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Ibrahim I. Chalhoub
10/01/2011

Exhibitionism: The coming back of the archaic

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In the country of cedars, modernization adopts a form that seems to be highly intertwined with the vulgar, or at least the erotic. Exhibiting parts of the female body on ad-boards and showing exciting clips in ads does not limit the inciting tendency which is further pushed to the daily dressing habits of ladies all across the country. What these women don’t know is that they are repeating a “legitimate” form of childhood exhibitionism.


Sitting on a bench, waiting for the school’s bell to ring the end of the day, all of a sudden the heads started turning from side to side, the eyes following, and the bodies assuming open postures.
These men were brought to respond to a change in their close environment introduced by a lady who introduced different forms of tempting phenomena, from head to toe, in her dressing.

When a young lady from Belgium came to visit the country of cedars, she could not but express her astonishment to the sight of the Lebanese girls’ clothing. “How could males retain themselves under the pressure of such daily temptation”, she said.
It would not be considered as bizarre to hear comments from visitors of Beirut about those “live erotic street fashion shows”, as pictured by an American tourist while describing the daily flux of female passers in the capital’s down town area.

On the other hand, looking at the great majority of visual ads in the country of cedars, it would seem hard not to be captured by the new form of exhibitionism, thus extending the definition of the subject matter.
In fact, whatever the ad is trying to promote, utilization of female bodies perfected to the minute details became a general rule.
In addition, erotically focusing on different parts of the body became the method commonly used to sell products. As if the motto “sell yourself” is being used literally, and the association of objectified animation is becoming a necessity to revive dull objects.
The technique serves a double advantage by allowing the ad to pass censorship, and by providing greater material for imagination which would heighten the inner tension to further seek pleasure by the associated product.

On a different level, these ads facilitate the introduction of erotic dressing into the habits of Lebanese girls by providing them with the needed example to look “à la mode”, especially when their model is derived from idealized top models.

Finally, one should keep in mind the complimentary relationship of exhibitionism and voyeurism, and that the pleasure of being noticed by others increases the one derived from exhibiting.
However, the reduction of the tension is not offered place and full satisfaction is prevented by the hysteric nature of relationships in a country bathing in the taboos of its culture, thus enlarging the vicious cycle that was created by the interplay of the enticing impulses while inducing a regression to childhood play.


Par Ibrahim I. Chalhoub (dernière modification le 09/01/2011)





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