At the Intersection of Pornography and Art: Big Boobs, Big Hips (Head Optional)

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Boooom! Fertile, fecund, and ample. Humanity’s oldest art object (yet discovered). In southern Germany, at least 35,000 years ago, someone hung this headless alpha-female body pendant around his or her neck. No honoring of the mind here, just Earth Mother goddess with her animal sex and reproductive power-loins comin’ to town! The person wearing this was certainly no slave—except perhaps to his or her own appetites. And you definitely knew that the bearer of this goddess was heading your way—even before he or she actually got there! I couldn’t help but think of Lucille Clifton’s 1980 poem, “homage to my hips”:

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top!

Hear Lucille Clifton read her poem here.

According to Wikpedia’s brief article on pendants, a pendant tends to function in one (or more) of these ways:

  • as ornamentation
  • as identification (i.e. religious symbols, sexual symbols, symbols of rock bands)
  • as protection (i.e. amulets, religious symbols, Medusa-like freight heads)
  • as self-affirmation
  • as ostentation (i.e. jewels)
  • as award

I wonder how the above fertility goddess was used. (Evil to him whom evil thinks.)

And for a good academic book that reflects on the sexist decapitation of women—reducing them to their bodily natures in myth, religion, art, and history—see here.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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