A new year, a new beginning full of hope and anticipation of tantalizing things to come: a perfect blow-out, a sexy new hair cut, a vibrant shiny hair color….YES, to all of the above. I predict that the new hair and fashion trend will be something like Theodora, the Byzantine Empress. You don’t know Theodora? Let me tell you about her.
Theodora was married to Emperor Justinian and was probably one of the most powerful and witty women in the history of Byzantium. Legend has it that she was an actress and/or a prostitute that later became a saint in the Orthodox Church. That’s what I’m talking about!
Theodora participated in Justinian’s legal and spiritual reforms; and her involvement in the increase of the rights of women was substantial. She had laws passed that prohibited forced prostitution and closed brothels. She created a convent on the Asian side of the Dardanelles called the Metanoia (Repentance), where the ex-prostitutes could support themselves. She also expanded the rights of women in divorce and property ownership, instituted the death penalty for rape, forbade exposure of unwanted infants, gave mothers some guardianship rights over their children and forbade the killing of a wife who committed adultery.
Did I mention that she also had Aghia Sofia built? It happens to be a Church still standing in today’s Constantinople and it remains one of the architectural wonders of the world. Now that is what I call a great feminist.
Now back to what I predict for hair and fashion for 2011. A mixture of naughty and nice, of colorful mosaics and jewel tones on a clean simple palette. Earthy elements and carnal sexuality. An idealized woman, if you must, that is both graceful and elegant. You agree?
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