Are there cultural differences in embarrassment?

Interestingly, typical signs of embarrassment such as blushing, gaze aversion, and a suppressed smile, seem to be recognized in many different cultures. However, some cultures have additional displays such as the tongue bite in Southeast Asia to indicate embarrassment (Keltner, 1995). In contrast to the common display of embarrassment across cultures, the situations that people may find embarrassing are likely to differ due to cultural norms and customs. For instance, unpacking birthday presents in the presence of guests seems to be a source of embarrassment for many British people and is generally avoided while the same situation is a joyful experience for most Germans.

No Pants Subway Ride

Can be seemed really strange to eastern countries where the tradition is more conservative. Since subway is a public transportation, teenagers and elders may be scared/embarrassed by this? 

Nude beach in Jamaica

For eastern countries , this can be unacceptable as it's embarrassing to expose everything in front of strangers of both genders. It also can be embarrassing for those who are unsecured with his/her body and afraid of judgmental comments.

New York Women Draw Their Own Boobs

In this special Pretty Hurts series, the Cut explores women’s complicated relationships to beauty standards and the efforts required to meet them.

Nora Ephron didn't just feel bad about her neck. She called breasts, or her lack of them, “the hang-up of my life.” In a 1972 Esquire essay, she wrote, “If I had had them, I would have been a completely different person. I honestly believe that.”

To find out how women see their own breasts, the Cut polled 57 New York women, ages 17 to 72 (plus one 4-year-old who grabbed the marker from her mom) and asked them to draw their boobs and write one sentence explaining how they feel about them. In cafés and bars, on playground benches and on the way to work, women laughed when they heard the question, disparaged their drawing abilities, and gave it a shot.

We heard stories of breast cancer, breastfeeding, and what it’s like to become a double D in elementary school. Women drew their scars, big nipples, or barely there boobs. They offered advice, wrote what they love about themselves or why they wished for something else. Big, small, or somewhere in between, there were a few instances of eh and a good number of they're perfect! Click through our slideshow to see the results. 

*This is an extended version of an article that appears in the November 17, 2014, issue of New York Magazine.

Red-light district in Amsterdam

To people who came from places which prostitution is banned, the obvious luring position and exposed clothes can be embarrassing. 

World naked bike ride

Same with this social activity. Can be embarrassing to people who are unsecured with his/her body and scared of judgmental comments. It can also be quite embarrassing for people who has not seen naked body of opposite gender for example.