Dress the way you
want to be addressed”, is a popular slogan used to describe the widely held belief that the way you dress tells a lot about who you are.
This insinuation may not be totally correct, but it is difficult to explain what is societally decent in exposing one’s body parts that are supposed to be covered by clothes.
So much have been said about indecent dressing in Nigeria, particularly as it concerns girls in tertiary institutions and those who seek to be modern. They range from exposure of such parts of the body including the upper laps, buttocks, stomach and breasts.
The focus of this piece will however, be on exposure of breasts, popularly called cleavage.
The word “Cleavage” as commonly used in Nigeria, describes an exposed top side of the breasts of a woman. In the days of yore, especially before 1831, the term, “decolletage was commonly used to describe today’s cleavage.
Decolletage is a French word derived from the word “Decolleter” meaning to reveal the neck or more literally without a collar. The term was first used in English Literature.
In its strict usuage then, Decolletage is the neckline extending about two hand breast from the base of the neck, front and back.
Ordinarily, decolletage describes the upper part of a woman’s torso, between her waist and neck. It comprises her neck, shoulder, back and chest, that is exposed by the neckline of her clothing. In common usuage, though, Decolletage is most commonly applied to a neckline that reveals or emphasises cleavage.
However, in reality, how much cleavage exposure that takes place at any point in time depends on the purpose of the cloth or dress worn. From its origin, low cut necklines are a feature of ball-gowns, evening gowns, leotards, lingerie and swim suit, among other fashions.
Although decolletage does not in itself prescribe the extent of exposure of a woman’s upper chest, the design of a decollete garment takes into account current fashions, aesthetics, and expression of social norms and the occasion when a garment will be worn.
Though neckline styles have varied in western societies and decolletage may be regarded as aesthetics and an expression of feminity, in some parts of the world, any decolletage is considered provocative and shocking.
Unfortunately in Nigeria, the word “provocative” and “shocking” are only seen by ladies with a lot of cleavage exposure as “arousing interest of the opposite sex” in a pleasant manner.
This is against the intended message of seeing cleavage exposure as attracting annoyance or anger in a strange or awkward manner.
This is the crux of the matter.
It is now fashionable for the average Nigerian girl or lady who wants to be seen as modern to wear tops with ample cleavage exposure, not minding the occasion.
Unfortunately for girls in tertiary institutions they end up attracting more than what they bargained for.
In the words of a senior lecturer who spoke to Women/Style/Living Desk anonymously. “It is now a common sight to see youths either shabbily or offensively dressed on the streets, where sensitive parts of the body are exposed.
“This is unNigerian and amounts to a serious affront on Nigeria’s sense of morality and decency.
“Most irritating is the prevailing trend among our youths who exposed themselves, clad in dresses that reveal the essentials, boobs, buttocks, backs and hips.
“The common sights on our streets are boys and girls wearing trousers and skirts falling from their buttocks and they call it sagging”.
All of these traits now in Nigerian youths and some mothers who are supposed to caution their children are imbibed from foreign cultures without a thought as to when such attire may be worn.
According to history, gowns which expose a woman’s neck and top of her chest were very common and non-controversial in Europe from about the 11th century to the Victorian period in the 19th century.
The Victorian period is the period of the reign of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, especially the 19th century.
During this period, ball or evening gowns especially featured low square decolletage designed to display and emphasise cleavage.
However, the wearing of low cut dresses which expose breasts was considered more acceptable then, than they are today, with a woman’s bared legs, ankles, or shoulders considered to be more risqué than exposed breasts.
It is noteworthy that during the 16th century, women’s fashion with exposed breasts was common in society, even among queens and commercial sex workers. It was therefore emulated by all classes of women.
It is in line with this that cleavage exposure seems to be widely viewed in the Nigerian context among girls and ladies who indulge in it.
In aristocratic upper class circles, though, the display of breasts was at times regarded as a status symbol, as a sign of beauty, wealth or social position.
From the Renaissance onwards, the bared breasts even invoked association with nude sculptures of classical Greece that were exerting an influence on art, sculptures and architecture of the period.
After the French revolution, decolletage became larger in the front and less in the back. It continued during the fashion period of 1795 to 1820, when many women wore dresses which bared their bosom and shoulders.
But during the Victorian period, social attitude required women to cover their bosom in public.
For ordinary wear, high collars were the norm.
Towards the end of the Victorian period, the full collar was the fashion, though some decollete dresses were worn on formal occasions.
Over the years, that followed decolletage passed through various changes and or adjustment, but during a short period in 1964, topless dress design appeared at fashion shows.
However, those who wore the dresses in public found themselves arrested on indecency charges.
The implications are that in western and some other societies, such as Nigeria, there are differences in opinion as to how much body especially breast, exposure is acceptable in public.
Unfortunately, the level of cleavage exposure in Nigeria has become not only appalling, but has been found to be the cause of numerous criminal sexual attacks on women in Nigeria.
This is mostly due to the low level of exposure and awareness of the Nigerian society, compared to the western societies from where these traits were copied.
It can therefore be argued that the remote causes of most of the sexually related criminal acts that plaque the Nigerian society today are traceable to this trend of indecent dressing.
44 Years In Marriage: Couple Celebrate Love
While some couples have had to quit their union in very short space of time for various reasons, for Mr and Mrs Akpan, the grace of God upon their marriage had been the spice that had kept the union going.
44 years now in marriage, the couple have gannered enough reasons to celebrate God’s goodness, faithfulness upon their lives. Sunday, September 19, 2021 remains remarkable in the history of their relationship as they appeared before a distinquished congregation at Charismatic Renewal Ministries, Woji, in Port Harcourt, to refresh a covenant they had 44 years ago when they first tied the nuptial knot.
Engr Anthony Akpan who doubles as a Pastor and Zonal Secretary, PFN, sees his wife, Mrs Akpan Emilia, as the greatest gift from God to his life, for which he declared that, “she is worth celebrating for her love, hard work and uncountable achievements these 44 years of marriage.”
In his words, “today is a joyous day and double celebration for us. We are 44 years in marriage and my wife is also marking her 69th birthday. God has been so faithful to our union”, he noted.
Commenting on the uniqueness of their relationship, the Rivers State commissioner for information, Pastor. Paulinus Nsirim discribed the couple as role models and inspiration to the old/younger generations.
Pst. Nsirim reiterated that the couple have been a great gift to the church and have mentored many lives/marriages both in the church and secular world, adding that “they are worth celebrating.
“The couple have been a blessing to the body of Christ and nation at large. Their marriage has been an inspiration to me and others. Their marriage would continue to enjoy God’s blessings”.
Meanwile, the Chairman of Pentecostal Followship of Nigeria (PFN), Rivers State, Rev. Dagogo Jack, has appreciated God for keeping them in harmonious marriage for 44 years.
PFN Chairman said the couple has worked so hard in the Lord’s vineyard, adding that their lives have been an example to believers.
Speaking during the thanks giving service, the celebrant, Engr Akpan appreciated God for the grace given to them that called for the double celebration.
On the secret of the successful marriage, he noted the need for couples to “have a good heart and relationship with God, work in forgiveness for one another, make excuses for each other and always striving to be the best husband/wife for one another”.
He reiterated the need for couples to work together and overcome pressure points in their marriages.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide shortly after the thanks giving service, Mrs Akpan recounted God’s grace and faithfulness in her marriage.
Mrs Akpan who noted that the marriage has been a source of joy due to the presence and grace of God, said the secret of her success in marriage is God’s word and command that, “the two should become one”.
For her, success in marriage starts with the choice of spouse. Thus she advised, “don’t choose a husband/wife based on wealth and look, but ensure that he/she is your soul mate”.
And to the younger women, she stressed the need for endurance and the ability to settle marriage challenges on one’s knees.
Their union is blessed with eight children and seven grand children. Mrs Akpan, is the proprietress of Showers Christian High School.
By: Lilian Peters
Rotary Club To Empower Women On Renewable Energy
As Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco District 9141 gets a new Charter President, there are indications that attention is gradually being shifted from fossil fuel to renewable energy. In her inaugural speech as the first president of the charter, Rotarian Emem Bridget Okon, said, “this club under my leadership will champion alternative source of energy, we are going to promote that in the communities.”
She announced the interest of the club in climate literacy, as she declared that the campaign is on a shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy as it would be good to also make contribution in that aspect.
For this reason, the president said, they would train local communities as well as empower youths and women on renewable energy such as solar, so it can help in the area of having energy stoves and solar power in communities, among others.
She called for support from individuals and organisations as well as donors to ensure that this project makes impact in the lives of community members.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after her installation, last Sunday in Port Harcourt, Rtn Okon explained that the state of mother earth has become a global challenge as such the Rotary Club is interested in finding solutions to some of these challenges as it affects all aspects of human life.
Speaking further, she explained that the club’s mandate is to promote environmental conservation, ecosystem restoration as well as climate change mitigation, adding that the club would also seek to contribute to addressing the challenges in the Niger Delta environment in line with Rotary international focus through the following intervention areas: disease prevention and treatment; mangrove restoration; basic education and climate literacy; peace building and conflict resolution; economic and community development and eco ambassador, among others.
She further explained that the environment area of focus in rotary club was adopted in 2020 during the presidential counsel meeting, adding that this is the first club that particularly focused on the environment in West Africa.
Rtn Okon stated that the core mandate has made it become the first in West Africa and first in Nigeria, noting that this same core mandate was first adopted in Kenya, thereby making the Port Harcourt Eco District 4191s core mandate, second in Africa.
She noted that high level of soot was one of their major reasons and concern to focus on the environment, adding that the club has just unveiled the campaign against soot.
The charter president revealed that the club has also started the ‘Safe The Mangrove Campaign,’ which they are targeting to plant 50,000 mangrove trees by June 2022 when this rotary year would end.
She further revealed more activities they intend to embark on to include carrying out tree planting saying: “All these are necessary because these trees are important in absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and also helps in the restoration of the eco-system.”
“You would agree with me that this year’s World Environment-Day has the theme: ‘Eco-System restoration’, while World Earth-Day has the theme: ‘Restore Our Earth,’ so if we look at keying into those United Nations themes, it is better to take actions that would contribute to restoration of the environment, that is why we have decided to do tree and mangrove planting,” she added.
She explained that there got to be awareness creation, which they can only achieve through conferences, policy dialogue and engagement with environmental justice groups, adding that all these would contribute to taking actions to restore the environment.
“Many of us in the club are people, who have been very passionate about the environment in the Niger Delta, a lot of us are environment justice campaigners even those that are government officials are people, who have held offices in the area of environment, so we are all committed to the process.
“We have already started schools campaign and the production of pamphlets on climate literacy, so between now and June 2022 this club is going to be all over the place, building partnership with government agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as well as with individuals interested in promoting environmental protection and conservation,”the charter president added.
On her part, the Assistant Governor, Zone 4 2021-2022, District 9141, Rtn Nkiru Enyia, stated that the Charter President, Rtn. Emem Bridget Okon, was fully prepared to lead the club towards achieving its call mandate.
Enyia congratulated her and prayed God to grant her the needed wisdom to do exploits in the task ahead of her.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
Int’l Day Of Peace: Banigo Calls For Peaceful Lifestyle
The Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has reiterated the need for all residents in the state to live peacefully with their neighbours in order to attract more developmental projects to all nooks and crannies of the state.
Banigo reiterated this in her goodwill message from the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Monday, to commemorate the year 2021 International Day of Peace.
According to the deputy governor, “Progress and development cannot thrive in an atmosphere of bitterness and rancour it, therefore, behoves on all residents to keep the peace at all times to fast track the development agenda of the Governor Wike-led administration.”
Banigo, who disclosed that since the advent of the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration issues of communal clashes occasioned by land boundary disputes had reduced to the barest minimum, noting that the Rivers State Boundary Commission under her watch as chairman had received the necessary encouragement to adjudicate on land boundary disagreements which have engendered peace in communities.
While wishing the Rivers people a happy International Peace Day celebration, the deputy governor stressed that there was no substitute for peace.
It would be recalled that the 21st of September is celebrated worldwide as the International Day of Peace.
The theme for this year is, “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World.”
- Rivers5 days ago
Group Wants Ekpeye People To Pursue Common Goal
- Politics5 days ago
Reps Query Presidential Committee Over Assets Seized From Past Leaders
- Politics5 days ago
Chieftain Urges Kanu, Ighoho To Join APC
- Politics5 days ago
Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-Open Grazing Bill Into Law
- Opinion5 days ago
OurStateOurResponsibility: An Insight
- News5 days ago
North Can Live Without VAT Accruals, NEF Boasts …Backs Wike, Southern Govs On Fiscal Federalism, Restructuring
- News5 days ago
NYSC Advises Corps Members Against Risky Engagements
- Editorial5 days ago
For A Greater Rivers Utd FC