Taboos Associated with Lingerie in Asian Countries

It is no surprise that Asia is home to deep-seated cultural origins and traditions that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Though there is no question on how proud we are of being members of these traditionally conservative societies which was built on, there is now a cultural shift on how we view such taboos, specifically the way women dress in a way which revealed their inner garments or what is now commonly known as ‘Lingerie’. 

A lot of factors can be considered as to why these are still topics that need to be delved more into. It is safe to say that both religion and the economic circumstances play a huge role as to why nudity or use of lingerie still remains to be a controversial issue. 

Historically speaking, nudity or the implications thereof, was often looked down upon in traditional culture as it was associated with the lower class who performed manual labour and did not have the means to adorn themselves with lavish embellishments which were considered to be the epitome of class and beauty. 

Along with the Marxist segregation, religion has also successfully dictated what is acceptable and not which compelled women to dress modestly as it embodies respect, good conduct, and family honour. This remains to be one of the highly upheld cultures as influenced by the Chinese. 

It did not take long before other Asian countries had their fair share on the matter. In Japan, women who do not wear cosmetics or undergarments to cover their breasts were seen as unprofessional and rebellious. In some cases, women who dress immodestly and show their lingerie were often tagged as prostitutes and comfort women. 

What’s often a disparity on this case is the fact that nudity has always been a generally accepted idea for men who roam around freely without an upper garment like the Sumo Wrestlers whose bodies were highly celebrated as a result of vigorous training and fair sportsmanship.  

The existing double standard is precisely why it is still a debate on whether or not it is right for women to express themselves in a daring manner. 

Through the rise of social media in a digitally enhanced world, it is not hard to grasp and anticipate the western influence that social media has brought to Asian countries with the use of applications which allowed both international and local lingerie brands to promote their products to the Asian market with the use of celebrities and influencers. This has encouraged women to dress however they please and has continually promoted a more liberated world view.  What used to be an unspoken rule now opens up the conversation to a variety of topics that still need to be addressed.

Taboos are usually double-edged swords as it challenges customary beliefs that have been preserved for centuries and at the same time carving the path to opening difficult conservations that are necessary for the community to move forward. Then comes the million-dollar question: are you ready for it?