Germany!
As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.