On TV, too, nipples featured prominently. Think Debra Messing on Will and Grace
, the cast of Sex and the City
(preceding, of course, Samantha’s stick-on nipples
of season 4) and, perhaps most significantly, Rachel on Friends
. Through relationship mishaps, ill-advised cat purchases, and many, many hours in Central Perk, Jennifer Aniston’s nipples formed a strangely integral part of her character's wardrobe, complementing a rotation of tight tanks, sleeveless turtlenecks, cropped jumpers, and V-necks. The prevalence of the nipple on late '90s TV screens might be explained by the narrow range of padded bras available at the time compared to our present abundance of choice. But it also embodies a particular cultural moment — one that championed sartorial freedom, comfort, tongue-in-cheek provocation, female independence, and thinness.