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March 5, 2008

In defense of the cleavage and why women flaunt it

Cleav-age: (noun) The area between a woman's breasts, especially when revealed by a low-cut neckline.
Which of the following comes to your mind when you see a woman walking down the road wearing a clinging shirt and showing her cleavage:

1. Wonder where did she buy that shirt?
2. I wished I/ my partner looked like her
3. Wow, what a perfect set
4. Such women are a shame to female species/ Indian women
5. God, she is so desperate for attention
6. Now that’s an icon of woman power

While you think about the questions and (try and) give an honest answer, I bet No. 6 will get the least votes. Despite the fact that every woman – irrespective of her breast size – has a cleavage and apparently now even men want one, showing off a cleavage usually has negative connotations. Quite sad, given that cleavage has a number of uses.

For one, it provides employment opportunities to many women. If it were not for their cleavage, Mallika Sherawat, Rakhi Sawant and Malaika Arora (or Pamela Anderson, Angelina Jolie and Carmen Electra) would be out of jobs. Furthermore, cleavage specialists Wonderbra – and other lingerie brands – would go out of business and all lad-mags (Maxim, Playboy, Hustler) would go bust as well.

Looking beyond commercial cleavage, even cricket, the unofficial Indian national sport has benefited from cleavage. Despite the Indian women’s cricket team debuting in 1976 (first test against West Indies), it was the on-air innings by Mandira Bedi’s cleavage that truly married women and cricket. The curious can check the channel TRPs to satisfy themselves.

Cleavage also changed the reading habits of the Indian women – and some say even men – forever. From the days when the leading magazine used to be the beaten-housewife-special Savvy or something with 20 recipes for tiffin-boxes, the 21st century is all about the fun, fearless female. If Cosmopolitan – unimaginable without a cleavage cover – taught the women to flaunt it and get the men by the (eye)balls, Sex and the City caused another revolution. It made cleavage, Cary and confidence, synonyms of each other.

Yet when a woman shows cleavage in office, it’s her women colleagues – while the men meekly peek over their computers – who will dish out the most rabid, caustic comments. If a woman showing her cleavage is a sign of empowerment and her being “comfortable with her body”, why does it get such reactions?
Read further: Umm, an innocent cleavage?


Pointblank said...

well... its just a mattter of perspectives! some women are comfortable flaunting their cleavage. But some become really conscious when they show it accidently. so if ur the kind who is not comfortable flaunting/ seeing it u tend to make nasty remarks when others flaunt it!

and then there are some others, whow ant to flaunt it, yet hesitate doing it. now God bless them!

btw, ur tagged!

Maxine said...

I love the title.Gave me an early morning smile.
Cleavage is nice.Sometimes dressing up looks more elegant with it.Depends on how one carry oneself.Like...if you are showing and look too concious about it or showing and carelessly trying hard to show more than a cleavage.Just stay calm,i say.

Reminds me of the women in the village areas of the state I come from.None cares.Even the men dont bother them.Their cleavage or waist or whtever do not exist in some way i guess.So...lets just have fun with the ones that do exist and before it reaches the foot.

Unknown said...

The Only thing that come to my mind is darn she is not empowered enough one more inch and it would have made my day.

Espèra said...

Right. Why do women come up with the worst comments? Because, they are jealous. Jealous that That Girl can flaunt hers while they cannot (for whatever reasons).

It's admiration. But in a weird, twisted way.

From there, they will take that extra step and wonder *why* it's being done. No innocent reason, there. Nuh-uh.
"Ooh, she's trying to flirt her way up the pyramid."

Usha said...

Hi JB,
While I have no issue with people who want to flaunt their cleavage I still don't understand why they would want to - because they are there?

Usha said...

OOps. I didn't see the read more ( that is why one shouldn't read blogs before the early morning tea!).
Ignore the earlier comment and this one. :)

Anonymous said...

I am not a Liar. A nicely shown cleavage gets my attention regardless what the woman does or doesnt have besides that. Now whether that attention will last beyond a while is not the subject here :)

I am not a woman - but if I were one, I would, sure, show off and for just the reason no 6 above - no questions asked.

Raman said...

I've seen many decide power on the basis of cleavage and then repent. Pity a women has to use cleavage to push ahead in tha rat race. Not taking a holier than thou attitude - like "if you have it, flaunt it", I might "if you flaunt it, I will stare at it". That apart, I also think people need to to be taught about such tactics. Either they are so conscious (constant adjusting of pallu, pulling the t-shirt downt to hide the elastic of you-know-what, holding the neckline when bending to pick something etc.) - i mean wearing something isn't just physical- it is mental and a lot of people wearing aren't ready. Also, occasion 7 location matters.

Roop Rai said...

Cleavage distracts me :/