The Universality of Women–“We Lean”

Just the other day,  a friend and I were having a scintillating conversation about the sub-prime’s effect on angry, lactating missionaries in Borneo and for some odd reason, my mind began to wander.

I started thinking about the interesting little peculiarities surrounding my gender’ those strange little things that all women do.

It goes beyond our shared love of shoes and purses, perfume and nail polish.

I’m talking about our friendships and how we give them credence whenever there’s a camera around. We don’t “seal”these friendships with hugs or kisses…we do it with “a lean”.



For some reason, we women “lean in” when it comes to being photographed with our friends and female family members. Sometimes it manifests itself in the standard cheek-to-cheek action; at other times it’s “neck and/or waist bend”.

Then there are those times you get the combo move:



We do “the lean” when we’re young.



And we’ve done it for decades.



And it’s not something limited to crazy white women.

All women do it.

Latinas “lean in”…even the famous ones.



Asian women do it.



Our Black Sisters do it, too!



Women of dubious sexuality “lean in” and in the damnedest directions.



And our beautiful Sisters of Corpulence lean in…or would, if they could.



And mind you, this “have camera; will lean” philosophy isn’t relegated to just American women.

“The Lean” knows no international boundaries.  It is proof that globalization exists in the most sentient of ways.





And it knows no particular philosophy or conviction.

Women of God know how to apply the slight head angle…



And so do silicon-riddled, tarted-up harlots.



So there you have it: many women “lean in” whenever we’re photographed.



I’m not sure. But I suppose it’s because women have never been afraid of touch. We can hug and kiss a member of our same sex and not think twice about it. Perhaps, it’s because we nurture and that means touch and proximity are never far from the equation.

Maybe...just maybe we lean because we love.


And then again, sometimes we just cling to each other.


(For my sisters, Kathy and Karol.   As the above photo indicates,  I cling  to them regularly)



  1. Laurie-You could have just used the picture of us three with old Hef and not used the last one in your post.

  2. As a veteran leaner (I even “lean” in pictures where it’s just ME, I think), I’m amazed that I never noticed this phenomenon.

    I definitely think it’s a love thing. Pictures of me with my boss, for example? Not so much lean.

    Thanks for visiting…now I have a new great read to add to my list.

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