Friday, 29 January 2010


My lovely husband emailed me this image of a fresco of a Minoan lady (the Minoan culture flourished in the Bronze age in Crete) from around 1400 B.C. and she is also known as La Parisienne. We both studied History together at university and I love that he gets what I do beauty wise. This lady made me laugh because quite frankly she looks like Amy Winehouse with her black liner, red lips and beehive. This lady like Amy, was also worshipped and adored, as it seems she has a sacred knot worn at the back of the neck, which experts think means she was a priestess or goddess. What I love about history is that you quickly learn people really don’t change, just the outfits and even the make up stays the same! There will always be woman who are adored and worshipped for music or similarly as a priestess- a vessel that can take normal people away from their everyday lives.

It seems that in this era there were also special beautification areas (that’s a salon to you and me) in the palaces of Knossos, Zakros and Pylos. Any woman knows going to a salon for a fake tan, hair colour, mani/pedi and blow dry is like going to a temple where you will find gossip, fun and lots of chat and also confidants. Ask any hairdresser and they will tell you they are a deep pool full of secrets about affairs, secret plastic surgery, AWOL cheating husbands and much more. Salons are part of our ceremonal culture and are scared places to many women. Even putting on make up to go to a gig, party or just the office does take on a ritualised quality and La Parisienne shows us that it ain’t nothing new.

What do you guys think of La Parisienne???


  1. My hairdresser couldn't make a sacred knot - boo! Had to make do with boring straight hair cut instead.

    Love this piece Ateh - I really like all your cultural links and how you put beauty into context.

  2. Thank you so much! I love beauty and the cultural and spiritual significance it has in our lives. As for the sacred knot I think if enough people ask for it- it will come into fashion! Fabulous


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