Hidden Mother Photography

These unbelievable images attest to a 19th-century photographic genre, later known as “hidden mother photography,” that rose to popularity during the Victorian era. At the time, photography was seen as a respectable profession for middle class women, which is why we can assume that many of these pictures were taken by women. Due to long […]

“Si”

In 1974 the Italian singer Gigliola Cinquetti entered the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time, after winning it ten years prior with her hit „Non ho l’età“. While her 1960s song talks about a girl being too young to date, her later song “Si” speaks of a mature woman who fully commits to a […]

Facekini

The Facekini is a Chinese beauty accessory invented by Zhang Shifan in 2004, used to protect against sunlight while swimming, as well as jellyfish stings and sea weed. The name is a reference to the Burkini (a combination of the words Burka and Bikini) which is mainly worn in the Middle East by religious women […]

Erwina Barzychowska

While doing research for my current theater project—a stage adaptation of Günter Grass’s iconic novel “The Tin Drum”—I came across the tragic story of 10-year-old Erwina Barzychowska. Erwina was the daughter of the caretaker at the Danzig post office, where he and his family lived in an apartment. On September 1st, 1939, World War II […]

Aunt Luisa

Recently my mother went to a small venetian village in Northern Italy, to attend her cousin’s funeral. This is where my grandparents lived as a young couple, together with their first-born child – my aunt Luisa – before emigrating to France in 1951. My mother (born later in France) took pictures of the village and […]

Rosemary Kennedy

Kennedy, sister of JFK and Robert Kennedy, was born in 1918, when the specter of influenza was haunting the world. As a result, doctors were in high demand and overworked. When Rose Kennedy went into labor with Rosemary at her house in Brookline, MA, no doctor was present. The midwife therefore forcefully pushed Rosemary, her […]

The Merkin

A merkin is a pubic wig worn by all sexual identities, made out of animal or human hair (sometimes even real pubic hair), which is either tied or glued onto the body. The merkin came into fashion in the 17th century, but prevails until today. The word merkin first appeared in the 15th century and […]

Victory Red

With the invention of the push-up lipstick after WWI, the ground was laid for a revolution: lipstick was now portable, easily applicable and would later become—against the backdrop of the Great Depression—a small luxury item symbolizing female strength. Unsurprisingly, bright red lipstick was used by the American Suffragette movement as a statement of rebellion and […]

Victoria Woodhull

In light of the upcoming US presidential election, I would like to focus on the extraordinary women’s rights pioneer Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927). She was the first woman to run for this position in the 1872 election on an Equal Rights Party ticket, even though women had not yet won the right to vote. Her vice-presidential […]

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