Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hot or Not?

I'm watching the Tudors in reruns on BBC America and am slightly annoyed by something Lenora Crichlow (whom I adore in Being Human) says in her Get Tudored intros, to whit that Anne Boleyn wasn't hot, conventionally speaking. I hear this said about women from time to time and they're almost always conventionally beautiful in that they are thin, white, middle to upper class and have "good hair." Maybe they aren't precisely super models but when compared to a hundred women off the street from around the world they're in the top of the beauty tree for our current culture.

Here's a sketch of the former queen done by Hans Holbein the Younger, which I like better than the most popular image of her, which was painted some time after her death.

Sure she has dark hair while blonde was fashionable but blondes are fashionable today and brunettes can still be considered great beauties.

But whether or not the former queen was considered a classical beauty in her lifetime isn't really the point. Hotness isn't determined solely by the face or even a shapely figure. There's charisma and charm and a host of other qualities that go into whether someone is "hot".

Any woman who could make a man want her so much he practically destroys his kingdom and starts a reformation is hot by definition.

(I also wonder whether the thing about her lack of looks isn't just more of the effort to destroy her like the allegation of witchcraft and incest. There have always been people who want to tear down powerful women. Look also at Marie Antoinette, another queen who lost her head and was accused of incest, this time with her own son. She was vilified to the point where even today quite a lot of people believe she said "Let them eat cake" when told her people didn't have any bread.)



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