Tag Archives: American Horror Story

Ughhhhzzzz. I think I have a cold. My nose is stuffed and my head is mean. It’s nice weather outside and I really want to go outside before my shift starts, but if I know myself I will just lie here on the sofa and feel sorry for myself. At least evening shifts are fairly easy. Because of my sad state, I present you with a very simple, this-is-what-I’ve-been-up-to blog post.

It’s funny how the weather here changes so dramatically from day to day. All of yesterday we had strong wind and rain, today it’s blue skies. We had talked about going in to central London yesterday, but because of the weather we ended up going to Westfield mall. I’m not a fan of malls because they’re always filled with franchises and few stand-alone shops, but it was nice to be able to windowshop somewhere dry and warm. Westfield mall is also a bit more bearable than other malls because it’s quite big and pretty,- and filled with insanely expensive things, of course. It was a mix of pricer brands and normal brands, but nothing really caught my interest. It’s not really uncommon that I spend an entire day at a shopping place and end up not buying anything except a coffee.  I had just bought clothes from Dorothy Perkins the day before (I buy almost all buy clothes from Dorothy Perkins) so I guess my need for shopping has been satisfied for a week or so. I bought a pair of regular blue jeans, which I haven’t owned in ages, a pair of black formal trousers for work and a bright shirt (see pic below).

Image

I’m the worst when it comes to getting food on my clothes. We were eating at Gourmet Burger when this photo was taken, so when the food arrived I put on a darker sweater. I am NOT getting ketchup on my pretty new shirt. When we got home we finished watching the season finale of AHS. AHS has never been perfect, but I think this season engaged me the least. Zoey and Kyle were boring and bland as cardboard cut-outs, Madison could have been interesting but ended up being too pathetic about Zoey and Kyle, Queenie didn’t get enough character development and Nan got killed off too soon. It could have been a great season but the storylines were really rushed and it felt like all we ever saw was women backstabbing or murdering each other and then coming back from the dead instead of seeing HOW they actually developed their powers. I think Misty was the only one I really cared about, although Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Francis Convoy all played their roles really well. It would be nice to see Jessica Lange play a different sort of character for the next season, since all her roles in AHS have been sassy, strong and cruel women. She does play that role really well but it would be fun to see her play someone a bit softer.

Ramble ramble. I need to get some food cooking before it’s work time. I will try to post an update Monday afternoon, I have like 25 post drafts that I should finish at some point and set so they automatically post at a certain day and time to maintain a more regular posting.

Hope everyone else gets a  better weekend than me!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Hair today, gone tomorrow.

A snippet of the history of hair.

I’ve been thinking about hair recently. There’s a little story to behind every hairstyle I find, and it made me think about the social history of hair. Consider the Afro hairstyle for example; it used to be a marker of status and identity (maybe because it requires a lot of care?) in pre-colonial African societies and turned into an important symbol for black pride during the sixties in the US. The history of the Afro as a whole is really interesting and is something I think everyone should know something about.

Head-shaving as a punishment also has a place in the history of the Afro. Cutting or shaving off someone’s hair is interesting because while it seems like a odd punishment it makes a lot of sense when you think about what hair symbolized. When the slave ships came to Africa, the people who were taken as slaves had their hair shaved off as a way of dehumanize them (and avoid head lice). Head-shaving as a punishment (mainly for women) goes all the way back the bible:

Any man who prays or prophesies with something on his head disgraces his head, but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head–it is one and the same thing as having her head shaved. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should wear a veil. (NRSV,1 Corinthians 11:3-10)

It’s not a big surprise that head-shaving was a common punishment for women who were accused of committing adultery during the dark ages. In the previous season of American Horror Story, one of the characters got her hair cut off as a punishment for supposedly being a necrophiliac. I think photos of the public head-shaving of women during and after WW2 are one of the most telling depictions of hair as a symbol of social status and identity. That’s not even mentioning the incredibly fucked up logic behind shaving a woman’s head just because she stood accused of having relations or even just worked with Nazis.

french1

Something worth noting is that while some male “collaborators” had their head shaved, it was mostly women standing accused and punished by head-shaving. Shaving off a woman’s hair is undoubtedly different from shaving off a man’s head, which ties back to the bible quote posted above.

A woman’s hair was seen as a symbol of her femininity and beauty. Just think about the media reactions when Britney Spears shaved off her hair during her public breakdown. The famous bob cut, for example, isn’t just any hairstyle, but goes back a century to Irene Castle, whose short bob cut (and reactions that followed) played a role in the change in norms and attitudes against women in the 1920ies. Women were supposed to have long hair and men short; something that also caused a controversy when it became a fashion fad for men to grow out their hair. You would think that we would have moved on from that notion today, but just ask a few short-haired women about whether they have faced any prejudice due to their short hair and I’m sure most of them would say yes. A lot of (dumb) people still associate short hair on women with homosexuality, hatred of men and a lack of femininity. You would think people would know better in this day and age!

I’ve just mentioned a couple of hair related history snippets, but of course there is a whole lot more to be found for those that are interested. Dreads, the controversy of wearing veils, the business behind buying hair extensions made from Indian hair and different tribes that never cut their hair are all fascinating. If there was a book that just dealt with the history of hair, I would most likely buy it. If there isn’t, dibs on writing it.

Have a lovely evening, everyone!

Some links/sources if you want to read more:

http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/black-womens-hair-a-brief-history-1400-1900/

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/jun/05/women-victims-d-day-landings-second-world-war

http://iranian.com/Women/2003/May/Veil/p.html

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,