under 5 feet

Cultural Geography, 7th grade

Cultural Geography (weird name, but we learned about cultures while learning where they were on a map) was probably one of the best classes I’ve ever had. Why? Well, one day, we were learning about how hard it was to build a government. We were given 10 minutes with NO TEACHER GUIDELINES AT ALL. JUST 10 MINUTES OF US LEADING EACH OTHER.

This is what we did.

-Elected a kid (let’s call him Jack) to be in charge. However, everyone knew that he had a thing for Communism and walruses, so he became our dictator.
-Had a vote (before Jack became full-on dictator) and unanimously “executed” the annoying kid in the class (Let’s call him Carl)
-Had a group of girls try to form their own government. Jack got them back with the rest of the class, and those girls became the press for a meeting.
-Jack wanted to invade the class next door, but that fizzled out for some reason.
-Some boy (we shall call him Gerald) asked Jack to be a priest, and became class priest.
-Had another vote and “executed” me.
-Gerald the priest brought me back to life, and I started chasing around Carl, who somehow “came back to life.”
-Jack executed me again.
-And during all this time, this kid (we’re gonna call him Carlos) was known as the vice president of the class, despite our Communistic leader, was shouting that we needed a democracy. Nobody paid attention to him, though.
-I stood on at least 5 separate desks. (I’m under 5 feet, so I take every chance I get)

Needless to say, it was one of the best first period classes I’ve ever had.

An Illustrated Guide to Height Differences & Mark Gatiss

This is Mark Gatiss, and he is 6 feet and 1 inch in height. How would this compare with your height? Or the height of your friend/pony/garden fence? This is an illustrated guide to help you compare his height with that of other people and everyday objects.

This is Mark Gatiss and Bunsen. Adult male Labradors are typically around 2 feet in height at the shoulder. You can already tell how scientific this post is.

This is Mark Gatiss and Shirley Henderson, who is just under 5 feet and 1 inch in height. Possibly aided by heels.

This is Mark Gatiss and Una Stubbs, who is 5 feet and 2 inches in height. Possibly hampered by being tucked under both Mark & Benedict’s arms like a baby chick.

This is Mark Gatiss and Martin Freeman, who is somewhere between 5 feet 6 or 5 feet 7 inches in height. The sass adds a few inches.

This is Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith, who is around 5 feet and 7 inches in height. Bonus!background Ian Hallard.

This is Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, who is around 6 5 feet and 8 inches in height. Steven can stretch all he likes but Mark seems confident.

This is Mark Gatiss and Steve Pemberton, who is approximately 5 feet and 9 inches in height. They weren’t at secondary school here, they are adults, promise.

This is Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard, also 5 feet and 9 inches in height. Love knows no height difference boundaries.

This is Mark Gatiss and Benedict Cumberbatch, who is 6 feet in height. Mycroft is both the taller and the smarter brother.

This is Mark Gatiss and David Tennant, who matches with Mark in height as well as geekery by being around the 6 feet and 1 inch point.

This is Mark Gatiss and Tom Hiddleston, who is approximately 6 feet and 2 inches in height. We’ve reached the alien land of Mark not being the tallest thing in the photo.

This is Mark Gatiss and David Walliams, who is somewhere a little over 6 feet and 2 inches in height. This almost doesn’t compute; he’s actually starting to look on the short side.

This is Mark Gatiss and Steven Fry, who is beyond the realm of 6 feet 4 inches tall. The Mycroft-ception is strong.

This is Mark Gatiss and a British Telecom phone box, which is approximately 8 feet in height. You’ll have to imagine the top half a foot or so (of the box - not Mark).

Finally this is Mark Gatiss and Christ the Redeemer, who is 98 feet in height. Despite the optical illusion of Mark having legs that go on for miles, he is actually the shorter figure in this photo.

Shorty

Request:  Could you do one where y/n is super short, like under 5 feet tall. Include all the fluff and stuff you want! Also, side note. I have been reading your work all night and I’m just blown away by your talent! I love it so much! Thank you for writing! ❤️❤️

A/n: Thanks Dear!


He likes to give you a hard time for being so short. 

Makes fun of you because you can’t reach things, and how he can pick you up so easily if he wanted. Makes jokes like;

“Should take the extra space from your bunk and add it to mine so I have one that’s long enough.”

“Should install a step stool in the kitchen so you can reach the cabinets.”

But would also be so loving about it. 

“But then you can hear the heart that only beats for you when you hug me.” 

“Then I can cuddle you like a Teddy Bear. You are my Teddy Bear.” 

And then go back to joking, not letting up at all when his friends were around. It would make you sassy, and grumpy so you’d say;

“Since I’m so short I’m closer to hell, my fall won’t hurt as much as yours.”

He’d raise his eyebrows at you, realizing that he’d hurt your feeling but still jokes;

“Are you saying that I’m going to hell?”

“Gonna be there long before me, might be making a visit tonight if you don’t shut the fuck up.” 

He’d do anything he could to get on your good side again. Not liking angry Y/n. 

“I’m sorry Baby, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. Come cuddle with me. I’ll tell you all the things I love about you.”

But then as you walk by him, heading to the bedroom he’d smirk;

“Cuz you’re my shorty.” 

“Sleep on the couch.” You say closing the door in his face.

The RFA reacting to the MC being 4'10

Zen

- this just makes you 1000x cuter

- because he’s like 5'10 or whatever, you compliment him more

- he’s SO MUCH MORE GENTLE AND AFFECTIONATE W YOU

- head pats. VERY OFTEN.

- whenever y'all get into small little fights, he goes all “okay but what are you gonna do tho? you’re literally a garden gnome.”

- but tbh he cherishes you so much more bc of it, your shortness just adds to your charm.

- your struggle to reach the top of the fridge for cookies is hilarious to him

- but he doesn’t really tease you TOO about it bc he keeps reiterating the fact that your height is a perk, not a flaw

Yoosung

- the height gap isn’t OUTRAGEOUSLY big so he doesn’t have much to say about it

- it actually makes him happy bc a lot of women consider him to be too short for a man so you’re perfect for him

- but bc you’re so short, you start to feel like the younger one in the relationship bc most people who see you guys together assume that he’s older

- which isn’t bad, it actually makes yoosung feel good about himself bc people always treat him like a child

- basically he’s just really comfortable having you around bc most people treat him like a kid and being w you feels like he’s w somebody on his level… or below it

- “you’re not short, you’re fun sized!”

Jaehee

- you’re so mature and handle yourself in such a good manner in the chats… that she almost didn’t take you seriously when she had to slightly look down at you the first time you guys meet

- it doesn’t bother her at all though, it just took time to adjust to bc in her head she pictured you as a grown woman but you’re literally bite sized

- when you guys go out on dates, people ask if you’re her little sister

- it’s never really a big deal tho bc it’s literally just height and at the end of the day jaehee fell for you for you

- she lends you her heels so that you can finally be as tall as her

- “seriously, you’re as petite as a child.”

Jumin

- yo this man TOWERS over you

- the first time you guys met, he deadass could not see you in front of his desk and it took him a few seconds to look down and go “… so you’re her.”

- literally, anything he buys you, 9 times out of 10 you’re gonna have to get it tailored bc everything is too long and sometimes slightly big for you to wear

- when you fall asleep on the couch and he picks you up, he cradles you a little bit before placing you onto the bed

- dance lessons are kinda hella awkward but y'all make it work

- sometimes you get a bit insecure bc the women that throws themselves at him are all tall and sophisticated supermodels, they just seem to suit him more. while you’re so tiny and very awkward when trying to fit into his world

- but then he reassures you, that like everything else about you, Jumin loves your shortness and believes it makes you more perfect, more beautiful, more desirable than any other woman who throws themselves at him

- he noticed the height supplement pills in his cabinet when you moved in, took them, walked up to you and said “you won’t need these any more when you’re with me.”

- it’s NOT FUN when he loses you in a crowd of reporters

- and when he finds you again he practically glares at them and hugs you very tightly, “Next time, hold onto me so I’ll never lose you in a crowd again. You had me so worried. I’m never letting you out of my sight.”

- your height makes it that much easier for him to dominate you

- he’s very careful and delicate when he’s touching you bc you being so small just makes you seem that much more fragile in his eyes

- jokingly considers putting you on a leash to avoid losing you again, but would never actually do that

- whenever someone tries to make a short joke or roast you for your height in the messenger, it’s like the perfect way to summon Jumin bc he comes in all like “Her height is perfect. Haven’t you heard? Good things come in small packages. And you lot would be lucky if she’d be interested in any one of you.”


707

- short jokes are the fucking HIGHLIGHT of the RFA chats

- he knew what you looked like, but seeing you in person had him SHOOK bc even tho he knew adult human beings could be under 5 feet, it made it even more fascinating to see you in person

- but the truth is he thinks it’s so fucking adorable

- it also makes him want to protect you even more

- when you guys are together he always tosses you around the bed bc you’re just such a petite little thing

- PIGGY BACK RIDES ARE MORE FUN THAN EVER NOW

- “Can I tell you a secret…? You’re not a normal sized human being, but your height was actually my ideal size for a woman.” Not sure about men tho 👀👀👀

- he’s mad childish about it tho like when y'all are talking he bends his knees and gets down your level to talk to you when y'all are having a small disagreement

Saeran

- he’s not really surprised at your height bc of how he’s stalked the hell out of you and all but he finds it quite amusing

- but boy is this man the devil incarnate when y'all are roasting each other bc your height is THE FIRST thing that pops up and he does not hold back

- he doesn’t say it out loud but he actually really likes the fact that you’re short as hell, it’s cute

- puts the cookies on the top shelf and hides the ladders bc he’s literally Satan

- but he also really loves you so when he holds you, he’s afraid he could crush you right in his arms

- “I haven’t been 4'10 since my mother died.”

- sometimes you repeat whatever he says about your height in a mocking tone bc CHOI BOYS ARE CHILDISH AS HELL

- but honestly, if anyone else were to tease you for your height he would deck them bc ONLY HE gets to roast your santa’s elf looking ass

V (ho boy here we go)

- cracks a short joke once a blue moon

- otherwise he NEVER makes fun of your height

- he honestly loves that you’re so short bc when he holds your head close to his chest, you can hear his heart beat and he’s all “that’s how I feel with you in my life.”

- always tilting your chin up to look at him like, “come on, let me look at those beautiful eyes. I never get to see them since you look down all the time.”

- you might only be 4'10, but to him, you’re so much bigger than that

- he’s literally so in love w you that the reason why he doesn’t mention your height isn’t bc he doesn’t notice, rather he notices it a lot. but he finds it so beautiful that the sun isn’t just a star– the sun is a 4'10 angel.

- one day he even actually asks you, “How do you do it?” you’re confused, and he says, “How do you find a way to store so much light in that small but perfect body of yours?” you’re blushing like crazy but he’s actually being serious.

- you respond with, “well, the sun shines for a reason. and my light just so happens to shine the brightest when I’m with you.”

- v is so honored by what you said bc no matter how many short jokes you get, you’re seriously the biggest thing in the world to him, to the point where he associates you with light sources like fire, stars, the moons glow– y'all get it

- this boys is literally convinced that you’re a human version of what light looks like

- y'all V thinks the light is 4'10

- V is just so perfect, why did Cheritz do my mans wrong I’m fucking crying give me my V route

See Them Buried

Clarissa Reynolds was the best seamstress in Amestris.

By legend, she could spend five minutes sizing a soldier up with her eyes, and churn out a perfectly fitting uniform for him in two days flat. The “five minutes” was untrue, and the “by sight” was a bit of an exaggeration, and “two days” was sometimes three or four—but all those aside, Clarissa’s work was perfect, and there was no room to argue that.

Clarissa was 42 now, with wrinkles around her chocolate eyes and corkscrewing hair that had grayed prematurely. With 20 years of professional practice under her belt, she’d made more than a name for herself among the Central military personnel. She was specifically picked for special people, or for problem cases, when they arose. She’d sewed every bit of Major Alex Armstrong’s uniform, whose proportions had left his first seamstress rather white in the face and overwhelmed.

Clarissa had personally been tasked with crafting the Fuhrer’s uniform. The other seamstresses held this as a point of admiration in Clarissa, as well as an inside jest. Clarissa was the only one of them to ever “work with” the Fuhrer, which was subtle phrasing to mean Clarissa was the only one among them who’d seen the Fuhrer stripped to his underwear. They asked how it was “working with” him, and Clarissa told them that Mrs. Bradley would perhaps not like this information to go public. She had no real desire to discuss the Fuhrer in his underwear—he’d been perfectly courteous and pleasant while being measured, which made him one of Clarissa’s more enjoyable jobs.

Her work followed her home, where she had two full rooms dedicated to her craft. She padded mannequins to match the proportions of current clients, and she worked late into the night fitting different folds of cloth over the dummies, over and over, until she found a pattern which fell just right. Her 14 year old daughter Violet liked to hang in the periphery and observe; her 12 year old son Conner liked to sit on a favorite step stool, swinging his legs and commenting on which orientations of navy blue fabric looked the most “bad ass”. He also reminded her to take the pins out of her hair every night when she left the room, a task she’d given him after pricking her husband a few dozen times too many in bed.

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5

Daily reading: Black Panther vol 6 #5 - "A Nation Under Our Feet: Part 5" (Coates, Sprouse)
- regular cover by Brian Stelfreeze
- Connecting A cover by Esad Ribic
- Classic cover by Greg Hildebrandt
- Story Thus Far cover by John Cassaday
- Tsum Tsum Takeover cover by Sara Pichelli

Drawn to power

This is a sequel to my older story Just Drawn that way.


It had been nearly 50 years since sweet little Donna had been transformed into the evil queen Dominique and yet she still looked as youthful as the day the magic necklace brought her creation to life. She had amassed an army quickly by using her mind control and had soon toppled most governments and declared herself Queen of the world.

She had not brought unity to the lands with her conquest but despair and suffering. She had built a large opulent castle in which to reside with only those she could control residing within.

She had seduced the strongest warriors to serve as her royal guards from threat of assassination and had dominated the wills of the smartest minds to always stay one step ahead. She truly was untouchable. She had even allowed one man, Gideon, to share her power and immortality, he alone had free will and had been chosen for his natural affinity to being cruel. Dominique had fallen in love with him several decades previous. When she detected his black heart she knew he would be the perfect mate.

However pockets of the world had stayed strong and revealed against the Evil Royals. They had slowly began reclaiming and taking back territory. Dominque was furious and made it her mission to personally quash the rebels once and for all.

The rebels were counting on this however as it was all a ruse to draw her away from her castle so they could send a spy in to destroy the necklace that started this once and for all. Even though the necklace could only grant one wish to a person, Dominique needed to protect it as destroying it would reverse any and all spells.

The spy that was sent in was Christina Wallace. She had been trained since birth for a mission just like this one. Day after day of fight and acrobatics training prepared her for this day. However such an intensive training regiment had taken a toll on her body and at the age of 21 she had an undeveloped chest and was just under 5 feet tall.

With Dominque out fighting the rebels the castle was running with a skeleton crew and so infiltration was easy. Christina made it to the royal bedroom with no problem and found the necklace on the table next to the bed, exactly where Intel had told her it would be. Christina had to admit that it was a stunningly piece of jewellery but there was something dark about it, it seemed to have an evil aura about it.

She lay the necklace down on the table and looked around the room for something to smash it with. She found a suitablely heavy candlestick holder and was getting ready to destroy it when she heard a creak and turned to find Gideon standing there.

“Well well well seems we have a spy, it has been awhile since I converted anyone so this should be fun” he said with a smirk.

“You won’t be doing that to me or anyone again once I smash the necklace” Christina countered with.

The colour in Gideons face drained out as he heard the threat. He couldn’t go back to his former life where he was just a nobody. He was powerful now, feared by masses. He had to stop her and he had just the way to do it.

“You could do that or you could become the new queen” he said with a knowing smile.

“And why would I do that? The Queen has brought nothing but pain to the world” she said.

“But you wouldn’t have to. You could be a benevolent Queen who would bring unity to the world. You don’t know how divided we were before Dominque came to power. You could be the unifying force that ushers in peace finally” Gideon said slowly stepping towards her.

As much as she knew Gideon was trying to manipulate her she had to admit that he had a point. She would be a great Queen. Caring and loving she could be a force of light in this world of darkness.

“No” she said fighting back against her own thoughts “this necklace does only bad never good and besides Dominque would still exist and she is near on unstoppable.”

Gideon smiled, it was working she just needed the right push.

“Well that’s where you could kill two birds with one stone. Make a wish that would take everything from her and bestow to you. Her powers, castle, armies everything. She would lose it all and you would have a great foundation to started rebuilding the world.”

It could work she thought. Finally Dominque would be destroyed and a new better era could begin with her at the helm.

“Ok say I agree with you how would I even do this?” She said giving in.

He had her in the palm of his hand she just had one last step.

“Put the necklace on and simply say ‘I wish to take everything from Dominque’ and it will be done” he said getting closer to her.

She slipped the necklace around her neck. She kept convincing herself in her mind that this was the right thing to do as she spoke the wish aloud. It started to vibrate and spoke the words “As you wish”. Smoke started to pour out of the necklace and engulfed Christina. She could feel the smoke start to change her body and mind. Her thoughts of peace and goodwill were slowly becoming uninteresting to her. Foreign feelings of greed, power and domination were entering her mind and it felt good.

“Mmmmmmm what’s happening to me, why am I feeling different. Its like I’m craving power and feel like I deserve it. I don’t feel compassion for others just disdain. That’s not like me, what did you make me do?” She shouted at Gideon through the smoke.

“You wanted everything Dominque had right?” He said triumphantly “Well her desires and thoughts would fall under ‘everything’ right? Oh and also her good looks too, can’t wait to see your body transform from the pathetic excuse of one you have now to a sexy Goddess.”

She could feel her mind slipping. She wanted to fight but the thoughts of all the power she would wield was making her wet. 

“No I have to fight it, I can’t become an evil bitch like Dominque” she said panicky but then her voice shifted and became sexier “but then again if feels soooo good. I haven’t even received all her power yet and already I have the desire to do bad and why shouldn’t I? I deserve this power more than she does! I will be crueler than she ever was, I will stomp out the disgusting rebels once and for all and rule this world forever. I wanted a new better era and it will be…. for me. No more fighting, give me all the power, make me the new evil Queen!”

No sooner had she said that she could feel her body begin to shift and change more rapidly. Her once flat chest shot out to gorgeous mounds ripping her clothes. Her hair lengthen and changed from dull brown to shocking red. She grew an extra foot taller and her ass curved out into perfection. Her mind was changing even more still. Hate and contempt for Gideon were now turned into loyalty and lust.

“Finally the body I craved for so long will be mine. I will be the envy of all women just as I was of Dominique. There will be no equal. Ohhh fuck it’s making me wet just thinking about it. You’ll have to attend to your new queen soon my love” she said so seductively that Gideon’s cock went instantly hard. Christina had taken Gideon’s love and devotion to Dominique as well and he couldn’t wait to please his new Queen.

The final stage of the transformation began as the smoke started to attach itself to Christina forming new clothes made of latex and lace. A tight black corset perfected her hourglass body and black knee high boots creeped up her fishnetted legs. The transformation was complete and Christina looked at herself in a nearby mirror. Her evil demeanour only made Gideon even harder. She looked even more cold hearted than Dominque and she felt it.

“I feel so fucking bad. What do you think beloved?” she said confidently strolling up to him.

“The Queen is dead, long live the Queen” he said before embracing her passionately.

“The best part of all this is I know where all the secret rebel bases are and we can get rid of the vermin once and for all. But first you have a job to do.” She said with an evil smirk.

“Right away… wait what is your name?” Gideon said as he knelt before her and started pleasuring her. She directed his head slowly and sensually. She closed her eyes and started to cum over and over again.

“Mmmmmm you can call me Raven after all I will be the forebearer of death and destruction.” She said smiling evilly to herself. 

Inktober 13: Bloody kiss

a/n: I was listening to the Lalaland soundtrack when I wrote this. Shit.

The vapour surrounds the bathroom so much they both feel dizzy. They’re lying on a bathtub, drinking from the finest glass while tracing patterns onto the other’s skin.

“I love you, you know that?” a kiss and Alfred lifts his weight so he can possess Arthur fully. Arthur whimpers, but lets him nonetheless, as he rolls his hips and stains Alfred’s cheek with the blood of the tub.

It’ll all be a pain to clean later, but the sensation is worth it a thousand times. The couple knows it better than anyone else, as twenty years of job addictions and meaningless affairs had never made them feel so young, so complete, and so alive.

“We’re one hell of a twisted couple,” Arthur says, and they both laugh. They laugh so hard they surely can be heard at the manor.

They laugh so hard they sure can be heard under 5 feet, where the corpses are hidden.

Caught Up | Yoongi

Prompt: There’s a storm and omg I’m losing signal are you okay?? Hold on let me drive 489432 miles to get you the night before Christmas
Genre: Fluff
Word Count: 2,966
Author’s Note: Is it too early to start with the Christmas stories because I don’t care, it’s December so that’s good enough for me. 

.

You can’t help the yelp that sounds from the back of your throat as the howling against your window grows stronger for just a moment, the shaking of your window echoing through the rest of your apartment and making you feel very small and very alone in just a sliver of a second.

“You okay?”

Inhaling sharpy through your nose, you resume your attention back to the voice on the other side of the line, slightly muffled and hazy with the swirling of storm clouds and snow outside, but clear enough for you to smile just a little. He gives you enough, even through a cell phone, to not feel alone. “Y-Yeah, Yoongi-ah. I’m fine.”

“You don’t sound fine,” Yoongi retorts, and you can practically hear the frown in his voice softening into concern. “Are you sure you don’t want me to come over?”

You look out the window at the snow swimming around, darkness etched far beyond what your eyes can see, even with the lights of your living room on. On the coffee table is your homework laid out, your feeble attempt to try and get something done in spite of the loud distraction and the fear in your chest that makes you want to bury yourself under 5 feet of blankets and never get out. No, even if you wanted Yoongi, needed him desperately to keep you company to stop the anxiety, nothing about you was worth trekking through miles of snow for. Frost bite and sickness would surely be inevitable if Yoongi tried to step outside tonight.

“Yes,” You manage, glad that you can at least make your voice sound confident enough to stop Yoongi from worrying. You can even picture his face right now, probably back in the dorms with the other boys as they watch TV or hoard themselves with junk food as Seokjin-oppa shakes his head at the unhealthiness of the whole thing. At least Yoongi has the boys to keep him company. “You really don’t have to come over. I’m a big girl, I can take care of myself.”

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Kosmesis Explored

Greek kosmetike “the art of dress and ornament,” from feminine of kosmetikos, as well as kosmesis,“ an adorning”, covers all aspects of a body’s visual representation, including dress, jewellery, cosmetics and hand held accessories. We have a plethora of archaeological evidence for cosmetics pots, jewellery and hand held items like mirrors, as well as clothing styles and fabrics seen on sculpture and vase paintings. The lack of sophistication of these items may seem strange to us now, but their purpose is easy to understand next to modern day comparisons. J. Entwhistle and Mireille M. Lee both agree that ‘dress theory’ applies to both ancient and modern society, representing a language of sorts, that helps to construct and define the self.

Because “dress lies at the margins of the body and marks the boundary between self and other, individual and society,” dress is essential to the construction of individual identity. […] Indeed, it may be argued that dress is the means by which the body becomes a self. [1]

The Greeks have a good example of this 'creation of the self’ in the myth of Pandora, the first woman created by the gods.

He spoke, and they obeyed Lord Zeus, the Son of Kronos.
Forthwith from earth the famous Doubly-lame One formed
a modest maiden’s shape, as Kronos’ Son had planned;
Bright-eyed Athene then arrayed and girded her;
The goddess Graces and august Persuasion put
the golden necklaces upon her skin; and then
the fair-tressed Hours crowned her head with spring-time flowers;
Athene draped her frame with every ornament.
The Argos-slaying guide implanted in her breast
deceits and wheedling words, the habits of a thief,
according to loud-thundering Zeus’s plans. And speech
the herald of the gods put in, and named the maid
Pandora, since all those who hold Olympian homes
had given gifts to her, sorrows for hard-working men. [2]

Here, Pandora is first moulded by Hephaestus and then gifted with clothes and jewellery by Athene, the Graces, Aphrodite and the Hours. This 'adorning’ is literally 'creating’ the image of the first woman, differentiated from men in the ancient world, before she is gifted with speech and cunning.

In mythology, this construction of the identity applies to divinities as well as humans, especially in Greek mythology, where the gods are anthropomorphised and linked very closely with the mortal condition. They have desires, emotions, faults and individual physical attributes. In Aphrodite’s case, her kosmesis actually defines her Honours and her spheres of influence.

The adornment is a physical manifestation of the goddess’s individual power and defines the goddess’s specific sphere of interest and her function within the Olympic pantheon: Aphrodite is the goddess of beauty, attraction and seduction. Such an adornment scene defining divine identity need not be even linked to a context of seduction. [3]

Yet we see a famous example of this seduction played out by the goddess herself when she seduces Anchises on Mount Ida. It is ironic however that the goddess of seduction who has influenced even the gods themselves, falls under her own 'spell’ so to speak, when Zeus inspires her desire for a mortal.

Before she reveals herself to Anchises, the hymn focuses on the goddess preparing herself for her lover. In this scene, she retreats to one of her famous historical sanctuaries in Paphos, Cyprus, where she is bathed and prepared by her attendants, the Graces.

There she entered and behind her closed the shining doors; and there the Graces bathed her and anointed her with ambrosian oil such as is rubbed on the deathless gods, divinely sweet, and made fragrant for her sake. After she clothed her body with beautiful garments and decked herself with gold, smile-loving Aphrodite left fragrant Cyprus behind and rushed towards Troy. [4]

Her kosmesis is an important demonstration of her gathering power to woo her chosen mortal, which she manages very successfully of course. Achises is 'seized by desire’ for her, unable to deny her beauty and allure. In contrast, we see the reserve of a kosmesis in the same poem, where Aphrodite is divulged of her powerful attributes.

And when they climbed onto the well-wrought bed, first Anchises took off the bright jewels from her body, brooches, spiral bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, and loosed her girdle, and her brilliant garments he stripped off and laid upon a silver-studded seat. [4]

Breitenberger argues that this undressing strips the goddess of her associated Honours, leaving her as nothing more than the mortal maiden she has fooled Achises into believing she is. Yet the act of seduction comes to its culmination, the act of love, which the goddess is so closely linked with.

One only has to look at the famous Aphrodite of Knidos by the sculptor Praxiteles to see the sheer power of the nude goddess. Originally sculpted in the 4th century BCE, Praxiteles’ work was the first representation of full female nudity and caused quite a stir. One version of of the sculpture’s reveal tells us that it was at first rejected in favour of a draped version, though the un-draped version was set up in an open air temple to be viewed from all sides. What other goddess would stand so proud unclothed than the goddess of beauty herself? She does not lose power by revealing her nudity, in fact, I would argue that Aphrodite is the most powerful un-adorned as well as adorned.

Another goddess with a famous kosmesis scene is Hera in the Illiad. In Book 14 she plans on seducing Zeus, distracting him away from the battlefield so that the Greeks can regain their superiority against the Trojans.

Hera went in and closed the polished doors behind her. She began by removing every stain from her desirable body with ambrosia and then lavishly anointing herself with the ambrosial oil with which her dress was scented; this only had to flutter in the bronze-floored palace of Zeus for its scent to spread through earth and sky alike. With this she smoothed her lovely skin and hair, then combed her hair and with her own hands plaited her shining locks and let them fall in their divine beauty from her immortal head. Next she put on an ambrosial robe that Athene had woven smooth, then finished and richly embroidered. She fastened it across her breast with golden clasps and, at her waist, tied a girdle from which a hundred tassels hung. In the pierced lobes of her ears she fixed two shining earrings, each a thing of brilliant grace with it cluster of three drops. Then the celestial goddess covered her hair with a beautiful new head-dress which was a bright as the sun; and last of all, she bound a fine pair of sandals under her shimmering feet. [5]

Aphrodite is by no means absent from this scene, as Hera’s next step is to go to the goddess of love in order to ask for her aid. She asks for Aphrodite’s powers of seduction and desire, which take the form of a physical 'belt’ that can be worn.

She spoke and undid from her breast the charm decorated with ornaments in which all her magic resides, Sexual Pleasure and Desire and Intimacies and Sweet Persuasion, that turn even wise men into fools. [5]

Not only does this serve as a representation of Aphrodite’s powers, it is also a physical item 'of adorning’ that can obviously be transferred from one goddess to another. This is similar to amulet commonly worn by heterai and women in general in order to either attract desirable outcomes or protect against disease and harm. This charm band can be closely linked with the zone and kestos worn to bind the peplos or chiton close to the body. A young girl donned the belt when she was ready to marry, thus presenting her burgeoning sexual 'readiness’. The belt therefore, would be an ideal item to associate with Aphrodite and her Honours of desire and pleasure. The belt was untied by the groom on the wedding night.

'Dressing rituals’ from myth are quite common in cultic practice, the biggest example being the Panathenaia where the goddess’ statue on the Acropolis of Athens received its new woven peplos. Cult images were regularly bathed by religious officials and worshippers, and many images of goddesses were shown with adornment or even pre-drilled holes where items like earrings could be added.

It is at this point, I think, that we may turn to the question as to whether there are traces of cultic activities in the mythical depiction of Aphrodite’s adornment in her shrine. It takes place in a temple and therefore recalls rituals during which priestesses or temple-servants look after a cult image. The latter was strongly involved in cult practices, since their performers acted as if it were the god or goddess herself whom they were looking after. [3]

Not only did goddesses impersonate priestesses, but priestesses clearly imitated the goddesses they served. […] When we speak of divine “impersonation” or “imitation” we mean that the cult agent takes on the costume of the costume of the divinity in order to play a part in a ritual drama. We do not mean that the priestess “becomes” or “embodies” the goddess. [6]

Both Breitenberger and Connelly mention the act of 'divine impersonation’ from priestesses and though historically these were used in ritual dramatic enactments during festivals, I believe that the 'act of adorning’ could be seen as a physical act of devotion by the worshipper.

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[1] Entwhistle, J, “Fashion and the Fleshy Body: Dress as Embodied Practice,” Fashion Theory 4.3 (2000). Quoted in Body, Dress, and Identity in Ancient Greece by Mireille M. Lee. (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

[2] Hesiod, Works and Days. Translated by Bruce MacLennan. (1995)70-83.

[3] Breitenberger, Barbara, “Aphrodite and Eros: The Development of Erotic Mythology in Early Greek Poetry and Cult.” (Routledge, 2007).

[4] The Homeric Hymns. Translated by Apostolos N. Athanassakis. (Second Edition. The John Hopkins University Press, 2004). 5: Prayer to Aphrodite, 60-66.

[5] Homer, The Illiad. Translated by E. V . Rieu, revised and updated by Peter Jones and E. V. Rieu. (Penguin Classics, 2003). Book 14, 215-218.

[6] Connelly, Joan Breton, “Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece.” (Princeton University Press, 2007).

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Images

Red attic figure kylix, interior vase is titled The creation of Pandora. Dated Ca. 470-460 B.C  by the Tarquinia Painter.

Paestan Red Figure, Calyx krater. Painter: Attributed to Python. Date: ca 360 - 340 BC

Aphrodite of Knidos, Praxiteles. 4th Century BCE. Roman copy.

Aphrodite Riding on a Goose, 4th Century BCE.