National Cleavage Day

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National Cleavage Day (abbreviated NCD)[1] is an annual celebration held in either January 13 in North America, sponsored by the brassiere marketer Wonderbra.[2] National Cleavage Day was started in 2002 and held at the beginning of April every year.[3] Wonderbra together with Cosmopolitan magazine and 5fm, a SABC radio station mainly based in Johannesburg, sponsor the observation.[4]


Anita Meiring, public relations consultant for Wonderbra, described the event: "It is a day for women to realise that their cleavage is something unique and that they should be proud of it."[4] "It gives women a chance to be beautiful and glow in the furtive, yet appreciative, glances their cleavage evokes from men".[1] She also explained, "It gives men a legitimate reason to stare at boobs."

Samantha Paterson, a brand manager for Wonderbra, said that National Cleavage Day was started as a way to solemnise women's independence and power in all facets of life, from their careers to their relationships to their own destiny.[1] Paterson said the day is intended to be lighthearted amusement and that the revenue will be donated to the Sunflower Fund.[5] The fund is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation based in Cape Town with a stated aim to help South African citizens diagnosed with leukaemia and other life-threatening blood diseases.[6]


National Cleavage Day is celebrated at office premises, restaurants and bars throughout the nation.[7] Most people polled on the streets during the celebrations in 2002 expressed positive view on this event.[4] During the occasion of the National Cleavage Day in 2002, twenty local girls in Johannesburg and another twenty girls in Cape Town were called in for the purpose of distributing stickers and G-strings to selected female drivers.[8] The celebration of the NCD in 2006 started early in the morning of 7 April when women showing their cleavages in Edgars, Foschini Group and Truworths at La Lucia Mall, Gateway Shopping Centre and the Pavilion handed out Cosmopolitan magazines free of cost to customers. A competition was organised at the Cafe Vacca Matta called the "Best Cleavage." Thousands of women in the province of KwaZulu-Natal displayed their cleavages in support of this event.[1] Local manufacturers and retailers of undergarments have joined in support of the celebration of the NCD and it marks some new industry shifts.[9]

After the celebration in 2007, Paterson said, "We will be donating money for every bra that gets sold in March. We will donate money to the Sunflower fund. We are having big parties, we have special National Cleavage Day cocktails that have been created and for every cocktail bought R2 will be donated to the sunflower fund."[5]

References to National Cleavage Day, observed annually in March or April, are occasionally noted internationally as trending on Twitter.[10]


Dr. Siqwana-Ndulo, provincial gender commissioner in Eastern Cape, condemned the celebrations, warning women not to be involved in the National Cleavage Day. Siqwana-Ndulo said "This is a pure marketing tool using people's bodies." She added, "The commission is against any person or advertising company, which uses people's bodies for marketing purposes be it advertising a car or anything of that sort."[11]

A paper published by the Gender Links depicted an image of two women showing their cleavages during the occasion of the NCD on 5 April 2003, with a caption "These two bosom buddies were all part of the fun in yesterday’s National Cleavage Day, where a number of stunning beauties, their natural assets enhanced by Wonderbra, brought traffic to a standstill in many parts of Joburg." The paper argued globalisation of the media enforces "globalised norms" of gender and lowest single common denominator in "global" images of gender is "sex sells" which builds and reinforces stereotypes and bias—both male and female.[12] Vanessa Raphaely, editor of the Cosmopolitan, argued the NCD is not intended to objectify women, but to celebrate in a funny manner.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Drooling at cleavage displayed for good cause Independent Online
  2. ^ National Cleavage Day Archived 6 April 2007 at
  3. ^ There's a special day just for your cleavage Independent Online
  4. ^ a b c d Women's cups runneth over Independent Online
  5. ^ a b National cleavage day warms up to the sick SABC News
  6. ^ "The Sunflower Fund". The Sunflower Fund. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  7. ^ Ladies, get ready to bust out of your tops! Independent Online
  8. ^ Boobs are back in a big way Independent Online
  9. ^ A lift in the market
  10. ^ "National Cleavage Day trends on Twitter". Hindustan Times. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  11. ^ Frowns over cleavage day Dispatch Online
  12. ^ Sex sells—or does it? Gender Links

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