Wednesday, 26 April 2017
I have been thinking about the history of the unicorn. To me, this seems like a perfectly reasonable thought process to embark upon. Not in the least bit strange. Though what will follow, does get a little bit odd.
I was interested to understand how unicorns came to be inscribed upon the fabric of modern Western society. Not exaggeration. Look around you. Unicorn-overload. I wandered onto the World Wide Web, virtual spade in hand, to do a some light Internet digging. With the benefit of hindsight, I should have donned some gardening gloves because things are about to get unexpectedly grubby.
In modern times, the friendly unicorn can be found everywhere. We see him on women's underwear and an extra cute unicorn type character within the likes of My Little Pony. Yet historical representations of the beast are a million miles from the elegant, rainbow pooping unicorns we imagine today. Unicorny descriptions do vary across sources. But overall, it is safe to suggest that anything the historical unicorn loses in majestic grace is more than made up for in the macarbe.
In particular, I happened upon one account which describes a ferocious, death-defying unicorn being lulled to sleep by the breasts of a virgin. This unicorn is intimately attached to said virgin, and, (yikes) said virgin is quite naked. I kid ye not. As you'll no doubt agree, this revelation registered about a ten on my weird-as-shitometer and swiftly stomped all over my long-held images of pink, fluffy, magical creatures with shiny horns.
Here we have a unicorn that gallops around pillaging the townsfolk, that can only be tamed by the boobs of a virgin! This explodes my unicorn soulmate metaphor into the cosmos, in the most icky of ways. It is not the stuff of dreams but the fabric of nightmares. On a metaphorical level, it’s a typical play on female innocence calming the wanton, horned beast. Therefore isn't exactly a celebration of the myriad power of womanhood but quite the contrary, with a hefty sprinkling of yuck.
These weird ideas are from the past. And thank goodness for that. Nevertheless, my uni-horn discoveries have put me right off my 'favourite’ socks, which are pink, have eyes, fluttery lashes, and, yes, you've guessed it, horns.
On this day my unicorn soulmate metaphor is no more. RIP.
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