Here we are again with your weekly dose of eldritch – something rather vaguely creepy. I say vaguely creepy because I’m not so interested in gross-out, over-the-top stuff, which can easily be found all over the internet. (Oorg.) I’m more interested in those little things that are just unsettling, that geek you out and you don’t even know why.
Today… it’s foreheads.
I know I’ve read several places that in Elizabethan times a high forehead was a sign of beauty. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but from the portraits of Elizabeth I you’d have to conclude that both pale white skin and a high forehead were considered desirable. (And dead eyes too, apparently.)
Also, check out that ghoulish complexion! Nowadays everyone wants to look tanned and outdoorsy, but back then a pale face meant you didn’t spend time outdoors, ie. you were an aristocrat. In other words, goth = doesn’t have to work for a living.
As long as you’re not wearing gigantic dresses and collars (see above) a very high forehead makes your head seem larger in comparison with your body… which can make you look younger: babies and children of course have large heads compared to their body size. It’s a biological necessity that grownups feel protective of little ones, so the big-head/small-body naturally triggers warm feelings – and the “awwwww!” response – in adults. (Usually.) Which is the reason that cartoon characters, animals especially, are given ridiculously huge bulbous heads and eyes, to make them more babylike and thus more appealing.
Why is it such a short walk from cutie-pie to yikes!? Probably because the huge white forehead is also reminiscent of…
Dun dun daaaa!
(In the tv biz we call that a ‘music sting’. Very handy.)