Shirley Temple’s Greatest Role Was Talking About Her Breasts

By | July 12, 2018

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Shirley Temple Black Speaking at Podium The former child movie star made that clear at a news conference held in 1968 in connection with the annual Republican Women's Conference. (Getty Images)

As a child star in the 1930s and 1940s, Shirley Temple Black was known for playing outspoken, brave, feisty characters. From “Heidi” and “The Little Princess” to “Curly Top” and “The Little Colonel”, the precocious young singer and dancer portrayed characters that always looked on the bright side and always turned adversity into triumph. It was a role she played in 1972 that the former child star and diplomat said was her greatest role…a role that allowed her to make a major difference in the lives of countless women. Shirley Temple Black did this by talking about her breasts! 

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Shirley Temple Spoke Openly About Her Breast Cancer in 1972

Up until Shirley Temple Black was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1972, no one talked openly and in public about breast cancer. Somehow, because the disease inflicted the breast, it sexualized the disease. To speak of one’s own breasts in public and among mixed company was considered shocking and indecent. It was okay to show off one’s breasts with cleavage-bearing tops and dresses, but you didn’t speak of breast cancer. Shirley Temple Black was the very first celebrity to break this unspoken rule and publicly talk about her health and her breasts.