What: These 16 Photos Of Victorian Women Of Color Are So Resplendently Glorious by Elizabeth Kiefer
Some gorgeous images came across my feed this week on Facebook, and I couldn’t resist clicking and seeing more.
While capturing the true beauty of brown skin eluded photographers for nearly a century—it wasn’t until the 1970s and ’80s that film was reformulated so that its emulsions were sensitive to the nuances of non-white complexions—whoever snapped the photos of these women of color during the 1800s were doing something right.
Check out the images here.
What: Teaching The Camera To See My Skin by Syreeta McFadden
The beautiful images found in the article above led me to this great piece on Buzzfeed discussing how black skin is captured on film. The article is insightful, informative and in many moments gut wrenching:
I don’t know when the first time was I learned that I was ugly. Or the part where I was taught to despise my dark skin, or the part where my mother’s friends or old aunts yelled at us to stay out of the sun and not get so dark. I hear this from dark girls all the time. I don’t know how we were taught to see a flattened blackness, to fear our own shades of dark. I do know how we accepted the narratives of white society to say that dark skin must be pitied, feared, or overcome. There are overwhelming images of dark-skinned peoples in Western imagination that show us looking desperate, whipped, animalistic. Our skin blown out in contrast from film technologies that overemphasize white skin and denigrate black skin. Our teeth and our eyes shimmer through the image, which in its turn become appropriated to imply this is how black people are, mimicked to fit some racialized nightmare that erases our humanity.
You can read the full article here.
What: “The Real Mr. Darcy”: A Literary Pilgrimage to the Jane Austen Centre by Constance Grady
From: The Toast
This one is for all the Jane Austen fans. Constance Grady wrote a pretty cool and in depth article over at The Toast. With my mild (<—read extreme) obsession with all things Austen I was engrossed and entertained:
Darcy is not high on my list of reasons to read Austen. He is outranked by her beautifully balanced sentences, each one polished until it shines like glass; her wit; her women. Austen’s men tend to be cyphers, plot devices to service the stories of other characters, but her women are all so funny, so finely drawn, so distinct, that it astonishes me every time I open one of her books.
But what is most fascinating to me about Austen is how very small her world is. Her books exist in parlors and drawing rooms, behind needlepoint samplers and hands of whist. It’s an incredibly privileged world, of course, but it is tiny, and its boundaries are iron-clad.
You can read the full article here.
What: Women instinctively guard their sexual partners from other women who are ovulating by Olivia Goldhill
Last week Quartz published an article about a recent American Psychological Association study. After years in clinical research and analyzing data, I know to take the media coverage and research abstract with a grain of salt.
“Research across species demonstrates that social perceptions, cognitions, and behaviors do temporarily shift in response to ovulation, and that these shifts may enhance individuals’ reproductive fitness,” write the authors. “Similarly, psychological research on humans has demonstrated that (a) women’s perceptions and behaviors shift across their own cycles and (b) men respond to these cyclic shifts.”
The above wasn’t very surprising, but the following had my mouth stretching into a wide smile. Basically, the study hypothesizes, that women are protective of their mates when in the presence of other women they may consider poachers. I call this side-bitch radar detection…
For women, forming close, cooperative relationships with other women at once poses important opportunities and possible threats—including to mate retention. To maximize the benefits and minimize the costs of same-sex social relationships, we propose that women’s mate guarding is functionally flexible and that women are sensitive to both interpersonal and contextual cues indicating whether other women might be likely and effective mate poachers.
I love it when science attempts to prove common sense. You can roll your eyes and giggle along to the full article here.
Laurel Cremant is an opinionated author and reader of romance with a wicked sense of humor. RNIC was smart (or crazy) to bring her on as a blogger. In 2016 she took over the management of this site and relishes her new title of “Overlord of Awesome”