Famous Breasts: A Retrospective

We've counted down some of the famous breasts that have punctuated the presence of the female form in popular culture.
botticelli birth of venus
Breasts are an integral part of our bodies, culture, and our definition of femininity. Whether it's obsession, envy, embarrassment, pride, lust, fear, or frustration, just thinking about breasts is sure to stir up some kind of emotion. Here we count down some of the famous sets that have punctuated the presence of the female form in popular culture.
1 of 21
Botticelli's Birth of Venus
In one of the most recognizable images of the female body in history, Botticelli teased his viewers with a sneak peek of Venus's assets.
2 of 21
Marie Antoinette
It's been said that the short champagne glass known as the coupe was molded from one of her breasts. In fact the glass was designed in 1663, nearly a century before Marie Antoinette was born. Nevertheless, a rack that can sustain a rumor like that for over 250 years deserves a place on our list.
jayne mansfield
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
3 of 21
Jayne Mansfield
Her voluptuous form was a large part of her appeal — that and the fact that her dresses often gave the impression her girls might tumble out at any moment.
bettie page
Arthur Felling/International Center of Photography/Getty Images
4 of 21
Bettie Page
In the early '60s, Bettie Page's pinups offered a darker type of sex appeal compared to Hollywood starlets like Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe. While her breasts may sometimes take a backseat to bondage, her body still generated legions of fans and a handful of subcultures.
annette funicello surfboard
Everett Collection
5 of 21
Annette Funicello
The first Mouseketeer to toss the plastic ears for some serious cleavage, Annette forever warped a generation of men's perception of breast shape and paved the way for future Disney-kid-to-sex-symbol stars like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.
brigitte bardot
Michel Bernanau
6 of 21
Brigitte Bardot
Her willingness to expose herself not only stirred up interest in foreign films in the late '50s, but also eventually made her a movie star in the US.
bo derek
Everett Collection
7 of 21
Bo Derek
A slow jog down the beach in a flesh-colored swimsuit in the film 10 made Bo and her breasts infamous.
wonder woman
Everett Collection
8 of 21
Wonder Woman
An icon of the '70s, she was a pioneer on the frontier of female superheroes and their costumes. Without Wonder Woman there would be no Lara Croft.
phoebe cates
Everett Collection
9 of 21
Phoebe Cates
Stripping off her bikini top in 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High made Phoebe Cates famous, at least to every straight man past puberty.
dolly parton
Albert L. Ortega/WireImage.com
10 of 21
Dolly Parton
Dolly's ample bosom has wowed audiences and defied gravity for four decades and shows no signs of sagging.
jessica rabbit
Buena Vista Pictures/Everett Collection
11 of 21
Jessica Rabbit
In the '80s, Roger's wife changed what cartoons were capable of by providing body issues and unrealistic expectations to semi-adolescents everywhere.
Jim Smeal/WireImage.com
12 of 21
Redefining a generation of lingerie, Madonna's cone bra almost upstaged her Blonde Ambition in 1990.
kate moss
Everett Collection
13 of 21
Kate Moss
In the '90s Kate proved that size didn't matter. At 5'7 she became one of the shortest supermodels on the runway, and despite having no discernable cleavage, a sex symbol to boot.
lil kim diana ross
David Drapkin/Getty Images
14 of 21
Lil' Kim
A pivotal moment during 1999's Video Music Awards: Diana Ross suddenly gives Lil' Kim's left breast a jiggle.
pamela anderson
James Devaney/WireImage.com
15 of 21
Pamela Anderson
She answered the one question that had been on people's minds since breast augmentation was introduced in the early '60s: Yes, you can breastfeed with implants.
janet jackson justin timberlake super bowl
Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
16 of 21
Janet Jackson
In 2004, her wardrobe malfunction (aided by Justin Timberlake) at the Super Bowl proved that America is not ready for nipples on TV.
jessica simpson
Rick Diamond/WireImage.com
17 of 21
Jessica Simpson
Her dad, Joe, shocked America in 2004 when he said of her breasts, "She's got double D's! You can't cover those suckers up!" A strange comment for a father to make, sure, but he had a point.
anna nicole smith
Thomas Concordia/WireImage.com
18 of 21
Anna Nicole Smith
Anna displays the silicone set that roped an oil tycoon. She inherited his fortune, only to die mysteriously a few years later.
keira knightly
Touchstone/Courtesy Everett Collection
19 of 21
Keira Knightley
The small-breasted actress made headlines by publicly objecting when producers wanted to digitally enhanced her bosom for 2006's King Arthur poster.
scarlett johansson
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.com
20 of 21
Scarlett Johansson
Why is she on our list? Go ask your boyfriend.
mad men joan holloway
Courtesy of AMC
21 of 21
Joan Holloway
Man Men's Joan Holloway's outrageous silhouette (supplied by actress Christina Hendricks) has brought curvy va-va-voom back into fashion.
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