Amid escalating war in the Balkans, tragedy in Colorado and rising global economic instability, the nation voiced its broadbased approval of a pair of enormous breasts Monday.

The prodigious, celebrated breasts.

The impressive 40DD set, widely regarded as the most significant to enter the American landscape in years, top the current national agenda and enjoy an overall public-approval rating of nearly 75 percent.

Soaring in popularity among Americans over the past 18 months, the L.A.-area duo has been seen on television, magazine covers and the Internet. The breasts' charismatic on-screen presence, sassy attitude and sheer physical size have helped them turn heads from coast to coast, winning millions of fans and setting off a national craze.

And, breast-industry insiders say, the trend shows no sign of cooling off any time soon.

Wowing audiences and critics alike with their unique mix of shapeliness and heft, the large, curvaceous mammaries continue to capture the hearts and minds of breast-loving Americans everywhere.

"These breasts have really struck a chord with the people of this country," said Entertainment Tonight co-host Bob Goen, whose show recently profiled the gravity-defying sensations. "America just can't seem to get enough of this truly incredible set of cans."

In 1984, amid the Cold War fears of the Reagan Era, the breasts first emerged, developing simultaneously during puberty. Their first appearance in the public eye, as part of Playboy's 1990 "Breasts Of Summer" pictorial, led to a guest spot on the popular ABC sitcom Five Wacky Dads as the breasts of "The Sexy Neighbor Lady." Though the role did not include dialogue, the reassuringly large breasts resonated with audiences gripped by Gulf War anxiety, and in the spring of 1991 were made a recurring character, which continued until the pair left the show in 1993.

In 1994, as gang violence continued to tear apart America's inner cities, the breasts landed their two biggest co-starring roles to that point, playing pairs of breasts in the Cinemax original thriller Prurient Intent and the action/adventure Ulterior Motive. But the films flopped, and the stardom of which the breasts had long dreamed failed to materialize. Undaunted, the pair continued to make ends meet as dancers on Fox's hip-hop/comedy-variety series Bring It! while waiting for their next big break.

The latest issue of <I>Maxim</I>, which features an 11-page cover profile of the famed breasts.

The next summer, while O.J. Simpson awaited trial for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, that break arrived when the plucky twosome beat out more than 60 top-notch pairs of breasts for the coveted sidekick spot on the hit MTV game show Nice Rack. Magazine covers, posters and guest spots on That Lifeguard Show followed. The pair even co-starred in their own short-lived sitcom, Twice As Nice.

But it was not until they landed roles as undersea villains on CBS's Aquaman—which made them the most downloaded pair of breasts in Internet history—that true superstardom arrived. By 1997, as news of the JonBenet Ramsey murder shocked the country, the breasts scored another huge success, this time in pop music, with the smash-hit single and video "Check Us Out Now (Two Times)." Meanwhile, supporting roles in such films as Gimme An A!, Fartz and Shitheads In Space continued to cement the pair's burgeoning celebrity status.

Today, with a new hit series, Miniskirt Action Squad, and a Golden Globe Award each for their roles opposite comedian Norm Macdonald in last summer's hit comedy Where's My Shorts?, the pair is huger than ever. And even as government scandal and partisan infighting polarize the country, this awesome set of breasts has become a full-blown, unstoppable multimedia juggernaut.

But just what is the secret of the pair's enduring fame?

"As the turmoil of our fragmenting society continues to erode our basic human values, these breasts really hit home for a nation eager to stare at a huge honkin' set of big ol' whoppers," Norman Mailer wrote in a recent Esquire cover story on the pair. "The reassuring presence of this enormous pair of mamajamas is something all Americans, from every walk of life, can relate to."

According to noted author and cultural critic Camille Paglia, much of the credit for the duo's resonance with audiences can be attributed to their duality.

"The breasts' swollen, fertile exterior appeals to a Middle America that is eager for wholesome nurturing and sees them as 'the breasts next door.' Yet, with their surgically enhanced excess and menacing, high-tech implants lurking just beneath the surface, this pair plays to a powerful undercurrent of Silicon Valley cyber-age paranoia," Paglia said. "With their bouncy, friendly exterior and deeper underlying plasticity, these two huge breasts are as American as apple pie or air-to-surface missiles."

Whatever the reason, audiences love the breasts like no pair before. "I remember when the federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed, it felt like the very fabric of our society was coming apart around me," said electrician Donald Grohe of Davenport, IA, gazing unblinkingly at the breasts bouncing in slow motion on his television. "But when I saw the big, exciting breasts, I knew in my heart that everything would be okay. They've done so much for me, I just wish I could reach out and give them a big hug."

"Those breasts are survivors," said Buffalo, NY, homemaker Ellen Seimslich, who lost her son to toxic-waste-contaminated drinking water last year. "Whenever I feel like I can't make it, I think of how the breasts have made it through hard times too, like their tempestuous, short-lived marriage to tattooed '80s bad-boy rocker Jimmy Rippz, and it brings me strength."

"I love the outfits, too," Seimslich added.

As millions of Americans can attest, the breasts are truly an icon for our age. As we approach the new millennium, the future is increasingly unclear. But whether it brings militarized school zones, a crackdown on civil liberties, or worldwide economic and environmental disaster, one thing is certain: We will continue to hold this large pair of breasts close to our hearts.