sometimes I think “I shouldn’t look at fat-positive tumblrs because I want to lose weight and get healthy and what if I’m influenced by all of these fat/curvy/dimpled/rolly women looking happy and confident and sexy and what if I start to like my body”
"what if I start to like my body"
when my cat is lying next to me and starts twitching in their sleep, no matter what I am doing, I drop it and start tickling their feet and whiskers and influencing the dreamscape
mom found the condom wrapper and other horror stories
I JUST SHOWED THIS TO MY PARTNER AND HE WAS DANCING AND THEN IT HIT THE WORDS AND HE YELLED FUCK YOU AND THREW HIS COMPUTER CORD ON THE COUCH AND THEN STOMPED AWAY HELP
EVERYONE MUST LISTEN TO THIS NOW
I FUCKING KNEW IT
FUCK! ALL THE TIME!
NO WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS
ITS SO NOT OK AT ALL WHY DID YOU DO THIS OH MY GOD
OH MY GOD FUCK YOU!
I actually love this.
I’m totally grooving.
Introducing Wu Zetian, first and only Empress of China — seen here poisoning her infant daughter.
Now, that’s actually a bit of a historical inaccuracy: the generally-accepted truth was that she *strangled* her young daughter, to frame the old queen and get her out of the way. It worked — both the old queen and the old queen’s mother were executed, and haunted her from that point forward. I thought they’d make good comic relief characters in the movie adaptation.
From there, she ascended to be Emperor Gaozong’s predominant consort, and set about eradicating all other claimants to the throne. Early on, her method of choice was a slow-acting poison made from silkworms. As time went on and her influence grew, however, she took to engineering treason charges for her opponents, summoning them to the throne room and making them kill themselves in front of her.
That’s some cold shit.
Once the emperor died, her oldest son ascended to the throne, and proceeded to ignore her. She didn’t take kindly to this, and had him drubbed out of office, and later forced to commit suicide. In his place, she installed her youngest son, whom she basically locked in his room, so she could rule in his stead. Before long, she dropped all pretense of being the queen regent, and formally declared herself the official empress of China.
Her reign saw the complete rearrangement of dynastic succession, as she systematically wiped out any and all claimants to the throne. In one year alone, she destroyed fifteen family lines, mostly through executions and enforced suicides.
How did she drum up her accusations of treason, you ask? By putting, essentially, anonymous comment boxes sprinkled throughout the palace. When someone pissed her off, she’d have her servant write a tattle-tail letter and place it in a comment box. Within days, they’d be but to the sword — usually their own. This is almost undoubtedly the most hardcore use of an anonymous comment box in history.
She also had an enormous network of spies and a secret police, who further kept any rivals at bay.
If you really got on her bad side, she would enact the “human pig” torture — wherein your arms and legs were cut off, your tongue was removed, and you were force-fed and left to wallow in your own excrement.
Empress Wu did not fuck around.
For people outside of political circles, her reign was peaceful and prosperous. She left the general population be, and opened up the civil examinations to a wider range of people, making for more diversity in the local and regional governments. As long as you didn’t cross her, she was pretty cool.
She never remarried, although she did end up banging a Buddhist monk for a lot of her life, and took two younger fellas as lovers late in life. Hardcore lady.
- The throne room is based off of ones in the Forbidden City, although it’s a bit of a melange of several different rooms.
- Her outfit, as well as that of Emperor Gaozong, are simplified, but fairly accurate.
- The two queen ghosts hovering around her head are also based off of historical representations.
- The baby bottle she has in her hand is also based off of the oldest Chinese baby bottle reference I could find.
- The characters on the baby bottle spell “gold silkworm,” a reference to the type of poison she likely used — a slow-acting poison made from the bodies of silkworms.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you undoubtedly one of the strangest Rejected Princesses: Corn Maiden, mythological Native American figure.
Corn Maiden figures into a vast number of tribe mythologies, all of which are slightly different from one another. This much is generally agreed upon across most of the stories:
- Corn Maiden was a pretty neat lady who settled down with the tribe in question, a long time ago.
- Somehow, whenever she was around, the corn storehouses would overflow! Corn for everyone! It was pretty great!
- But, she warned, never try and check out why or how that’s happening.
- Eventually someone did, only to find Corn Maiden secretly rubbing corn off her skin in the most delicious case of leprosy ever recorded.
- In some versions, it’s hinted that she was actually pooping it out into bucket after bucket, bag after bag, like a chunky firehose.
From there, one of two things happened:
1) The tribe chased Corn Maiden out of town, subsequently ran out of corn, realized their terrible mistake, and attempted to find her/make amends, or:
2) The tribe decided to kill her for witchcraft, at which point Corn Maiden was like, “Okay cool, but after you kill me, drag my gruesomely-murdered corpse around the field, and corn will pop up wherever you go. Taking one for the team here, guys!”
I probably don’t need to tell you which one is my favorite.
The variations across this legend are innumerable. In the Arapaho tradition, to get rid of her, they tied her up and tossed her in the river. In the Zuni telling, instead of the tribe as a whole driving her off, she was frightened off by the erotic gyrations of the male dancers — only to be later found, after the head rain priest climbed a giant tree to look for them, hiding underneath the shadow of a duck’s wing, deep in the ocean.
Undoubtedly the absolute zaniest Corn Maiden tale is the Tepecano version. Due to a lot of exposure to European cultures, their legend got warped into a sort of hyperactive medieval fanfiction that was easily twice as long as any other tribe’s version. Try and follow me here.
This guy, let’s call him Joe, is lazy and stupid. He finds Corn Maiden in a clearing and is like, “Hey God!” — yes, we’re talking Christian Jesus here — “can I marry her?” and God is like, “Sure why not.” So he marries Corn Maiden, despite never having seen her face or apparently talked to her. On the way to their house, a personalized cloud forms around Corn Maiden’s head, obscuring her features. She then retires to a private room the first night in his family house, and in the morning, it’s full of corn. How mysterious!
From there, it is a comedy of errors how poorly things go for poor Corn Maiden:
- Joe’s mom makes some corn tortillas and burns the shit out of them, which in turn burns the shit out of Corn Maiden’s clothes and skin.
- Joe starts cheating on Corn Maiden with a turtle, whom I cannot tell is actually human or a literal turtle. For hilarity’s sake, I am imagining a literal turtle.
- The turtle makes some corncakes, burns the shit out of them, which, again, burns the shit out of Corn Maiden.
- Joe then cheats on Corn Maiden with a raven. Again, picturing a grown man screwing a literal bird here.
- The raven then steals some grain, which pisses off Corn Maiden some more.
- Corn Maiden, sick of Joe’s shit, runs off.
- Joe goes to God on bent knee, promises he’ll be better, and God is like, “Okay, I believe you. Hey Corn Maiden, get back with Joe.” And she does. I mean, what you gonna do?
- At this point, Joe is pretty curious as to what Corn Maiden actually looks like. So, despite being told — by God — in no uncertain terms NOT to look at her face, Joe waits until she’s asleep and lights a lamp. She is, of course, beautiful.
- Joe then drops the lamp on her face, again burning the shit out of her.
- Corn Maiden gets the fuck out of his house and runs off before someone else sets her on fire.
From there, it gets EVEN WEIRDER. Joe goes searching all over the world for Corn Maiden, but nobody has seen her, not even God. Eventually Joe finds her in the magical city of Merlin, where the wind does not blow. He then has to bust her out of Merlin prison, fighting off the palace guards in the process, alongside his buddy, Wind — who is an anthropomorphic embodiment of the concept of wind.
Told you it was like medieval fanfic.
Immediately after exiting the citadel of Merlin, Corn Maiden turns into a bunch of corn in a field, and says, “Hey Joe! Look after me for one month, I’ll be back, I just have to do this one thing.”
Joe makes it a whole fifteen days before getting married to some other girl. Who, presumably, was yet another form of wildlife.
At the wedding, Corn Maiden shows up, drags Joe up in front of God, and is like, “THIS GUY IS A TOTAL DICKBAG.”
God finally agrees and turns Joe into a weird vegetable-man-thing, with his head planted in the soil and his feet dangling in the air.
- Her dress is designed to look like corn, with the skirt being the eaves and the shirt being corn-patterned. In many versions, she was responsible for blue corn more than other colors, so I made the kernels blue.
- Joe is visible on screen right.
- Ducks are flying overhead, as she was found underneath their wings in the Zuni version.
Lastly: I would like to thank the inimitable Kate Johnson for suggesting Corn Maiden. Without her, this illustration would not exist.
Corn Maiden has some similarities to the tale of Cupid & Psyche!