Reverential expression of the divine, or just obsessed with boobs?
“No way! Look at the care, the precision, the ornamentation and dignity of the carvings. And the serene smiles, delicate hand mudras, and lengthened earlobes of enlightenment. These are demonstrations of reverence for feminine deities, or femininity itself as divine.”
“But why do they all have to be bare breasted? The dudes get to cover their junk.”
“Maybe they didn’t see boobs as nudity, maybe that’s just how women dressed. Lots of cultures are like that, hence National Geographic’s popularity among boys.”
“So why are they so big? This isn’t Sweden. Men are depicted pretty normally, so why are all the ta-tas supersized?”
Lydia and I had different responses to the ubiquitous boobage of Angkor Wat. In the mass of carved curves, one of us saw a monotonous obsession with female bodies, and the other saw the meticulous expression of their sanctity.
What do you think?
Or do they reflect a culture that revered femininity as a goddess, an apsara or devata?
Is it artistic license and style, or another oppressive patriarchal hypersexuality?
Or is it both, a fascination that was both sexual and respectful, boobcentric reverence?
Or are we missing the point entirely?