In the iconic 1963 photograph of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra on the set of Cleopatra, the image of the Egyptian Queen reflects the modern interpretation of her legendary beauty while also preserving her authentic ancient iconography.
In ancient Rome, there was but one aspect of a woman’s life that she had almost complete dominion over: how she decorated and adorned her body. Although she did, in most cases, require a man to provide articles of adornment and servants to do her hair and make-up, the Romans believed that it was a man’s responsibly to ensure his female family members’ appearances were consistent with his rank. Roman women used jewellery, clothing, hairstyle and make-up to project their wealth, power, influence, rank in the community and status as an adult woman, as well as, to control their public image and how they were perceived. In essence, women used adornment to have control over their own bodies. This essay will explore how women used each category of adornment to display their wealth, rank, status and image, and how doing so was significant to their life as it gave them an opportunity to have power in their relationships, influence in their community and control their bodies in a world where nearly every part of their life was governed by a man. Continue reading
In the days of Jane Austen, a young woman was defined by her accomplishments. In order to win a husband, a woman must know how to play the harp or pianoforte, draw or paint a picturesque scene, read French and Italian, sew, dance, dress well, speak eloquently and write with a clear and hand. These many skills were appreciated by prospective husbands as they thought that an accomplished wife would be good at caring for him and entertaining his friends, although she frequently quitted them after the goal was achieved. Today however, young women seek accomplishments as a way to build life skills and arm themselves for the battle of equality. If a modern woman wishes to be respected by both genders in the modern world she must have a university education, financial independence, basic table manners, a satisfactory level of physical fitness, a want and ability to deliver her opinion confidently and have control over her emotions (one must never cry at work). Bonus accomplishments include knowing how to cook and complete basic home, car and computer maintenance. A woman is expected to be able to take care of herself; therefore, she typically continues exercising and attaining accomplishments after she is married. On first inspection, the times seem to have changed quite a bit, though women still see an importance in being accomplished, they value different sorts of accomplishment, work for different goals and set different end points for learning and using their skills. However, we do still bear a resemblance to our Regency Era counterparts; we both prize self improvement through education, and self control through etiquette for the purpose of presenting ourselves well to society. Continue reading
I’ve seen some things this year – scary things – and not to offend or ridicule, but offered as a friendly tip, a second opinion if you will, these are the trends that need to end this year.
Tights as Pants
Ladies, I can see everything. It is completely unbecoming. Tights are in the same family as nylons/silks and stockings, meaning they are underwear. You are walking around in your unmentionables. Are you not cold? Continue reading