The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Bras are not for burning: the bra and young urban women in Delhi and Bombay

Bras are not for burning: the bra and young urban women in Delhi and Bombay
Bras are not for burning: the bra and young urban women in Delhi and Bombay
Scholars have analysed the meanings of western outer-clothes worn by women in India, however these studies seldom discuss the semi-hidden bra. Whereas the panty through the ‘Pink Chaddis’ campaign has been used as a symbolic tool of female power and resistance in India, the power meanings of the bra remain ambiguous. Bras have not been discussed as symbolic markers of female empowerment like chaddis, nor can be assumed objects of male oppression as in the history of western feminism.

This chapter explores the bra and its proximity to young (18–24 year old) urban Indian women’s bodies; the ambiguity of its hidden yet publicly viewed nature which discloses tensions of the sexualised female body and changing ideals of Indian femininities that outer western garments cannot always reveal. I discuss how the bra lends insight into Indian women’s bodies as paradoxical spaces of public and private power as India begins to rapidly urbanise. A power-play between that of an increase in the moral policing of urban Indian women’s sartorial identities and the emerging bi-cultural youth identities resisting these moral codes of dressing.

Taken from a qualitative study between 2010–2014, the author discusses how the bra in India centres on the discourse of shame and the anxieties of western modernity recycled from the Indian independence movement. Author reveals how patriarchal codes of shame are questioned by the symbolic meanings of power that young urban Indian women attach to their bras.
Fashion, South Asia, gender, media, Dress, consumer culture
I.B. Tauris
Begum, Lipi
61e9217b-31c8-441c-a9f6-d17c2c668f62
Dasgupta, Rohit
Lewis, Reina
Begum, Lipi
Begum, Lipi
61e9217b-31c8-441c-a9f6-d17c2c668f62
Dasgupta, Rohit
Lewis, Reina
Begum, Lipi

Begum, Lipi (2017) Bras are not for burning: the bra and young urban women in Delhi and Bombay In, Dasgupta, Rohit, Lewis, Reina and Begum, Lipi (eds.) South Asian Youth Cultures: Fashion Media and Society. I.B. Tauris (Dress Cultures).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Scholars have analysed the meanings of western outer-clothes worn by women in India, however these studies seldom discuss the semi-hidden bra. Whereas the panty through the ‘Pink Chaddis’ campaign has been used as a symbolic tool of female power and resistance in India, the power meanings of the bra remain ambiguous. Bras have not been discussed as symbolic markers of female empowerment like chaddis, nor can be assumed objects of male oppression as in the history of western feminism.

This chapter explores the bra and its proximity to young (18–24 year old) urban Indian women’s bodies; the ambiguity of its hidden yet publicly viewed nature which discloses tensions of the sexualised female body and changing ideals of Indian femininities that outer western garments cannot always reveal. I discuss how the bra lends insight into Indian women’s bodies as paradoxical spaces of public and private power as India begins to rapidly urbanise. A power-play between that of an increase in the moral policing of urban Indian women’s sartorial identities and the emerging bi-cultural youth identities resisting these moral codes of dressing.

Taken from a qualitative study between 2010–2014, the author discusses how the bra in India centres on the discourse of shame and the anxieties of western modernity recycled from the Indian independence movement. Author reveals how patriarchal codes of shame are questioned by the symbolic meanings of power that young urban Indian women attach to their bras.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: October 2017
Keywords: Fashion, South Asia, gender, media, Dress, consumer culture
Organisations: Fashion & Textile Design

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 411632
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/411632
PURE UUID: b29b335e-aa29-4e7e-b248-804435bf2a59
ORCID for Lipi Begum: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5719-4032

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Jun 2017 16:31
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 13:33

Export record

Contributors

Author: Lipi Begum ORCID iD
Editor: Rohit Dasgupta
Editor: Reina Lewis
Editor: Lipi Begum

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×