The Washington Post

Why can’t famous women stay clothed?

Remember when Janet Jackson accidentally exposed one of her breasts during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show and everyone — and by everyone, I mean the FCC — freaked out because boobs are supposed to be kept in their proper, hidden place?

Well, apparently in 2011, wardrobe malfunctions are no longer cause for alarm. In fact, they have become common occurrences.

During a June interview on “Fox and Friends,” Khloe Kardashian flashed nippleage when the partially sheer black top she was wearing (sans bra) shifted as she happily chattered away about “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

During a live Aug. 5 performance on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Nicki Minaj also inadvertently put a breast on public display when her halter top went rogue. The network apologized and removed the unintended nudity from later broadcast feeds.

Then last weekend — a day after the Minaj incident — singer Kelly Rowland accidently exposed both breasts during a concert in West Orange, N.J., when the bra-like top she was wearing slid upwards in ways she, presumably, did not anticipate. Since she wasn’t on TV, the moment might have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for the Internet. Photos of Rowland and all her mammary glory appeared, causing her name to spike as a super-searched term on Google.

Needless to say, this is an unfortunate trend, and one that raises a question: Is it so hard for famous women to dress themselves?

I don’t mean to suggest that Rowland, Minaj or Kardashian set out to purposely flash an unsuspecting public. But how difficult is it to wear something in which one’s goodies are clearly covered and secure?

Millions of women do it every day. And if those women were asked the following question in a survey — “If you make a public appearance, would you be extra careful to make sure your chest remains unexposed?” — I am fairly certain that the vast majority of answers would imply extreme vigilance.

Look, accidents happen. I get that, and I am sympathetic to any fellow female who accidentally shares a part of herself she didn’t mean to share, especially when paparazzi are there to capture every pore on her exposed skin for the consumption of the online, photo-enlarging masses.

But this is why halter tops must be tested before one goes onstage. This is why, generally, one should not wear sheer fabric around one’s bra-less chestal region when appearing on “Fox and Friends.” This is why, hey, I don’t know, maybe it’s a good idea to wear a top with a good old-fashioned crew neck once in a while.

Because, as the old adage goes, there’s no such thing as a wardrobe malfunction when one’s wardrobe functions properly.

Fine — that’s not really an old adage. But it ought to be. And every celebrity should take heed.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.
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