Tina Turner has left us. As I think it was for you my lights, Tina Turner was an inspiration to me and she was even more so since I was a professional singer. I'm not going to tell you about his life, all the media have done it and you are spoiled for choice. On the other hand, there is a side of his life which is perhaps less known and which has certainly been less publicized, it is what I would call “his existential practice”. I would like, through a few short excerpts of her words during interviews she had with Oprah Winfrey, another woman I esteem, to share with you what in my eyes gives her even more of her role as an inspiring woman.
In 2007, when Tina was 68, Oprah asked her the question bluntly: How does it feel to get old?
“I must tell you that I am delighted. Of course there are changes but when you are healthy and doing well like I am, I don't mind being 68 at all. It just doesn't mean anything! We can't cling to age or beauty, because then you're always chasing something that you'll never get back.
The following year, when Tina was 69 and had just ended her career, Oprah told her that it must have been a really tough time.
Tina replies: “No! It was easy. I have worked hard all my life. It was more than just singing, it was more than just rock'n roll. I wanted to retire and not worry anymore. It was then that I had a revelation: “That's it! Now I'm going home. And I was really coming home, more than just a home. I was going where I had always wanted to go for the last stage of my life. »
Four years later Oprah said to him “But you have no regrets? »
Tina: “But then not at all. I did it and I say it and say it proudly “I'm 73! ". I'm at a point in my life where even when it's time to leave and go to another planet, I'll be present and curious, I want to see what it's all about. I'm not saying that I want to die but the day it comes there will be no regrets. There will be no regrets because I would have done what I came to this earth for. Now life is just fun. I have friends who matter. I have a husband who loves me and whom I love. I am happy and this happiness is in me and it is in me because I desire nothing. »
This does not prevent Oprah from returning to the charge: "And yet, to detach oneself from a glorious past is the most difficult thing for a living legend like you!"
Tit for tact Tina tells him: “It's just not true for me! ".
Suddenly Oprah asks him: “But how do we manage to be where you are? That's what we all try to do but getting there is something else? »
Tina's response: “Above all, it's a journey. To start you are born and you start your journey and then you leave the journey. But how you manage your trip is what is super important. I stayed centered, I stayed focused, I stayed on track. I had a wish. My wish was to get to where I am today. Throughout the journey I endured difficulties. Throughout the trip I stayed on course and I stayed on course because there was something inside of me that always told me that I could do better and I wanted to do better. My legacy is a person who always strived to do better and did better. I will not give in to age and I encourage those around me not to give in either. Women should be proud of who they are at any stage of their life. The state of mind is important. Laughter is important. Love is important”.
For me Issanaa, these are words that can only be the consequence of a fulfilled life. Fulfilled in the sense that it is a life that has set out on a path following a vision, a vision in harmony and in love with life and a life that has constantly given life and honored this vision. You don't reach 73 by being able to say " I'm at a point in my life where even when it's time to leave and go to another planet, I'll be present and curious, I want to see what it's all about.", without having stayed the course and brought this vision to life throughout these seventy-three years.
Having a vision in line with love and life and staying the course is what Tina Turner inspires me and hopes she inspires you.
Vivienne Westwood: The Punk Years
It was my daughter, a few days ago, who told me " But mom, I'm really amazed that as an image energy coach, you haven't made a news story about the disappearance of Dame Vivienne Westwood. It is still one of the great stylists and ladies of the image ».
She was absolutely right. So I got to work and I give you a first episode, and not worlds, of the life of Dame Vivienne Westwood. Enjoy as we say here.
To fully understand her background, you must know that Vivienne Swire was born in 1941 during the Second World War in a village in the north-west of England, Tintwistle in Cheshire. And, when I write village, it is indeed a village in question, a village which since the Second World War has never exceeded 1400 inhabitants. Tintwistle is located in a valley on the border of two worlds. In his time Tintwistle was inhabited by a few farmers and workers. To the west, about fifteen kilometers away, is Manchester, Manchester which was for a time, in the middle of the XNUMXth century, the largest industrial city in the world. The Swire family are working-class and live on one of these streets with small, similar single-family houses. Their neighbors are workers. This is the environment that Vivienne knows and frequents, an environment that encourages her assertive and rebellious side.
On the other hand, to the east, immediately outside the village, there are sparsely inhabited, mountainous areas dotted with small glacial valleys with cliffs, torrents, lakes and heather moors. This is where Vivienne escapes, takes refuge, connects with nature, walks and dreams, an environment that helps her develop her sensitivity and her natural artistic side. It is there, in this village of Tintwistle that Vivienne spent her childhood and part of her adolescence. His education and his culture will be marked by these two environments. On the one hand the working world through her father who works in a factory, on the other nature where she can escape on foot in a few minutes.
The post-war period had a profound effect on this first industrial center in the world, made up of Manchester, Birmingham and Sheffield. These are years of depression, factories close, jobs disappear and Tintwistle is hit hard. In 1958 the family decided to leave Tintwistle and emigrated to Harrow, about fifteen kilometers northwest of London. Vivienne is 17 years old and arrives in another universe, a universe that she feels full of potential and which opens up the fields of the possible to her. She feels that she will be able to fully cultivate and express her creativity and artistic dimension. Enthusiastic, she enrolled at the Harrow Art School in art jewelry. But here it is, her popular origins and the culture which are attached to it and result from it catch up with her and she is as much marginalized as she is marginalized. The shock is brutal, she picks up at the end of the first trimester feeling as she will say " that she didn't see how a working-class girl could make a living in the art world ". She then worked in a factory while taking courses to become a schoolteacher. She became a teacher, which did not prevent her from creating jewelry that she sold on the Portobello market, a bit like the Flea Market at Porte de Saint Ouen in Paris. In 1961, at the age of twenty, at a ball, she met Derek Westwood, a very good dancer as she would say. She is in love and Vivienne and Derek get married in 1962.
Opportunity for Vivienne to express her creativity and her sense of beauty: she designs and manufactures her own wedding dress. In 1963, at the age of twenty-two, she gave birth to a son, Benjamin Westwood.
In 1965, she met Malcolm McLaren. At this point in Vivienne's biography, it is appropriate to take an interest in the character of Malcolm McLaren. Vivienne and Malcolm will form a couple that will complement each other perfectly on an artistic level, allowing the full expression of their reciprocal creativity.
Malcolm got everything Vivienne didn't. He comes from a family of the most "posh" as the English say, from the rich bourgeoisie, especially on the side of his mother, Emily Isaacs, a diamond family of Sephardic origin. Her father, Peter McLaren, an engineer in the Royal Army, leaves the marital home on the pretext of his wife's repeated infidelities. Malcolm is two years old. He is entrusted to his maternal grandmother whose motto is: “To be bad is good because to be good is simply boring"(Being bad is fine because being good is just plain boring) an attitude which clearly reflects a typically English tradition which allows the eccentricity of certain privileged people to express themselves. An attitude that will mark Malcolm's schooling, which begins with an education at home with private tutors, then several private schools offering him a wide range of experiences: he begins with a Jewish Orthodox school only for boys, then an ecumenical Christian school founded in 1680. It is finally a “grammar school”, a public institution but which, by its mode of selection and recruitment, favors the children of the bourgeoisie. He is brilliant and finishes his schooling at 16 years old.
He begins a university career in the field of art, registers and takes courses in several London universities, some of his teachers are known artists. The year he graduated, he organized a “free art” festival, a landmark extravaganza. He is a rebel at heart with a protesting spirit, a protesting spirit that does not stop at the field of art. He has sympathy for the Situationist International, he demonstrates in front of the United States Embassy against the war in Vietnam by burning the United States flag, is arrested. In May 1968, he took the direction of France to join the insurrection. At the border, he was arrested again and taken back.
In 1965, Vivienne met Malcolm McLaren. She is twenty-four, Malcolm nineteen. She divorces, marries Malcolm. It is the birth of a couple where one will bring to the other the part of the social world that they lack to build their unity and fully express their creative vocation. Through Malcolm, Vivienne will grasp the codes of the bourgeoisie and understand
« how a working-class girl can make a living in the art world”.As for Malcolm, through Vivienne and his popular origins, he will be able to be something other than the easy rebel of a son of the bourgeoisie who has benefited from all the privileges and advantages of his class.
Malcolm and Vivienne begin by renting a store located at 430 King's Road, a street already steeped in clothing and fashion, notably through Mary Quant, ten years Vivienne's senior, also from the working classes and still in this world. *. Malcolm sells her collection of 1950s rock vinyls there as well as re-customized vintage furniture combining a radio and a record player, while Vivienne incorporates Malcolm's provocative ideas into second-hand clothes that she sews up or even refurbishes in the back room, all in the style of the 1950s. The store is called " let it rock ". The shop became the meeting place for the “Teddy Boys”, the first post-war expression in Great Britain of young people from the working classes who differentiated themselves from their elders by, among other things, their clothing.
Their models are the heroes of US films from the early 1950s, in particular the emblematic Johnny Strabler of L'Equipée Sauvage played by Marlon Brando. The film tells the story of two gangs of bikers who invade a peaceful and well-meaning small Californian town and wreak havoc. Marlon Brando becomes the rebel icon. On its release, the film caused a scandal, it was censored and banned in several states of the United States and several European countries. Marlon Brando's outfit: t-shirt, blue jeans, boots, leather jacket became the rallying sign of popular youth who challenged, jostled, mocked the well-meaning tranquility of 1950s society.
First the jeans. You should know that when the film was released in 1953, in the United States jeans were the working clothes of workers and nothing else, of those who worked hard manually and who knew their place in society. Jeans are still unknown in Europe. In the 1950s, wearing jeans for a young American working class meant rebelling, breaking social conventions, standing out. So much so that parents refuse to buy them and you get kicked out of high school if you wear them. A spirit that will strongly influence rock culture. In the sixties with their shop let it rock it is exactly in this line that Malcolm and Vivienne fall. Their shop became the rallying point for young protesters from the working classes who wanted to rock the boat of quiet and well-meaning society, it was the time when the shop was frequented mainly by the Teddy Boys. In 1971, Malcolm and Vivienne became owners of the store. *(Reference: our news on Mary Quant)
Vivienne and Malcolm's designs appear in theater and film productions like The Rocky Horror Show and That'll Be The Day.
In 1973, Malcolm and Vivienne go to New York to participate in the “National Boutique Fair”. It was during this fair that a man named Sylvain Sylvain, who also had a stand there, appreciated the style of their Let it Rock clothing line. At the end of the fair, it is customary for exhibitors to sell their collection. Sylvain Sylvain brings two of his friends, David Johanson and Johnny Thunders, and all three buy a good part of their collection. In fact Sylvain Sylvain is the guitarist and pianist of a New York group the new york dolls and his buddies are the other members of the orchestra. The current passes immediately between them and Vivienne and Malcolm, the New York Dolls invite them to come and listen to them at the Mercer Arts Center. Vivienne and Malcolm are conquered by the group.
The new york dolls, Velvet Underground, two New York bands, and stooges from Michigan with Iggy Pop, are historically part of the first punk-rock orchestras, a musical current that felt that the rock and roll scene had gone astray, had lost its soul, had let itself be tamed. To be able to consider Simon and Garfunkel as rock and roll as well as good-natured Californian hippie idealism as part of it showed that this music no longer rocked anything. To be rock and roll was to be rebellious, wild, to go for the simplest, the shortest, the strongest, the most direct. More than technical prowess, more than musical virtuosity, simplicity. Self-organize through networks of small venues, maintain freedom of expression. Not playing in mega halls and other mega festivals, self-producing and going through independent labels, that's punk-rock.
Malcolm and Vivienne see through the New York Dolls the link that aesthetically and politically relates them to Punk-rock to such an extent that Vivienne becomes the costume designer of the new york dolls et
dresses them all in red. Their collaboration goes even further, Malcolm becomes the promoter – manager of the orchestra. It is with Malcolm that they produce their two albums new york dolls and in 1973 Too Much Too Soon in 1974, two albums which became the most popular cult records on the rock scene. It was also with Malcolm that the New York Dolls toured Britain and France before the band broke up.
Strongly inspired by the New York scene, Malcolm and Vivienne are evolving the aesthetics of the boutique at 430 King's Road, London. Having spent that time in New York gives them a head start on the London scene, as far as punk-rock is concerned. As a result, the name of their shop becomes " Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die » in a more pure punk style adapted to the Guy Debord ( Too eager to live too young to die ). This is when Vivienne and Malcolm inaugurate a range of leather clothing with studs.
It is the place, if there is one, where all that matters for the nascent European punk-rock movement can be found. It is a broth of culture where ideas, trends, styles are exchanged, confronted, defined, strengthened. Several individuals who will mark this new culture work in the shop. Vivienne maintains the troops, which is not an easy task with such strong and marked personalities. She has the advantage of age, she is past her thirties, unlike the rest of the gang who are often not twenty years old, and of her popular origins, the two are the weight so that everyone manages to live together . It's a real tribe!
In New York, Vivienne and Malcolm have contacts with the BDSM people and see the link that exists between this environment and Punk-rock. Suddenly they integrate all the BDSM paraphernalia in their collection and in 1974 once again the shop changes its name and simply becomes SEX.
The facade of the shop features each of the three letters of the word SEX in a 150 cm high red plastic foam. The interior of the store is covered in graffiti from Valerie Solanas' SCUM Manifesto hung on chicken wire, black rubber curtains cover the walls and red carpet covers the floor.
Vivienne and Malcolm's creations tackle sexual and social taboos: t-shirts bearing images of the Cambridge rapist's hood, semi-naked cowboys, trompe l'oeil breasts and pornographic texts extracted from the book School for Wives by beat author Alexandre Trocchi. Also featured are sheer jeans with plastic pockets, zippered tops, bleached and dyed shirts adorned with silk patches bearing the likeness of Karl Marx and anarchist slogans. The shop is well stocked with BDSM clothing and items created by Vivienne and Malcolm or purchased from vendors like Atomage, She-And-Me and London Leatherman.
Visual 7: Jordan in red
From morning to late at night there is a continuous stream of characters, both from the artistic avant-garde and from the popular classes who are out of fashion, including many musicians. Vivienne's collections are increasingly noticed and appreciated by the protesting fringe, both popular and bourgeois. In the shop, their personalized, ripped t-shirts emblazoned with anti-establishment slogans and graphics and their black strappy bondage pants inspired by sadomasochistic costumes are going like hotcakes. The store becomes the mecca of protest fashion. The fact that Ken Russell asked Vivienne to be the costume designer for his film Mahler” brought him recognition as a stylist and made him appreciate by a wider audience.
In 1975 a group is looking for a new singer. Malcolm introduces them to John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten who works at the store. An Irishman, a strong personality if there is one, who doesn't mince his words, provocative, with a style of dress that will mark the punk movement. He is auditioned and hired. A new group is born: The Sex Pistols.
Johnny Rotten is a pure product of the working class if not of the lumpen proletariat. His parents are Irish emigrants who came to settle in north London in an area inhabited mainly by Jamaican and Irish workers. A violent neighborhood where they stay in a two-room apartment with outside toilets. John Lydon was born in 1956. He is the eldest of four boys. Very quickly, he will be responsible for these three young brothers, his mother being seriously ill. He describes himself as a shy, introverted child who hates school where he is regularly beaten with sticks in the English fashion of the time. He spends his summer holidays with his maternal grandparents in County Cork in Ireland.
Malcolm is the manager of the Sex Pistols. He has a precise vision of the direction he wants to give to the group: he wants to make it the expression of a movement of "hard and tough" young people, a movement that embodies the radical spirit of sixty- eightard, situationism, anti-establishment, provocation and a good touch of Dadaism.
On November 6, 1975 the Sex Pistols performed at the Saint Martin School of Art. A small but enthusiastic audience begins to follow them. They continue with many concerts off the circuit, in local venues. Rotten regularly calling out to the audience during these concerts, from time to time dropping: " Bet you don't hate us as much as we hate you!"(I bet you don't hate us as much as we hate you! "). Rotten has his own body language, facial expressions and energy. Concerts that often end in English-style fights. A dynamic is created making the Sex Pistols the torchbearer of this protest movement of a youth who does not see his life blending into the daily grind of their elders. The fifties are long gone.
In 1976, Malcolm got the Sex Pistols to appear on Bill Grundy's Today Show on the BBC at prime time. The whole group is there, plus four groupies from the Bromley Contingent, in all there are eight. Bill Grundy is not too aware of what punk-rock is and what awaits it. Exchanges between Bill Grundy and the Sex Pistols follow, and from the outset the communication is out of phase and uncouth. Bill Grundy no longer controls anything. At one point a groupy calls out to him " I always wanted to know you". Overwhelmed Grundy replies “ after the show ! ". The Sex Pistols jump at the chance and call him a pervert and name it. Unlike the Sex Pistols, all of Bill Grundy's notoriety will come down to this evening with the Sex Pistols. England discovers punk-rock and does not believe her eyes or her ears, she is flabbergasted, offended to the highest degree. But for young people with a rebellious spirit, it's a masterstroke, the Sex Pistols become their group.
Following their invitation to the Today Show, their music was censored on the biggest channels, including the BBC. EMI, then A&M, their successive production houses, let them go. It was then that Richard Branson jumped at the chance and Virgin signed them. Their first single Anarchy in the UK is an anthology piece of rock history. As for god save the queen, their second single is more than a piece of anthology, a question of intensity, energy released, rhythm, verbal sequence, it's the best.
1977 is not only Queen Elizabeth's silver jubilee but it is also her birthday, that is to say. For the English, it's been preparing for months and months if not years, and that from England to Canada via Australia. Coincidence or not, the single of the Sex Pistols God Save the Queen was released on May 27, 1977, with lyrics like: " God save the queen The fascist regime They made you a moron A potential H bomb…”.
On June 7, 1977, Jubilee year, Jubilee month and Jubilee day, the idea is to have the Sex Pistols play on a barge in front of the Palace of Westminster, just that! Richard Branson and Virgin contribute to the rental of the houseboat, the aptly named “Queen Elizabeth”. A party on the barge is organized for this day. Journalists, writers, artists, filmmakers, actors, all these fine people accompanied by the Sex Pistols are invited. The houseboat travels up and down the Thames for several hours between Westminster, Tower Bridge and Charing Cross Pier. Guests drink and dance, band members drink and are interviewed.
It's when the sun goes down that the Sex Pistols take the stage and start playing Anarchy in the UK before parliament. They follow up with God Save the Queen, No Feelings et Pretty Vacant, as alerted police surround the boat. It is dark when the police approach, cut the sound system and order the captain to return to the Pier. While the passengers are controlled, neither seen nor known, the musicians take the tangent. Malcolm confronts the police and calls them "Fucking Fascists Bastards". The police reacts, arrests him, violents him and places him bluntly in a police van. Vivienne, Richard Branson, his wife and others are disembarked and arrested. Malcolm got what he wanted, he succeeded.
A lawsuit is filed for "Sedition", ie a concerted and prepared uprising against the authority of the State, just that! They risk imprisoning him for life if not the death penalty. Ridicule is not scary! The threat does not hold, on the other hand the shop changes its name once again and becomes Seditionaries. Despite complete censorship on the BBC, several other channels and the refusal to sell the single by several chain stores such as Boots, WH Smith and Woolworth, God Save the Queen reached a second place singles in the UK, a disputed second place and probably rigged so that they did not have the first.
God Save the Queen is recognized as the most censored song in the history of British music. No small distinction.
In October 1977, the Sex Pitols released their first album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, which becomes No. 1 in the charts. This will be their only album
In December 1977 after a few concerts in the Netherlands, Malcolm organized a tour with the evocative title: Never Mind the Bans. And indeed, four of the eight scheduled dates are canceled due to political pressure. On the other hand, on December 25, Christmas Day, the Sex Pistols organize two concerts at the Ivanohe in Huddersfiels. A free matinee for the children of firefighters who have been on strike for nine months and a second paid evening concert and everything!
Imagine The Sex Pistols playing Anarchy in the UK or God Save the Queen to children. Imagine, all the children will have gifts from the stocks of Vivienne and Malcolm's shop and will leave with T-Shirts selling anarchy. Imagine three, four, ten year olds dancing to live Sex Pistols music. At the end of the concert there is cooked food
for all the children offered by the Sex Pistols: the traditional English New Year's Eve meat, vegetables, fruit, a very British layered cake full of cream.
Throughout the afternoon, the musicians mingle with the children. We could expect the worst. Well, not at all. The atmosphere was amazing and explosive, the musicians, Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, Steve Jones, John Matlock rediscover their childhood. As for the evening concert, as surprising as it may seem, it will be their last concert in Great Britain. The orchestra separates.
It's the end of Vivienne's punk-rock period. She will still collaborate until the beginning of the 1980s with Malcolm. Today she knows how a working class girl can make a living in the art world ". Punk question she understood as she said " how to create these street heroes while attacking the establishment by looking at all the icons of rebellion over the years and putting them together in original ways ". Westwood's design skills and McLaren's talent for manipulating the media marked the 1970s. But the story continues, as always!
One more year: forty years old!
But always the grace to see the sun rise
To accomplish its mission, to bring it to life ☀️
He tells himself that the woman after her thirties is over for her.
By believing in it, we get the man we deserve 🌸
Think of Queen Consort Camélia older than her King Charles III
Does he want a younger, fresher one? Nope!
The beautiful woman is beautiful at twenty as at forty, at sixty as at eighty❤️
Youth, freshness is in everyday life, in the moment
Sensitivity, anchoring, wisdom is in time
It's up to us women to know how to cultivate one like the other, outside of time and space!⭐️
Take a magazine, you know, like Life, Vogue, Paris Match, Elle, from the 1950s and look at the first photo of the star of the day, it will have been taken from the front giving all the importance to the lady's breasts. Take these same magazines half a century later and look at the photos from the beginning of the 50st century, unlike the photo from the XNUMXs, the photo of the star of the day will have been taken in three-quarters, giving all its importance to the curves of the lady, especially those of her buttocks.
Believe me, getting there was a long road! Giving any importance whatsoever to Madame's buttocks, leaving the obsessive presence of her breasts was not an easy task.
There was a heavy past known as slavery and colonialism.
Unlike the Caucasian populations where the slender silhouette predominates, among the African and Afro-descendant populations it is rather the curved silhouettes that predominate without being general. Think of the Fulani, the Maasai for example. Still, with slavery, colonialism and the racism that underpins them, generous curves and in particular a large buttocks were one of the criteria defining the black race, one of the signs of its inferiority. Slavery had to be justified. This was done by Pope Nicolas V then his successors, Callixtus III then Sixtus IV.
At this point in my boobs and butt story I would like to tell you about Sarah Baartman. Her name means nothing to you, but if I say "The Hottentot Venus", it may mean something to you! Still, I would like to talk to you about Sarah Baartman. For me, his story is the most exemplary and symptomatic and best illustrates the drifts that inevitably lead to violence, oppression and slavery, and all that through a story of buttocks.
Sarah Baartman was born in 1789 in South Africa in the Eastern Cape Province. From her early childhood, with her six brothers and sisters, she was placed in slavery on a ranch. This is where it becomes Sarah Baartman, named after its first owner. In 1810, a friend of the rancher, Dr Dunlop, surgeon at the Cape Slave Fort, seeing Sarah Baartman's buttocks thought there was money to be made by displaying her body to the curiosity of Londoners . He convinces the owner of Sarah Baartman to partner with him in this business. At that time Sarah Baartman was 21 years old, she had already given birth to two children, both of whom died during their tender childhood.
In 1810, she was taken to London in the company of her owner, Doctor Dunlop and two young slaves, handymen. The business flourished and the two men with their fairground animal and their two slaves lived in Duke Street, St James, at the time the classiest and most expensive street in London. It was at this time in London that Sarah Baartman became known as "The Hottentot Venus". She is presented as the missing link between "the beast and the man" just that! From now on, the big buttocks are associated with the black woman, one of the characteristics proving the inferiority of the black race compared to the white race, the proof that the black race is indeed an intermediate species between Homo sapiens and the other Homonines.
Four years after her arrival in London, and after having enriched Doctor Dunlop and her owner, in 1814, Sarah Baartman was sold to a certain Jean Riaux, a French animal tamer, who took her to France and showed her in the fairs. She was literally treated like a fairground animal and died a year later, in 1815. She was 25 years old.
But this does not mean that the exemplary story of Sarah Baartman stops there, far from it! Imagine that during his short stay in Paris one of our great scholars, still as illustrious today as yesterday, I mean Georges Cuvier, knew Sarah Baartman. It is precisely following observations, among others, on Sarah Baartman that Georges Cuvier writes:
“The Negro race is confined to the south of the Atlas, his complexion is black, his hair frizzy, his skull compressed and his nose crushed; its protruding muzzle and its thick lips clearly bring it closer to monkeys: the tribes that compose it have always remained barbarians »
And it is in the name of science that Georges Cuvier will have the power, after his death, to appropriate the body of Sarah Baartman. Once again it changed owners. This body that Georges Cuvier had already examined and measured, always in the name of science from every angle during his lifetime, he will now be able to legally dismember it. In the name of this "science" whose conclusions are summarized for us with all their precision and clarity in the quotation above from the work of Georges Cuvier entitled Le Règne Animal dating from 1817.
The work will be done. Georges Cuvier will scientifically and meticulously dismember the body of Sarah Baartman. He will keep and preserve three parts, namely: the brain, the genitals and the skeleton. Following this scientific dismemberment, Georges Cuvier gave a lecture to the National Academy of Medicine in Paris entitled: "Observations on the corpse of a woman known in Paris under the name of Venus Hottentote".
These three organs of Sarah Baartman: the brain, the genitals and the skeleton will be kept at the Natural History Museum from 1817 to 1878, the year in which Sarah Baartman's skeleton is transferred to the brand new Museum of Ethnography at Trocadéro. In 1937 the skeleton landed at the Musée de l'Homme in the same Trocadero. But the story does not end there.
In 1994, for the first time in South Africa, blacks, who represent more than 80% of the population, had the right to vote. This is Nelson Mandela's Republic of South Africa. Sarah Baartman becomes a national cause and South Africa wants her remains returned to their land of origin and given the honors that were denied her but are their due. In 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected president. He officially asks France on behalf of the Republic of South Africa to return the remains of Sarah Baartman. France took eight years to accede to the request and in 2002 the remains of Sarah Baartman were repatriated to her native valley of Gamtoos.
Why did I want to share what I learned about Sarah Baartman? Because I find that his short life illustrates once again that reality can surpass fiction. Imagine what this person has experienced during her 25 years of existence, this woman from a culture where the presence of ancestors is daily and where we owe them respect; this woman whose body, during her lifetime as after her death, suffered the worst outrages!
On the other hand, I had to share this story of Sarah Baartman because she is an essential link in what precisely connects the breasts to the buttocks, and that is what we are talking about today. The way the West has conceived, imagined and experienced its relationship to the buttocks, the female buttocks of course, has been deeply influenced by slavery, colonialism and Sarah Baartman.
Remember Doctor Dunlop, the surgeon at the Cape Slave Fort. In addition to his official position as a servant of Her Gracious Majesty, when he first meets Sarah Baartman, he has an unofficial position that is more lucrative than his official position as a civil servant: he is a dealer in exotic animals. He ships them mainly to England but also to other European countries. In addition, Dunlop knows the buttocks of African women, he sees hundreds of them when he inspects the Fort of Slaves in the Cape. But those of Sarah Baartman are something else! He is a connoisseur and he knows the market.
For Dunlop it is clear: Sarah Baartman is a gold mine! Imagine, not only is he ready to resign from his administrative position and leave for England, but he also manages to poach Hendrik Cesars, the new owner of Sarah Baartman, and convinces him to leave with him. In 1810, the two men and their cargo embarked for London.
Dunlop knew that big butts in England were both objects of repulsion and attraction. Isn't this the characteristic of what is precisely any object of fair? Doctor Dunlop was his job, supplying England with fairground animals. Until then he was in: lions, giraffes, rhinos, pythons and other boas, monkeys of all kinds, you know the kind! Fascination and repulsion guaranteed! But there, with Sarah Baartman, he went to a higher level. She was a fairground item, yes, but on another level. Sarah Baartman was not going to be exhibited under fairground tents, but on Duke Street, in St James, in the salons, the most exclusive salons of the British nobility in exercise. Doctor Dunlop and Cesars leave South Africa to make their fortune.
A lion is not bad, a tiger why not! But in a salon of the powerful and rich English nobility, Sarah Baartman and her buttocks are something else.
On the one hand, Sarah Baartman was black and enslaved and everything she was characterized by, especially the prominence of her buttocks, was living proof that she was a specimen of that missing link between animal and human. . For nothing in the world in 1810 would a good chic good kind Londoner have wanted to look like Sarah Baartman and even less like her buttocks. So there is this enormous revulsion in the face of Sarah Baartman's buttocks.
But on the other hand, the elegant and distinguished gentlemen of the London nobility do not remain insensitive and indifferent to the erotic charge of Sarah Baartman's prominent buttocks. What is the noble white Londoner who, somewhere, did not envy his cousin owner of sugar plantations in Jamaica who can copulate whenever he wants with the slave of his choice? And all the more so when one remembers that if, following this copulation, there has been fertilization, it is all to the benefit of the gentleman. He was the legitimate owner of the product of this copulation. Is there a more intoxicating and enticing alliance between business and pleasure?
This is why, for the London nobility of 1810, to see Sarah Baartman live in a living room in the most well-meaning way brings such a feeling of repulsion but also, just as powerfully, a feeling of attraction. Torn between these two extremes, it happened that the spectator lost the north, a state of great enjoyment.
Soon, London high society was all about the buttocks of "The Hottentot Venus", as Sarah Baartman was now called. To have seen and examined it was in good time. So much so that there were not only the nobility in these salons. The artists rushed up and painted him the portrait in all colors. It was the visual of the time, no photography and even less screen, but paintings, lithographs, caricatures…. At the same time as the artists, the scholars approached it, examined it, measured it. As a result, in London, England and beyond, few were those who did not see, look at, or examine the portrait of Sarah Baartman. Each at his own level experienced his tension between repulsion and attraction. And today, this tension is still present. The buttocks were the buzz and since then they have never stopped doing it! And if there is one person who marked and continues to mark this story of buttocks, it is Sarah Baartman.
Today this story of buttocks is played out again and again, and as in the past, between Africans from here and elsewhere and Caucasians from here and elsewhere. Until the 2010s, having shapes and buttocks, in the mainstream and dominant French culture with strong bourgeois roots, was not only not valued but was simply vulgar. And for a good part of the French, even today, having curves remains vulgar. As we have seen, this vulgarity comes from afar. It is directly linked to the history of slavery and colonization.
But on closer inspection, today, in 2022, it looks like the butts are getting their revenge.
Of course there is still the risk of turning on the TV and falling on a fashion show where all the girls are 36, far from what looks like me.
But on the other hand, there is that in plastic surgery, in Paris, at the moment, what these ladies want the most is an increase in the volume of their buttocks. Would Caucasians get in there? Looks like it to me!
Today, for many people, big buttocks are a symbol of fertility, beauty and eroticism. The biggest shows of recent years worldwide have headlined Shakira, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jennifer, Britney and more, so many women who have shapes and show them proudly and who loudly proclaim "Shake that thing Babe!
So much so that there are women today who take charge and impose their prominent buttocks. They assume their buttocks, and not only do they assume them but they move these buttocks, they move them to release their traumas and leave room for their creativity. It's in no way a matter of ego, it's "I show my butt!" Full stop”!
These women tell us that our buttocks are part of our body, that they are not there to please or displease others, that we should not be ashamed of what we are, we do not have to judging by the ideals of others, you don't have to justify yourself. Women who tell us that before being subjected to the outside gaze, our buttocks are the source of sensations and joys that belong to us. They show us that our body is the source of our well-being, that it is our responsibility to inhabit it and with it to assert our power.
Recently I heard the boss of a Parisian modeling agency say:
“I have a model who just graduated from surgery, neurosurgery please. On Fridays she's in the block, on Saturdays she twerks for a cli
“I have a model who just graduated from surgery, neurosurgery please. On Fridays she is in the OR, on Saturdays she twerks for a women's rap clip. They are independent business women who work. Sexy women, nothing to do with sex. A butt is not necessarily a sexual object, any more than the legs of Cyd Charisse in Singing in the rain. They are artists who express beauty through their bodies, through dance, just like Cyd Charisse! Today round and full buttocks are the criterion of beauty par excellence. This is to say that women's bodies and the models that impose themselves evolve according to the times. »
And this is where I ask myself the question of whether this release of the buttocks is not becoming the new avatar of sexism and patriarchy? Is it just another fad, yet another edition of how to put pressure on women? Will the acceptance of the buttocks generate in its wake a permanent anxiety as it has existed since, ... manifesting itself each time one does something, that one speaks in public, that one is simply practicing his profession, that we are doing something completely banal in everyday life? Is it simply the replacement of the breasts by the buttocks in the same patriarchal domination?
It would become hopeless!
It wasn't the first time and it wasn't the last, far from it, but that one I remember like it was yesterday.
It must have been in 2012, I had finished a beauty service on a client in my salon. We were talking, when she said to me, “You should get paid”. I answer him: “What are you talking about? You just paid me”. "But no! I'm not talking about that. You know well!". "No I do not know!" "Well! When you talk to me like that, as you were doing earlier, you give me a lot! Every time I come to your home for a beauty service, I leave different than when I came. Somewhere there is transformation. You're the one doing this. It's what you give. And you know, you have to know how to respect the energy of exchange. Not respecting it is not good for you who give”. "Yes! I heard you”.
And my faith, since then it has only increased! Let's take the last women who have followed my Reborn Program. It's not to say, but there is one that I brought home when she had been in her car for several days in a Pyrenean forest in the middle of winter. Another who no longer knew what to do with the human droppings that she found every morning in front of her door, and others with stories that one could imagine far from Consulting and Image Coaching.
It reminds me of a Jewish story told by a friend, himself a Jew somewhere: It takes place in Poland in the XNUMXth century in a Jewish community. The rabbi of the community no longer has time to live, the members of his community come all the time and at any time to ask him for advice: should I buy this land or not? marry my daughter to so-and-so or not, buy this pair of shoes or not. The rabbi spends his entire day answering questions that most of the time shouldn't concern him.
To put an end to this situation and limit the number of questions that can be asked, he decides to charge for his answers. One fine day on his door he hangs a sign on which one can read:
Answer to two questions = 1 zloty
The Jewish community is moved and meets to decide together to face this new situation. Everyone recognizes that the price of 1 zloty for the answer to two questions is really excessive. So they decide to send a representative to ask the rabbi to drastically reduce the price of his answers. They choose who will represent them.
The representative therefore arrives at the rabbi and begins by saying to the rabbi:
« Don't you think that 1 zloty for the answer to two questions is really an excessive price? »
The rabbi's response is not long in coming:
« Indeed, I agree with you, 1 zloty for the answer to two questions is not cheap! What is your second question? »
This is not where I place myself but nevertheless it makes me happy to share with you this story that I love, typical of Jewish humor. I think that for me as for each of you it is good that we respect the fundamental law of the balance of the energy of exchange. As you know, "nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed!" ".
I want to continue to be a source of transformation. I would like these exchanges, which I value, to take place within the framework of what I will call “mentoring”. If you consult Wikipedia, mentoring is defined as a relationship between two people that aims for both professional and personal development. And that's what it's all about!
I want to thank the PIFL for giving me the opportunity to make this pitch at Lockhouselondon in Paddington on my activity as an Image Consultant. An activity which is my life and my joy and which I like to present and share.
If you are an institution, network or any other group:
- whether face-to-face, as was the case in Paddington for the PIFL, or online,
- whether in French or in English,
- whether in London where I live, Paris, New York or Abidjan,
know that I will be happy to talk to you about my approach to Image Consulting in order to use your image in your favor to:
- develop your personal branding,
- express with elegance and style the best of yourself,
- earn the trust of your employees and partners.
So many benefits for the smooth running of your business
You are a French-speaking entrepreneur in London. Doing business, whether in London or elsewhere, means networking. So why not come to the monthly networking evening of French-speaking Independent Professionals in London London Freelance French Speaking Professionals
Good opportunity to join me this April 20 at Lockhouse Paddington, 3 Merchant Square, London W2 1JZ, UK, from 18 p.m. to 30 p.m.
You will meet many dynamic Francophones in your situation and having the desire and the will to exchange and share.
It will also be the opportunity for you to attend my Pitch where you will know everything about how, through your image, develop your personal branding to express the best of yourself in all circumstances and boost with elegance and knowing how to be your life. personal as well as professional.
There are still places left, I'll give you the link to register.
Make-up, what I prefer to call beauty, is basically color. Of the color that we apply most often on our face. Just that! On our face! Remember your physics class! Color is energy. Getting a makeover, no matter how small, is manipulating energy. Manipulating energy is no mean feat. This can have multiple consequences, particularly in terms of energy. Might as well put the odds on his side. Issanaa, Image Energy Coach will ensure that your beauty enhancements are exclusively a source of beneficial energy and that they fully contribute to your radiance!
Indeed, how to achieve your Beauty if you do not know your colors.
This is why I have chosen that your Beautification is an integral part of my "Your Best Colours" consultation.
This consultation takes place online by Zoom or face-to-face in London Chiswick Thurnam Green.
Your style is your clothing personality. Your style is directly related to your personality, who you are deep down inside. Putting your style of dress in line with who you are deeply is to give you strength, it is to give you coherence, it is to be grounded. Whether in the context of your work, your hobbies, your sentimental or family life, being in your style means giving authenticity, ease, sincerity and elegance to your relationships. . And whether it's in your work, in your hobbies, in your sentimental or family life, that's what will make the difference, be sure of it!
Hence the importance of knowing your style and knowing how to buy clothes, accessories and everything else that match your style.
You are curious, want to know a little more: take a consultation with Issanaa Coach, in Image Energy.
To answer you, I would say
"I don't know what tradition you claim, but as far as I know, theakeup is a constant in all societies throughout the history of mankind, just that!
What I can also tell you is that over the centuries and for millennia societies have used an impressive set of techniques to decorate, embellish, mark their faces as well as their bodies.
From the scarification to the foundation, from the tattoo to the lipstick, which is not always red far from it, everything served to celebrate and enhance the beauty and the sacredness of the human being.
Like you, I am an heiress of this long tradition. But unlike me, who was chosen as the heiress of a long uninterrupted line, in your line, at one time or another, there was a break, there was no transmission, and today you feel somewhat helpless and limited in terms of beauty.
So with Issanaa make an appointment and find that missing link to let the world know who you are!