It is high noon. I am enjoying a cup of coffee in one of Moscow’s ubiquitous coffee shops. I cannot but take a look at a woman seated a table away from me. The woman sips at her coffee, gazing pensively at the window. She wears a dab of makeup on her face, and her outfit looks like a perfect example of office dress code. Her hairdo is impeccably neat to top off the picture. And she has an imperious air about her. I seem to know the reason why she looks this way: a cigarette is stuck in her hand. The woman puffs on her cigarette as if she is trying to reveal some mystery to me. Looks like she is taking a deep drag on her cigarette to send me an invitation: follow along with me. I am trying to breathe softly so that the idyll can not be broken to smithereens. Finally, I just cannot help giving way to the temptation…
Why on earth do women smoke? The attitude to a woman who smokes was invariably negative in the past. That attitude seems to have changed as capitalism took shape in this country. According to statistics, about 20% of Russian women aged from 18 to 35 are smokers. It would be preposterous to tell off women for smoking these days. “Smoking is a conscious choice of an adult person,” or so the say.
A cigarette in a woman’s hand has begun to symbolize a certain air of success, mystery, and true femininity though the last part of the statement seems a bit far-fetched. A woman smoker is a like-minded person in the eyes of a man who is a smoker too. This kind of woman would not make a scene over the ashtray in a bedroom. Please do not get me wrong – by no means am I encouraging women to fall into the habit of smoking. I am just trying to form an objective judgment. Let us take a closer look at female smoking as a means for showing off a woman smoker to advantage.
Female smoking looks very much like some kind of a ritual. A woman puffs at her cigarette to weave up a smoky disguise for the gamut of glances and gazes. A woman’s individuality can be brought to light if you pay attention to the way she inhales on her cigarette and exhales smoke. A woman is apparently in the state of confusion or she is eagerly awaiting something if she inhales rather abruptly and sends the smoke out right away. A woman must be in a thoughtful mood if you can see her cigarette sitting unattended in an ashtray, slowly burning away. You had better watch out if a woman seated at your table keeps her mouth open while exhaling smoke. The woman seems to let the smoke pour out freely. The woman is definitely on the make, and you may end up trapped in her net.
A woman’s character traits and emotions can be revealed through the way she shakes the ash off her cigarette. An intermittent and somewhat fidgety manner of dropping aches indicates a current state of uncertainty or general nervousness. A woman who looks at her hand while tapping on the cigarette with an index finger is most likely to be no stranger to sophisticated sensuality.
A woman of strong character is expected to “rub off” her cigarette against the ashtray.
You can learn a thing or two about a woman who asks you for a light. A woman with lots of self-esteem will never bow her head if you hold out the lighter too low for her. A “man-hater” will take the lighter from your hand. A woman who is dominated by her mother is likely to bend her head for your lighter. A woman with a sensual personality will curl up her lips and blow out the smoke in wisps, whereas a woman with a mannish personality will barely hold up the cigarette to the corner of her lips when inhaling.
On the whole, women can use smoking as a tactic for attracting men and/or giving them the green light. A woman’s mannerisms are less ostentatious when she smokes for the sake of smoking. She just puffs on her cigarette while gazing out the window.
It is a different story when a woman lights up a cigarette for the benefit of men, she does it for effect. A woman starts going through noticeable changes once a man within reach of her vision takes her fancy.
The woman may be unaware of the changes but they do happen anyway. She will straighten out her back and cross her legs. And she will have that look in her eyes, an odd combination of aloofness and coquetry. The woman will use her cigarette as a handy tool for showing off her refined manners and graceful gesticulation. A show goes under way. Cigarette smoke floats through the air as the orange eye of a cigarette is glowing softly in the ashtray – can the above be the signs of real beauty and the embodiment of our time?
Many a time I found myself staring at the women who had cigarettes in their hands. To be honest, I like staring at pretty women without cigarettes too. As far as I am concerned, a woman and a cigarette agree like whisky and soda. A woman looks sexier with a cigarette in her hand or mouth, for that matter. Smoking is just another way of exhibiting a woman’s fine hands, beautiful lips and a flair for perfect makeup. The method is rather simple yet it works.
Translated by Guerman Grachev