As the title suggests, this blog post will be about vikings and makeup. But keep in mind that lack of respect is something that I do not take lightly. It has nothing to do with makeup or no makeup, really.
As you may well know, there are many pictures of me in different viking related groups on facebook. Let it be said that I have never granted permission for such use. Every now and then, I get emails from fans who want to make me aware of these things. Now, this happens so often that I cannot spend more time on having these photos taken down. If I ever get tempted to view my “stolen” photos in these groups, I often regret it because of the comments that people have left under them. Don’t get me wrong, Most comments are nice, but some are not so nice. The not so nice ones are most of the time about my use of makeup – questioning my authenticity, my dignity and my title(!). This upsets me, as I have never even claimed to be a reenactor, this is simply who I am, this is my personal image. Sure, I could go down to the same level and point out various things about the very same people who wrote shit about me, questioning their authenticity on different terms, but that is simply not my style.
Even if I was a reenactor, why should I not “be allowed” to wear makeup?
In my opinion, the whole ‘wearing makeup is not being authentic’ thing is just too silly. Both men and women have worn makeup for thousands of years – in different cultures. Bling on clothes, bling in hair – bling everywhere. The Vikings travelled all around the world, and brought back many treasures such as silk garments and jewelry. Why would you ever think that they wouldn’t bring makeup with them? Vikings were vain people who liked to look good, just as people do today. The human race is not as inventive as we like to think. The world is turning – changing, and changing back again.
“Any culture who carried ear spoons and combs on their belts, had immaculate hair-dos for battle, and used hair dye/bleach surely put colour on their faces… come on!” ~Ásvör Álfsinsbarn
Most reenactors are very cool people, and I respect their work. Still, there are those who want sources on EVERYTHING. And if there is none, then” it surely cannot be authentic”. I refuse to believe that people did not have their own personal style back in the good old days too. We see how creative they were with everything else, don’t we?
Let’s take a moment to remember that not all things have been discovered, not all graves have been opened. We do not know everything. There is mystery in history and none of us can claim to know the whole truth. Either way, one thing is for sure – I will not sit around and wait for someone to give me a green sign to do what I want. I have my personal style and I will rock it until I am dead and all the way into Valhalla. Come, watch me dance, No one will ever be able to change me, or dictate me. Really, do you think that your opinion about my looks are so important that I should change myself to meet your expectations?
Hail to the no!
Victoria Gugenheim just left me these words on my facebook status about the subject:
Now, I think that the reason why some people choose to rant about makeup is simply because they are feeling threatened, and feel the need to bring others down to make themselves feel better. I do not feel this need, I only feel the need for mead. (ps – stay clear of too much mead, it is strong stuff, even for fellow heathens)
“The only makeup I wear is the blood of my falles enemies” ~Jan Tore
My message is simple;
If you don’t want to wear makeup, don’t. If you do want to wear makeup – do so. No need to claim to know everything about the viking age – Cuz you don’t.
I thought the viking environment would be an including one, not about pointing fingers at each other in order to “be better than each other”. Let’s be respectful towards each others’ personal styles.Be wild shieldmaidens and don’t let anyone try to tell you what to do with your appearance, because fuck that shit, and let’s have fun.
Let’s celebrate diversity to avoid conformity.
~Sól, The Viking Queen.