Saturday, March 6, 2021

Cleavage: soft porn, human art or tool of seduction?

Cleavage is a popular trend among females. Anatomically, it’s known as the intermammary cleft, the space between a woman’s breasts. Showing off cleavage is an acceptable aspect of flaunting feminity, or to enhance physical and sexual attractiveness. It may also be perceived as a form of seduction.

Men especially derive erotic pleasure from the sight of cleavage. A baby on the other hand would see breast and probably think: Yummy, food!

On one end, baring boobs is perceived as a social trend rooted in pornography, and done by bimbos. However, even decent women show off a bit of cleavage time and again in celebration of their assets and feminity.

Popular culture has defined cleavage through fashionable garments with low necklines, from tops, to dresses and lingerie. Whatever the case, there’s no visually missing cleavage.

Katlego Isaacs has always had ample breasts since puberty. “I knew there was something going on when boys would look at my chest and whistle. I really sometimes feel like an Anna Nicole Smith… people say: Oh, Katlego, the one with the big boobs?” she says with a laugh. Beside her, I feel like a surfboard with my 36B cups fighting for attention with her pronounced 38D cup “babies” (as she refers to them) which pop out from her V-neck top.

It’s hard not to notice her breasts. They as good as stare back at everyone and at first you would be forgiven for thinking that she had a breast job done.

I bring that up. She breaks into a raucous laugh, grabs my small hands and presses them to her chest frantically in a lesbianism act that draws surprised stares and giggles from other patrons in the small restaurant as she proclaims, “These are real! No implants…Feel them..!”

At the table next to ours are seated two gents who tuck into their meal slowly. I swear I can see them swallowing saliva and salivating at her “prized assets”.

Isaacs is used to attention over her breasts and cleavage. “I think cleavage is nice. Men compliment me while some women criticize me and think I use my breasts to seduce their men. Although she hasn’t dealt with any major drama she recalls the first time she started working, her former male supervisor used to corner her and try to touch her breasts.

“It made me uncomfortable. He would stick his tongue out and make as if to grab my breasts. I ignored his advances and this clearly frustrated him especially as I didn’t stop showing off my cleavage. On one occasion he accused me of being sexually provocative and trying to seduce male colleagues, and in a meeting he humiliated me by asking if my breasts had something to say. I reported him for harassment but shockingly, the boss took his side and cautioned me to “cover up”.
She eventually resigned from the company and now works as a PA at a private company. “Although there is a formal dress code policy, most of the women dress in an attractive manner and cleavage isn’t an issue as long as it’s classy,” she says.

In an interview with Huffington Post, renowned United States etiquette expert Diane Gottsman noted that in the corporate world one is likely to stand out for their job success and not their cleavage.
“Whether you want to admit it or not, showing cleavage sends out a message,” she is quoted as saying. She advises that in corporate offices the general rule of thumb is that a woman’s shirt or dress should land two inches above her cleavage. “One shouldn’t show skin in work environments; the more skin you show, the less power you have,” she notes.

Cultural conservatives find exposing cleavage distasteful. Poloko Molokomme is a mother of two daughters aged 20 and 23 who still live with her. One of the contentious issues she deals with is their dress style.

“They wear short dresses, bare-backs and stomach out tops. The older one once begged me to buy her a push-up bra. The next thing she was wearing a cropped top which exposed her breasts and told me she was going to a party dressed like that! I sternly reprimanded her but she moaned that it was ‘cleavage and it’s sexy’,” the mother says with an exasperated look on her face.

She points that “vulgar” fashion and celebrity culture has influenced the current generation’s dress habits.

“In their eyes I am old fashioned and not up to date. I often sit them down and explain that in our culture and social landscape it’s important for a woman to dress appropriately and cover her physical assets. I tell them that they will be confused with harlots. However it seems to go in one ear and come out the other. I hope that when they are older, they will appreciate my efforts in suggesting that they look nice without baring their prized possessions for the world to salivate after,” she notes, peering over at her daughter who rolls her eyes before chipping in, “Times have changed and so have perception. No one is going to stop me on the streets confusing me with a hooker just because I’m showing cleavage. I think its classy when showed off in beautiful clothes. My mother, like other conservative is old fashioned and harbours unfounded fears,” she exclaims as she pats her cleavage with a sly smile.

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