Tits Up: What Sex Workers, Milk Bankers, Plastic Surgeons, Bra Designers, and Witches Tell Us about Breasts (Hardcover)

Tits Up: What Sex Workers, Milk Bankers, Plastic Surgeons, Bra Designers, and Witches Tell Us about Breasts By Sarah Thornton Cover Image
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An innovative investigation of the five strange worlds that worship women’s chests.

After years of biopsies, best-selling author Sarah Thornton made the difficult decision to have a double mastectomy. But, after her reconstructive surgery, she was perplexed: What had she lost? And gained? An experienced sleuth, she resolved to venture behind the scenes to uncover the social and cultural significance of breasts.

Riotous and galvanizing, Tits Up excavates the diverse truths of mammary glands from the strip club to the operating room, from the nation’s oldest human milk bank to the fit rooms of bra designers. Thornton draws insights from plastic surgeons, lactation consultants, body-positive witches, lingerie models, and “free the nipple” activists to explore the status of breasts as emblems of femininity. She examines how women’s chests have become a billion-dollar business, as well as a stage for debates about race, class, gender, and desire. Everywhere she turns, Thornton encounters chauvinist myths about this elemental body part that quietly justify deficits in women’s bodily autonomy and endorse shortfalls in their political status. Blending sociology, reportage, and personal narrative with refreshing optimism and wit, Thornton has one overriding ambition—to liberate breasts from centuries of patriarchal prejudice.

About the Author

Sarah Thornton is a sociologist and author of three critically acclaimed books, including the international bestseller Seven Days in the Art World. She was a scholar-in-residence at University of California, Berkeley, for three years while writing Tits Up. She lives in San Francisco, California.

Praise For…

With a sociologist's eye, a reporter's nose, and a Double D brain, Sarah Thornton explores the contradictions, power, and fundamental formidability of breasts. What a treat to follow her into worlds largely unknown as she upends culture-bound thinking and exposes breasts for what they are (or should be): a part of a woman, to be shown or not shown, used or not used, as she and she alone deems fit. Exquisitely written and consistently illuminating.
— Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author

Tits Up is Sarah Thornton at her best: irreverent, witty, deeply researched, and enlightening. I learned a lot.

— Judy Chicago, artist

Sarah Thornton offers a revealing look at our most misunderstood organ. Her message is both powerful and overdue: it’s time for us to shape the narrative of our own bodies.
— Florence Williams, author of Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393881028
ISBN-10: 0393881024
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English