The distinct curve of the female breasts, their sensitivity to touch, and their role in suckling infants give them an aesthetic and a functionality that are distinctly feminine. The female breast is a visible, tangible and beautiful feature of the female body.
A great deal of sensual appeal centres on the female breast. Women tend to view their breasts through the reflection of their desirability to men.
Men's magazines such as Playboy and FHM shape cultural attitudes about the desirable appearance of the breast. These magazine covers feature women with large breasts and slim figure.
Women's magazines reinforce this view. Cosmopolitan, Chatelaine, Self, Essence, Jane and other women's magazines regularly feature articles about ways to build and tone the breast, promising readers that they will therefore be able to better attract the opposite sex and have a more active social life.
The perfect breasts are considered round, positioned high on the chest, large and firm.
If breasts are large, their weight tends to pull them down, resulting in neck and back discomfort. If they are large and round they will tend to droop and not be firm.
The reality is that women's breasts sag with childbirth and age, which is unavoidable.
Women tend to perceive their own breasts as smaller than an ideal breast size they expect is preferred by men.
If women are obsessed about their breast size and shape to the extent of surgery, men aren't doing any better. For many men female breasts are a source of fascination and fantasy. They get inspired from looking at pictures where they see cleavage, where breasts are enticingly almost visible, yet hidden.
There are few men who are not fascinated by the twin visual attractions which women carry before them and which they display with varying degrees of boldness or coyness.
Men's main interest seems to be in the breast shape. A closer look at well developed and beautiful female breasts reveals them to be finely balanced, with the tissue tension precisely matching the weight so that they have both a beautiful form and mobility, similar with a work of art.
Another appeal of the female breast is its infinite variety. Many small women have big breasts while some big women are endowed in inverse proportion to their size. The same is true of nipples - some are big, others are minuscule, the variety seemingly never ending.
Perhaps it is this mystery of the breast that men find so appealing ... what shape is it exactly?
Women are very clever at giving visual clues, often revealing a mesmerizing swelling and leaving the admirer's imagination to mentally picture the rest.
Those who have not resorted to hormone treatment or breast implants can still achieve something of this effect by forcing up the flesh of their small breasts to give a hint of cleavage.
And, of course, the final attraction of the female breast is tactile. Most men find the desire to touch them almost overwhelming...
The warm softness, the eager response of the nipples springing to attention when touched, the trembling of the woman's body and the look of contentment as she closes her eyes in rapture... these drive many men crazy ... and many women to seek out breast augmentation.
By Beverly Smith