Thursday, September 22, 2011

Acting "Gay": c. 800

For he went to the baths and had himself closely shaved, polished his skin, cleaned his nails, and had his hair cut very short as if it had been done by a lathe. Then he put on linen undergarments and a very white shirt...
--From Two Lives of Charlemagne--

This passage is about a deacon, and although the text doesn't explicitly say he was homosexual the translator was kind enough to add a footnote telling us that was the gist of the author's description.

It got me to thinking:

You wake up, take a bath, scrub your skin and make sure your fingernails are nice and clean; then head down to the barber for a quick shave and a close cropped haircut. You top everything off by putting on a crisp white shirt.

In 9th century France this made you look like a raging homosexual, in 1950's America it made you look like a respectable businessman.

1 comment:

Adam Li said...

I totally agree with you. Well, as long as they're not inflicting any harm to harm there's nothing wrong with it.
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