January 24, 2022 1:11 pm

The girls of before did not wear white

In the closets of that house where everything is allowed, my grandmother keeps old silk nightgowns and dresses that were my mother’s and that I can use to disguise myself. She doesn’t have the towering heels that I usually steal from my mom or those fake patent leather rain boots that almost reach my groin and I learned to tame with some skill, just grandma’s shoes. Since it is known that pink silk satin can only be worn with heels, I prefer to take down a white sheet that dries on the rope on the terrace and try on a kind of toga. I tie two ends on my left shoulder, at the waist a golden elastic that I find walking around and I become a Greek or Roman goddess. I’m not too clear on it, but I definitely look like the illustrations in that children’s history encyclopedia that they gave me. I have memories of flipping through them in my parents’ bed, where they let me stay for the day if I’m sick. The fever and the bitter taste of the spray that is thrown in my throat are horrible, but I like to see the routine of the day that I usually miss because of being in school. What does my mother do when she is not my mother?

To finish the olympic outfit, I add a few olive twigs that I take from my grandmother and they rest crunchy next to some saint since last Easter. It is not serious: they will pass from one deity to another, because by that time I am already a snowy mythological goddess, full-fledged.

Added to a certain amateur encyclopedic curiosity that I always had, I never rule out the influence of Hollywood in my life, to come to the conclusion that everything ancient was white: Rome, Greece, its temples, its columns, its statues, the costumes of the Greek women, what Julius Caesar wore, et tu, Brute. It seems that I have not been the only deceived girl

Added to a certain amateur encyclopedic curiosity that I always had, I never rule out the influence of Hollywood in my life, to come to the conclusion that everything ancient was white: Rome, Greece, its temples, its columns, its statues, the costumes of the Greek women, what Julius Caesar wore, and you, Brute. It seems that I have not been the only girl deceived.

July 19, 1760, Pompeii. A statue of the goddess Artemis is unearthed. First impact: it is not white. The volcanic ashes of Vesuvius preserved some of the pigments that covered it. In the details you can see the yellowish ocher in her hair, a redder earth for the iris of her eyes and traces of black pigment in her pupils and eyebrows. Also, the goddess smiles. Upon seeing it for the first time in 1762, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, one of the fathers of modern archeology, writes: “The statue is half the size of a human figure and is painted. The corners of her lips are arched upwards (…) Around her hair is a tiara on which eight red roses were placed in high relief and her suit, painted white, has a thin golden line on the hem and a wider one of sealing color just above ”.

Brightly colored figures of gods and heroes: We have known it for centuries. However, why did that image of whiteness persist? Despite so much evidence to the contrary, for centuries the Western world held a fiction: that statues of ancient gods and heroes were pristine white. A hoax that traditional museum exhibits, with victorious marble dominating all, helped maintain. Some call it an act of collective blindness; I console myself by not being the only naïve one and I go through the exhibition in digital version Gods in color, polychrome in ancient times, from the Liebieghaus Sculpture Museum in Frankfurt.

Not satisfied with my outfit as a little Olympian goddess, I use the rest of the sheets on the terrace to set up tents that are formed covering the headboards of the armchairs, the ends caught with clothespins. I cover the floor with cushions and blankets and I can spend hours there playing with my dolls and reading a book. My grandmother spies from the door, watches the scene and in her bad Castilian she comments that the living room is a “gypsy camp”, but she lets me continue playing. I suppose you don’t understand that we are no longer in antiquity and that now everything is a huge desert full of dunes and I am in one of my Bedouin tents, where I prefer not to be interrupted. Or in any case yes, briefly, for some French bread toasts and a cup of tea with a splash of cold milk. Because of course, in just seconds, one can also become an English lady. Sometimes it is not necessary to adjust so much to reality; We should be able to go back to that house where everything is allowed. Even if it is in memories, in black and white, or in color.

Reference-www.lanacion.com.ar

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