Sunday, September 12, 2010
What's with all the makeovers?
In Medieval Europe people did lots and lots of paintings of me. In fact that's pretty much all anyone painted at the time. Me, me, me. If I hadn't been Me it might have seriously gone to my head.
Lots of the paintings were very pretty. Some of them were on stained glass which looks extra glamorous. But for some reason a whole fad emerged where people started painting me as a blue-eyed blonde.
In Gothic paintings depicting Biblical scenes, there I am with my flaxen hair and baby blues. Probably the first person who did it was just being innovative and slightly abstract - the one guy who was daring to think slightly outside the box; but Medieval art was nothing if not perpetually derivative and soon everyone started deriving from the whole blonde thing.
Newsflash people: I was born in the Middle East. A little place called Bethlehem, remember? Lots of kings, donkeys and even a little drummer boy showed up - surely this rings a bell? Get out a map and look where that is. In that particular area of the world people are Semites. Generally speaking we are dark-eyed, sandy skinned, with long flowing dark hair (and beards). And yet the Medieval Europeans felt the need to give me a total re-do. I mean, please. Did they honestly think I was this lone Nordic guy walking around Jerusalem all white on white in my cotton robe? ......Hey everybody! Let's go to the marketplace and watch that Albino guy shouting about compassion!
That's more like it, baby!
I assure you, I was not a blonde. I was dark and slightly mysterious looking with big brown eyes that could make you cry. I was a Semite. ......That means people who are against me are also Anti-Semites! Ha! Put that in your loincloth and shake it!