So I had a dream where two people from very different cultures have to get married to prevent a war, and in it, one culture used rings to signify marriage while the other used (pierced) earrings.
This got me thinking about what traditions exist to visually show that someone is married. So a bit of research later, some examples are:
Wearing a ring (left or right hand, depending on culture) on the “ring” finger (third finger), sometimes getting a tattoo on the appropriate finger (especially if the person’s job makes wearing an actual ring dangerous and/or impractical)
(For men) having a beard, or wearing a prayer shawl
(For women) wearing a special necklace, or special bangles, or special hair style/covering, or a sindoor
So that’s pretty cool, but I think there are lots of other ways people could show that they’re married. (And maybe there are cultures that do–they just weren’t among the ones I found in my 30 minutes of googling). Maybe things like:
Specific colour of nail polish and/or tattoo on hands/fingers
Hair length (either unwed individuals must keep hair short, or unwed individuals are not allowed to cut their hair until after marriage)
Special type of clothing (a sash, shawl, belt, or scarf)
Specific colour of clothing (for example, maybe only married people can wear blue)
Less visual, but what if only married people could use certain scents (like lavender) for their soaps and/or fragrances?
There are lots of possibilities! So why not use something other than “exchanging rings” in your fantasy story? Just make sure you think about what that means for the culture. (For example, puzzle rings [which are super cool–I love the ‘woven’ look] were originally developed to catch wives who cheated on their husbands, because they fall apart when taken off. Which shows that women weren’t trusted, and that they weren’t expected to be very clever [otherwise they could put the ring back together])
Permanent markings (like tattoos and piercings) are likely used in a culture where divorces are either not common, or not allowed. Might make for an interesting exploration to look at how such a culture might handle widows/widowers, or those rare instances of divorce. (Do they have a different way to show widowhood vs divorce? How easy/hard is it for a divorcee to make it look like their widowed instead?)
For specific colours/items only available to married individuals, think about how easy it is for the poorest people in the society to access. Do they have to use alternatives to achieve the same visual representation of their marriage? (For example, if a sparkling teal nail polish is what denotes a married person, but it’s expensive, do poor use a fruit/flower that stains their fingertips instead? Maybe the polish is accessible to everyone, but then the rich are going to want some way to denote their wealth as well [comparable to massive engagement rings], so maybe they use a flat teal and then add the sparkle by placing tiny slivers of diamonds on the wet polish?)
And then you must think about the difference in how men and women (and other genders, if it’s a multi-gendered society) present their symbol of marriage. Even with a symbol like a ring that both men and women use, the rings are often very different in appearance. Men’s rings tend to be thicker and simpler, while women’s rings tend to be thinner and more “elegant” (swoops, swirls, curls, multiple gems, etc.). So in a society that uses nail polish or piercings to show marriage, how might it be worn by different genders?
Featured Photo:Myself in 2007, in a Linkin Park t-shirt
warning: This article discusses the recent suicide of Chester
Bennington, and his past, dealing with drug addiction, mental illness,
and sexual assault.
a day after the news broke that Chester Bennington of Linkin Park had
died, Afropunk posted a heartfelt and somewhat personal reaction, which
encouraged black kids from ages 35 to 15 to respond in droves. For a
certain age set of the black community, Linkin Park was our
reintroduction to rock music, via the DJ styles of Joe Hahn, and the
poetic bars of Mike Shinoda. They gave Chester’s lyrics and voice an
edge that could cross barriers. It’s why the band resonated with so many
not everyone could see that. An older generation of black people also
weighed in on the article, unsure of what to make of this band, being
herald by AFROPUNK as having given black kids the gift of rock. But if
you were like me, in 2001, the internet was just a baby. My mother and
nana, who both raised me, didn’t raise me on rock n’ roll, or its
origins. How could I have known this glorious, and complex genre was
invented by a queer black woman? Or even known that Chuck Berry came
before Elvis? Enter Linkin Park.
were one of the earliest bands I ever got into, with maybe Green Day
coming in first. Linkin Park were the only band that showed me a side to
rap that I hadn’t seen before. A sensitive, poetic branch. An album
like “Hybrid Theory” gave me the space in my mind to later be able to
consume or even conceive something like, Jay-Z’s 4:44. They were the
first to show me how two seemingly different genres of music can meld
together. They were one of the first bands I was truly devoted to.. if
only for a passionate childhood and pre-teenhood. They were also the
first band to teach me about depression, and trauma, and how it’s all
connected. And I want, somehow, to further connect by writing down my
experience of knowing Linkin Park, as a black person, the full extent of
their contributions, and Chester’s legacy.
the news first broke, I was in Sapelo Island. My partner and I were on
vacation. We had only just gotten settled, when my friend Daniel made a
vague Facebook post about Chester, that didn’t allude to situation.
I found out through Google. I couldn’t cry.
thing is that, Chester isn’t by any means, a legend. Not even one his
main influences, Stone Temple Pilots (for whom he front for a while),
were legends. They were both products of legends (i.e. Mother Love Bone,
the beginning of grunge), and they successfully rode that train of
influence to a lucrative career. But despite this, Chester Bennington is
someone that means something, to MILLIONS of KIDS. It is mostly kids
who listen to Linkin Park. How on earth do you tell your young teen or
preteen that their favorite singer couldn’t cope with the world? With
2016 having passed, I think we can all say we have had our fair share of
heavy loss. But as an adult, how do you navigate the death of a portion
of your life? That was what Linkin Park was, for black millennials; a
gateway to a lifestyle
Photo: A photo I took on the endless beaches of Sapelo.
This is also a story about trauma.
don’t know how many know his story, but Chester was sexually abused for
several years, by an older male friend. I know I have friends who have
experienced sexual traumas. I know based on their experiences that
recovery is so hard. And the trauma eats its way into habits (think
“Breaking The Habit” from 2004’s Meteora), like drug addiction and
eating disorders, and self harm. Chester had ALL of that, and then some,
and while it may not have been the sole reason he took his life, it was
one of many. A myriad of thoughts and actions, weighing him down to
a world where black pain is weakness, and often ignored, I sometimes
felt kinship with Chester for the pain that, while expressed creatively,
existed between the lines, that hid inside himself. He was an empath. I
am an empath. And we exist in a minority circle of people who probably
get hurt, a lot.
Late at night on August 4th, I watched footage of Chester doing an interview, not too long before he died.
was so alive. When Chester was alive, he was SO alive. He had the
personality of the sun. His smile, and laughter, and playfulness, were
all still incredibly infectious, up until he died. What has been hard is
knowing that as intensely as he felt joy, he probably felt pain just as
intense. But that was Chester. My only images of Chester in my mind are
of two, radically different faces: His wide, open-mouthed smile, and
his wide, open-mouthed screams, when performing.
of what made Linkin Park relatable from the jump, and for almost 20
years, was their ability to tap into the angst (and beyond teenage
angstiness) of an entire nation.. and farther. And that emotion is
directly descended from Chester’s personal experiences with being a
person, trapped in the memories of trauma and substance abuse, which he
was very, very, painfully open about.. which made him, and the band
stand out from the likes of Evanescence, Slipknot, and Limp Bizkit. So
you can imagine, that anything that Linkin Park commits to tape for an
album, is coming from a genuine place of heavy emotion.
that said, despite them being honest songwriters until the end, the
backlash towards their newest release (One More Light, May 19th), was,
and still actually is, very severe. People genuinely do NOT like this
album. Linkin Park have had their fair share of harsh criticism over
their career, but I don’t think there’s been a single album of theirs
that’s been met with such universal scorn.. despite it charting at
number one, high numbers around the globe, before Chester’s death.
August 16th, I got through listening to the album. It is not the worse
thing I’ve ever heard. It’s just not what I expected. For half of it, I
was simply bored. There is one song that I just had to skip, “Sorry For
Now”, because it had a beat drop, and some synth stuff happening that
made me feel like I was listening to Halsey or some shit, and I feel
bad, but I just couldn’t do it. That one I genuinely hated. But there
are highlights. The first single, “Heavy”, featuring Kiiara, is growing
on me, mainly because the music video for it is so captivating. Mike’s
verse in “Good Goodbye” was strong, but it’s his only rapping part on
the entire album. “Halfway Right” would have been a better choice for a
single than the last two that were released.
Photo: Hybrid Theory-era Linkin Park, photoshoot outtake | Credit: Jen Luciani
saving grace of this album is its title track, “One More Light”; an
entirely stripped, almost acapella take, that is heartbreaking, and
sadly prophetic. I cry whenever I hear it. The final track, “Sharp
Edges” is a wonderful, folksie song that should’ve been put before “One
More Light”, instead of being the closer.. but that’s just how I feel.
The album is not a total dud, it’s just not Linkin Park at their full
an opinion like mine, paired alongside the harsh insults they have
received, was probably incredibly painful, and damaging to Chester, who
since the album’s release, has been accused of being a “sell-out”,
prompting him to lash out in interviews and on social media in the
immediate aftermath.. causing some musician friends, i.e. Slipknot’s
Corey Taylor to tell him to take it easy, and try to tune out the
negative, because at the end of the day, they’re still one of the
biggest millennium bands in the world.
probably didn’t help. Our “criticism” didn’t help. Based on interviews
given before his death, clearly was having a hard time personally,
leading up to the recording of the record. That’s something none of us
probably ever take into consideration when listening to an album: the
artist’s mindset. And I’ll be honest, since I haven’t consistently been
listening to Linkin Park in about 10 years, I thought that because they
had all these things going for them–charities, millions of fans, nice
houses in California, the same band line-up for 15+ years, and the most
upbeat personalities of any band i’ve ever seen, I assumed things were
Chester’s a person with clinical depression. Who had a therapist. Who
probably took medication (or maybe not). Who experienced YEARS of
trauma, and then years of substance abuse to try and silence his mind.
How stupid am I to think that everything is fine, just because it’s been
x amount of years, and he’s in a successful rock band?
disappointed in myself, and as guilty as anybody, for accusing Linkin
Park of “putting on” the angst in their recent work, thinking that
they’re just trying to keep up with writing what they always write
about. That the lyrics are “just words”, to fill in the instrumentation.
In that way, I’m pretty sure we’ve let Chester down. How fucked up is that?
night, I got high at a party with my partner, and inevitably, our
conversation ending up toward Linkin Park. I thought it was drabble, but
he said I should commit it to paper (or iPhone). That I had something
mentioned earlier the lyrical content of Linkin Park’s songs. They are
incredibly personal, and the last album is no exception. I’ve mentioned
that, when Chester was alive, he was very much ALIVE. He radiated
intense amounts of joy… but how that also means his pain was probably
felt just as hard. Throughout his career, and particularly (and eerily)
in the last year of his life, Chester had been candid, open, about his
struggle with mental illness. There were hardly boundaries between him,
the band, and his fans. Viewing the Instagram and Snapchat videos
they’ve done in the last few months of Chester’s life, you can see how
active of a participant Linkin Park is, in their fan base. And that’s
what I want to single out, here: Chester’s death, was like the loss of a
Park’s fan base consists mostly of millennials. We grew up with Linkin
Park. Those feelings of anger, depression, and anxiety that they knew
too well, resonated with all of us. That’s what propelled them to the
top of the charts. That’s what won them Grammys. But what made Linkin
Park completely transparent, and still relevant after 18 years, was
their kindness, namely Chester’s.
made you feel like you were his best friend. It was in his physical
enthusiasm. It was in his voice, and the way it engages with you. His
sense of humor. His humility. Linkin Park were never a cocky band. The
strength of their dedication and transparency with their fan base, made
it feel like we knew them. And yeah, I felt like I knew Chester. It was
like one of us moved away, but every now and then, one of us would make
it back home to visit, and catch up. Was I listening to new Linkin Park,
and keeping up musically? No. But I would play the old stuff, and
reminisce about the intensity to which I carried a torch for LP, once.
And now that Chester’s gone, there’s a significant chunk of that era
that has died. He was brilliant. He was warm. He was kind. It’s still
I lost my best friend, that day.
you or someone you know is suffering from depression, and suicidal
thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline
(1-800-273-8255), CrisisChat, or the Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386).
I am also selling original, Linkin Park artwork, where 20% of month-end sales on all designs will be donated to Music for Relief (which has been redirected to the One More Light Fund, for Chester). Link below.
Hello! I know you have got a lot of asks, and I wouldn't like to bother you, but I would like to ask you about the correlation between the bees and Louis. Why was everybody so excited when Harry got the bee tattoo? How do you know it is a bee? For me it looks as a fly as well. Thank you very much for your answer. xxxxx
Well, the first thing Louis ever said about BG was this
And it’s a word fairly commonly used by Louis
Also @lesbianslovelouis had said that she was going to get a bee tattoo when Babygate ended and that was a fairly popular idea for awhile.
So when Harry showed up with this
People were like
It was kind of hard to see at first, but if you look at how many legs and wings there are, it does look more like a bee to me
Amy also found this:
(x)And I think the tattoo looks more like that bee than this fly
Who’s to say.
Anywhere here’s some incredible things I found whilst researching this…