tagged as:
# racism
# clowning
# clown
# clowns
# history
# circus
# blackface

The Racist Origins of Modern Clown Makeup (or, just one more reason to hate clowns)

ianthe:

This post was asking about a potential link between the afro-style wigs and big, painted lips of the modern clown and racist caricatures, so I decided to do what any good theatre history student would do - I did some research.

SPOILER ALERT: YUP, IT’S RACIST AS FUCK

From Janet M. Davis, The Circus Age: Culture & Society Under the American Big Top:

Some circus programs contained portraits of clowns in literal blackface, with huge red mouths and bulging eyes, strumming energetically on a banjo, but often the auguste clown’s blackface was metaphorical. He created his racial identity through the act of ‘‘whitening up’’ with thick pancake.

His greasy whiteness and exaggerated bodily zones—huge red mouth, lolling, paint-encircled eyes, big fake nose, ears, and feet—made his look strikingly similar to blackface. Showmen played upon this visual connection by arguing that African American men literally were clowns because of their supposed affinity for clowning and the circus. The Ringling Bros.’ route book from 1895 and 1896 contained a section, ‘‘The Plantation Darkey at the Circus,’’ which imagined—in almost orgasmic language—black men as minstrel characters.

[…]

Proprietors further conflated the African American man and the clown by arguing that both were completely controlled by their emotions, not reason.

Superlative examples of white manhood—the big cat tamer, the wire walker, and so forth—demonstrated little emotion during life-threatening acts. The clown, by contrast, howled in mock fear when he saw a mouse, or shrieked in pain at a mosquito bite. Showmen characterized male African American spectators in a similar vein as giddy and superstitious. 

[…]

Actual big-top acts made this rhetorical relationship between the clown and the African American complete. In 1888 Eph Thompson trained the elephant John L. Sullivan at the Adam Forepaugh circus. Wearing a boxing glove at the end of his trunk, the elephant sparred with Thompson in the ring and frequently ‘‘punched’’ him so hard that Thompson went flying over the ring bank.

Unlike the white trainer who dominated powerful animals, Thompson played a clownish coward—constantly vanquished by the boxing pachyderm—and consequently remained unthreatening to Euroamerican audiences. Yet Thompson still had a difficult time finding employment with American shows. As a result, he moved to Europe where his career flourished.

In line with the tenets of nineteenth-century romantic racialism, show-men’s portrayals of black men and clowns reflected contemporary representations of white women: late-nineteenth-century scientists argued that ‘‘excessive’’ emotionalism defined women, racial ‘‘savages,’’ and children of all races. The German Darwinist Ernst Haeckel and the Americans Edward Drinker Cope and G. Stanley Hall were all proponents of recapitulation theory, positing that every organism repeats the life history of its ‘‘race’’ within its own lifetime, evolving through the less developed forms of its ancestors on its path to maturity. They contended that Euroamerican women and ‘‘primitives’’ remained mentally and emotionally fixed in lower ancestral stages of evolution. Accordingly, only white boys were physiologically and mentally capable of reaching the highest stages of racial and gender development as fully evolved men. This line of thought used pseudoempirical phrenological evidence to claim that African American men were perpetually emotional and juvenile, just like the clown.

The painted clown acted out childish behaviors and infantile pleasures. He reveled in dirt, cried freely, openly adored the serious ‘‘adult’’ acts, and played physical pranks on everybody, from ringmaster to the audience. If playing a hobo (popularized most fully by Emmett Kelly’s ‘‘Willie’’ tramp character during the Depression, when at times nearly one-quarter of the American workforce was unemployed), the auguste clown’s persona was defined by dirt. Laughing loudly at the clown’s antics perhaps transported audiences back to the unrestrained pleasures of their own collective infancy and childhood.

More than a ‘‘low Other’’ who simply represented a tantalizing version of what they were not, the unfettered clown symbolized what clock-bound, alienated adult Euroamerican men perhaps felt they had lost.

Even the red noses have their origins in racist stereotypes.

From Mikita Brottman, Funny Peculiar: Gershon Legman and the Psychopathology of Humor:

While the Native American plains tribes had their own various manifestations of the Trickster figure, the main clown type of non-Native Americans was not the August, as it was in Europe, but the character clown… After the [Civil War] ended, however, one particular style of character clown came into prominence: the Hobo.

Eric Lott describes how the Hobo figure was originally based on the blackface minstrel clowns (hence the exaggerated white mouths) who portrayed the figures of African Americans made homeless by the ravages of the Civil War.

Lott explains that the Hobo character clown is a distinctly American invention, with his tattered hat, huge white mouth, three days’ growth of beard, torn clothes, and cartoon alcoholic’s big red nose. […] It seems ironic that such mawkishly appealing personalities had their roots in the miseries of poverty and oppression and the disfigurements of alcoholism and venereal disease. 

image

 

BOUND 2 REMIX ft. MIGO$

(via hudsondied)

dangerhamster:

Rubeus Remus Potter. You were named after the only two people at Hogwarts who seemed to give shit about me, because come on who else would I name you after? A verbally abusive dickbag who was in love with my mum and gave me shit all my life and someone who convinced a bunch of children that they needed to be soldiers? What kind of awful aspirations would that make you end up having? Come on son I’m not an idiot…

(via spookyhouse)

tagged as:
# gif
# I wanna watch this

deneirys:

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

"I always thought the worst thing ever would be seeing you go, but the worst is seeing you unhappy."

(via spookyhouse)

tagged as:
# Art

koshywada:

As you know, I am going to London College of Fashion this September onwards. I am starting a crowdfunding campaign to collect a part of the tuition fee. The campaign will be up and running on 1st of August on Fundlined. Till then check out my awesome video.

(via larrygopnick)

I remember very well when women used to give birth to premature babies, we used to put them in underground holes and only remove them for breastfeeding. After about two weeks, the child would be grown enough to go with the mother."

Ssenga Bernadette Nabatanzi

Leaving this here for two reasons: 1) to show that the role of ssengas was/is not limited to erotic tutelage and 2) Ugandans knew how to care for premature babies before the Europeans taught them to.

(via thefemaletyrant)

Premature babies, c sections, localized anesthesiology …i mean we been doing this shit. before they knew anything we were knowledge. and nothing has changed. except power, (his)stories, and world rending violence.

(via likehercoffee)

(via shitrichcollegekidssay)

distract me pls

  • pleas1: Is there a boy/girl in your life?
  • 2: Think of the last person who hurt you; do you forgive them?
  • 3: What do you think of when you hear the word “meow?”
  • 4: What’s something you really want right now?
  • 5: Are you afraid of falling in love?
  • 6: Do you like the beach?
  • 7: Have you ever slept on a couch with someone else?
  • 8: What’s the background on your cell?
  • 9: Name the last four beds you were sat on?
  • 10: Do you like your phone?
  • 11: Honestly, are things going the way you planned?
  • 12: Who was the last person whose phone number you added to your contacts?
  • 13: Would you rather have a poodle or a Rottweiler?
  • 14: Which hurts the most, physical or emotional pain?
  • 15: Would you rather visit a zoo or an art museum?
  • 16: Are you tired?
  • 17: How long have you known your 1st phone contact?
  • 18: Are they a relative?
  • 19: Would you ever consider getting back together with any of your exes?
  • 20: When did you last talk to the last person you shared a kiss with?
  • 21: If you knew you had the right person, would you marry them today?
  • 22: Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?
  • 23: How many bracelets do you have on your wrists right now?
  • 24: Is there a certain quote you live by?
  • 25: What’s on your mind?
  • 26: Do you have any tattoos?
  • 27: What is your favorite color?
  • 28: Next time you will kiss someone on the lips?
  • 29: Who are you texting?
  • 30: Think to the last person you kissed, have you ever kissed them on a couch?
  • 31: Have you ever had the feeling something bad was going to happen and you were right?
  • 32: Do you have a friend of the opposite sex you can talk to?
  • 33: Do you think anyone has feelings for you?
  • 34: Has anyone ever told you you have pretty eyes?
  • 35: Say the last person you kissed was kissing someone right in front of you?
  • 36: Were you single on Valentines Day?
  • 37: Are you friends with the last person you kissed?
  • 38: What do your friends call you?
  • 39: Has anyone upset you in the last week?
  • 40: Have you ever cried over a text?
  • 41: Where’s your last bruise located?
  • 42: What is it from?
  • 43: Last time you wanted to be away from somewhere really bad?
  • 44: Who was the last person you were on the phone with?
  • 45: Do you have a favourite pair of shoes?
  • 46: Do you wear hats if your having a bad hair day?
  • 47: Would you ever go bald if it was the style?
  • 48: Do you make supper for your family?
  • 49: Does your bedroom have a door?
  • 50: Top 3 web-pages?
  • 51: Do you know anyone who hates shopping?
  • 52: Does anything on your body hurt?
  • 53: Are goodbyes hard for you?
  • 54: What was the last beverage you spilled on yourself?
  • 55: How is your hair?
  • 56: What do you usually do first in the morning?
  • 57: Do you think two people can last forever?
  • 58: Think back to January 2007, were you single?
  • 59: Green or purple grapes?
  • 60: When’s the next time you will give someone a BIG hug?
  • 61: Do you wish you were somewhere else right now?
  • 62: When will be the next time you text someone?
  • 63: Where will you be 5 hours from now?
  • 64: What were you doing at 8 this morning.
  • 65: This time last year, can you remember who you liked?
  • 66: Is there one person in your life that can always make you smile?
  • 67: Did you kiss or hug anyone today?
  • 68: What was your last thought before you went to bed last night?
  • 69: Have you ever tried your hardest and then gotten disappointed in the end?
  • 70: How many windows are open on your computer?
  • 71: How many fingers do you have?
  • 72: What is your ringtone?
  • 73: How old will you be in 5 months?
  • 74: Where is your Mum right now?
  • 75: Why aren’t you with the person you were first in love with or almost in love?
  • 76: Have you held hands with somebody in the past three days?
  • 77: Are you friends with the people you were friends with two years ago?
  • 78: Do you remember who you had a crush on in year 7?
  • 79: Is there anyone you know with the name Mike?
  • 80: Have you ever fallen asleep in someones arms?
  • 81: How many people have you liked in the past three months?
  • 82: Has anyone seen you in your underwear in the last 3 days?
  • 83: Will you talk to the person you like tonight?
  • 84: You’re drunk and yelling at hot guys/girls out of your car window, you’re with?
  • 85: If your BF/GF was into drugs would you care?
  • 86: What was the most eventful thing that happened last time you went to see a movie?
  • 87: Who was your last received call from?
  • 88: If someone gave you $1,000 to burn a butterfly over a candle, would you?
  • 89: What is something you wish you had more of?
  • 90: Have you ever trusted someone too much?
  • 91: Do you sleep with your window open?
  • 92: Do you get along with girls?
  • 93: Are you keeping a secret from someone who needs to know the truth?
  • 94: Does sex mean love?
  • 95: You’re locked in a room with the last person you kissed, is that a problem?
  • 96: Have you ever kissed anyone with a lip ring?
  • 97: Did you sleep alone this week?
  • 98: Everybody has somebody that makes them happy, do you?
  • 99: Do you believe in love at first sight?
  • 100: Who was the last person that you pinky promise?

tagged as:
# gif

Make Me Choose Meme

The Red Door or Dinner Party episode from IT Crowd

(via theblacklacedandy)

fionabearclaw:

hand-embroidered intergalactic thief rat!

(via larrygopnick)

darkbeautymag:

Photographer: Mila GorodnichenkoConcept/Stylist: Leyla FrantzenHair/Makeup: Olga PetrenkoModel: Jeanine Gouwens

darkbeautymag:

Photographer: Mila Gorodnichenko
Concept/Stylist: Leyla Frantzen
Hair/Makeup: Olga Petrenko
Model: Jeanine Gouwens

(via theblacklacedandy)

crystallizations:

Rare 1990’s Jean Paul Gaultier Dress, made in France.

crystallizations:

Rare 1990’s Jean Paul Gaultier Dress, made in France.

(via lordbape)

aminaabramovic:

childservices:

finally

Songza truly gets it!

aminaabramovic:

childservices:

finally

Songza truly gets it!

pyrrhics:

'East of Eden' by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott for W March 2013

pyrrhics:

'East of Eden' by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott for W March 2013

(via arabellesicardi)

tvpuppy:

I made some collar clips/sweater guards/brooches/scarf pins/whatevers! I gotta wait for some findings to come in to finish these, but after that I’ll be putting them up on my etsy shop :3

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