Rewind

Week in Women: prosthetic pinkies, a mysterious Viking, and the “Headless Women of Hollywood”

(images sourced from tumblr)

Like Olivia Newton John, we’re getting physical, because this week’s news cycle was all about the human body. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

A new Tumblr blog highlights just how often women’s faces are erased from the film industry’s marketing materials. The Headless Women of Hollywood posts dozens of movie posters, old and new, in which women’s faces have been completely cut off, leaving disembodied legs, torsos, and cleavage. Among the culprits identified by Headless Women of Hollywood are posters for MinionsThe GraduateAustin Powers Goldmember, and Secretary. Exceptions will presumably be made for any female-driven remakes of Sleepy Hollow.

Researchers recently shed light on Iceland’s famed “Woman in Blue,” whose remains were discovered in 1938 near the town of Ketilsstaðir in eastern Iceland. The Woman in Blue — so named because she was buried in a blue apron — died around the year 920. Scientists were able to deduce, thanks to a preserved skin fragment, that she was about 17 to 25 years old at the time of her death. Testing of the Woman in Blue’s teeth and clothing revealed that she moved from the British Isles or Scandinavia to Iceland, and settled there as a child. She may have been a Viking. A team of researchers are now combing the Woman in Blue’s DNA for more clues as to her origins. CSI: Ketilsstaðir, anyone?

An eighth-grade substitute teacher from Michigan says she was fired from her job last week after saying the word “vagina” during an art lesson. Allison Wint was leading students at Harper Creek Middle School in a discussion of Georgia O’Keeffe, whose flower paintings are famously symbolic of … well, vaginas. School officials said Wint violated policies dictating that teachers must obtain permission from administrators before discussing any topic relating to women’s reproductive health. We’re going to go out on a limb here and guess that Madame Bovary is not part of Harper Creek’s curriculum.

Japanese prosthetics expert Yukako Fukushima boasts a rather unusual specialty: designing pinky fingers specifically for former members of the yakuza, Japan’s organized crime network. Many Japanese gangsters cut off their pinkies in a ritual display of contrition, leaving them with a permanent mark of their criminal activity. According to a profile by The Guardian, Yukako Fukushima has spent two decades making life-like pinkies for ex-yakuza who hope to reintegrate into society. She may, in fact, be the only person on the planet who gets paid to give people the finger.

 

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