Monday, February 23, 2009

Aphrodite's Kestos

I have decided that I am not posting enough. Also that posting is an excellent way for me to work out subjects and content that I am researching in my own work. I am going to try to post every day(although the posts will probably be fairly quick) this week and see how much work it is. Essentially, for this blog to truly be about what is in my mind, I feel I should be discussing my research and my investment into these subjects.

In my desire to find a form that speaks to the emotion, femininity and seduction that parallels the sexual power of jewelry and bodily adornment, I have come upon the Kestos of Aphrodite. There is not a complete visual image of Aphrodite's kestos (at least that I can find), other than it was worn diagonally, crossing in the front between the breasts and in the back. Some describe it as being "pierced through," which I feel lends to physical properties of embroidery or filigree. Homer's story of Hera's struggle to seduce her husband Zeus, distracting his attention from his Trojan warriors, unable to assist them in battle, so Hera's Greeks could win, is of particular interest to me. The power of female seduction, through gaze, has directed my attention to feminism, which I will discuss in a later post. One of the first brassieres, as we know them today, was called the Kestos-also specifically referencing this Greek story. Although in modern times, the brassiere portrays the feeling of constriction, it was actually a symbol of freedom in the early 1900s. Women of class were bound to their corsets as a status symbol, but younger generations sought freedom of movement for, among other things, dancing. Therefore I find the brassiere particularily interesting as a dichotomous symbol of restriction and freedom, vulnerability and power.

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