The belly button debate, an Indian perspective.
“Does my bum look big in this?” If we may believe the makers of commercials and the average sitcoms, this is women’s number one concern. But in reality –and I’m speaking from decades of experience as a lingerie designer- women seem to worry much more about their bellies. “Will it make my belly look big/fat/flabby? Am I too old to show my belly button?” are the kind of questions I hear when we discuss the proportions of panties and bikini bottoms. I have no hang-ups about my body myself, but I do very much sympathize. When a lover touches my stomach for the very first time, it’s an incredibly intimate moment. I feel like they touch my soul.
The first time I visited India, I saw bellies everywhere. And not just on glamorous Bollywood stars wearing short cholis (crop tops) with low waisted skirts. Six packs or love handles, it didn’t seem to matter; women of all ages and all sizes showed their midriffs. I was mesmerized. “For Indian women, the midriff is considered no more suggestive than the forearm,” someone explained, adding that in a culture where having enough to eat is not a given, a ‘muffin top’ is nothing to be ashamed of.
Reading up on it, I found out that in ancient Indian tradition, the navel of the God Vishnu the Protector is considered to be the center of the universe. In other words; the belly button is seen as sacred, rather than sexual. In Rajastan for example, women often cover their heads and even their faces in front of strangers, but they have no problem showing showing their midriff.
Which proves once again: concepts of beauty and modesty are very much relative. And so on the one hand, we have Indian brides wearing colourful saris that expose their bellies, and on the other hand 25-year-old American pop star Taylor Swift prudishly vowing never to show her belly button. (“I don’t want people to know if I have one or not. I want that to be a mystery,” she said in a recent interview.) Either way, these ladies following their gut feeling. Which is always a good thing.
Coming home for xmas
Confession: I am a total Xmas fanatic. I LIVE for the holiday season. While my usual taste can best be described as austere and intellectual, come Christmas, I’m into kitsch. Big time. Bring on the glitter, the glühwein and the sentimental songs!
Real life Cluedo with a sexy twist
Forget about stressful family gatherings and long, boring dinners; let me show you how to survive the (Christmas-) holidays in sexy style!
Embrace your dark side – get inspired for Halloween
Imagine if there were a night where it would be socially acceptable to indulge your deepest darkest dreams. An annual opportunity for women to dress like their sexual fantasies – be it a blood-thirsty vampire or a flirtatious nun – without getting ‘slut shamed’. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well there is a night just like that, and it happens to be one of my favorite moments of the year: Halloween.
Welcome to the Signature collection
Welcome to the Signature collection, a showcase of the uniquely seductive work of Dutch lingerie designer Marlies Dekkers.