Beauty is the Unfortunate Currency


I play with make up when I’m not happy with myself.

I wear red lipstick when I’m angry.

If I’m wearing black eyeshadow I feel ugly and oddly proud of my ugliness.

I will not wear perfume I like to stressful situations because I’m afraid of creating negative scent memories.

Wear only nude or brown eyeshadow to a job interview, and light mascara.

These are the closest things I get to beauty superstitions, but the way that humans become fixated on beauty, for better or worse, have created a place for appearance within the realms of folklore.

Part of the danger of the sidhe and other fae species is that they tended to run to the so beautiful, the so fair, that regardless of how truly nasty they may have been their victims literally couldn’t stop themselves for want of that beauty.

The line between beauty, death, and destruction has always been very fine and very gray. While death imagery has always flirted with beauty in western culture (it’s arguable that this is a very, very old dichotomy when you have deities arising like Freya, who is both the goddess of beauty and a goddess of death and darkness) modern society has not been able to completely shake the assumption that that which is beautiful will also destroy you.

artist unknown

artist unknown

However, this isn’t a new set of symbolism-the connection between the alluring and the grave goes back much longer than World War II and a desire to keep the troops from spreading disease in the ranks-

John Leech, c. 1862 for Punch Magazine

John Leech, c. 1862 for Punch Magazine

This without even beginning to touch the historical trend of painting the danse macabre with the skeletal death, the artistic trend of the death and the maiden, or of images that are likely to be more familiar to the modern reader like La Catrina [Diego Rivera does my favorite Catrinas].

Anyway, point being, Western culture has sort of a weird relationship with the beautiful-we distrust it as much as we demand it.

For the more traditional folklore or superstitions-

1. Cut your hair on Good Friday to prevent pain in the coming year

2. Dropping your brush means the potential for startling news

3. Keeping cuttings of a child’s first hair cut brings luck

4. Don’t cut your nails on Sunday or Friday

5. Don’t wash your hair on New Year’s

6. Don’t let other people have your hair clippings when you have your hair cut, they can use it to hex you

7. If you have to let them have it, have them throw it running water or burn it [I didn’t say these would be easily accomplished]

8. Hang a mirror high enough that it doesn’t cut off your head for fear of it bringing bad luck or pain

9. Don’t wash your hair when you need luck or it’ll wash away your luck

10. Don’t buy your mirrors second hand; you might be bringing home spirits

11. Don’t use your index finger to apply any sort of cosmetics, it’ll bring bad luck.

12. Avoid basically any beauty hygiene after dark, it’ll bring bad luck.

Beauty and Love Superstitions

Beauty Superstitions

Beauty Superstitions

Beauty Superstitions

I’m really kind of warming to this subject. I’m seeing a short run series in the future.


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