Many cancer patients can be overwhelmed with the physical and emotional difficulties of their disease, and the loss of their hair from chemotherapy treatment certainly doesn’t help. Henna Heals, a rich community of nearly 150 henna tattoo artists worldwide established by a team of 5 women in Canada, helps women with cancer feel confident and beautiful again by drawing elegant henna crowns on their bare heads:
The intricate patterns that the artists create with all-natural henna paste are a unique and empowering substitute to the hats and wigs that many women use to cover their heads after losing their hair to chemotherapy. “For cancer patients, the henna crowns really are a healing experience,” claims Frances Darwin, the founder of Henna Heals. “This is all about them reclaiming a part of themselves that would normally be perceived as ill or damaged or not nice to look at and making it more feminine and beautiful.”
The traditional South-Asian temporary tattoos, which are made with 100% natural home-made henna paste, last for around two weeks and have no harmful side-effects. Henna Heals also offers henna services for special events and does belly painting for mother-to-be, but they always donate 10% of their proceeds to compensate the cost of the henna crowns they make for cancer patients.
I could yell ‘cultural appropriation’ right now but I don’t wanna because, fuck yeah, this is a great idea. And I’m gonna tell you why.
In India, where I come from, in the Hindu community, henna is associated purely with religious or matrimonial ceremonies. During religious festivals, women wear it as a sign of not just celebration, but purity. Again, during weddings, the bride wears henna up to her elbows and up to her ankles, and, traditionally, there is a ‘mehendi (our word for henna that is applied on the skin) ceremony’ where the women dance and sing bawdy wedding songs and bless the new bride with fertility. The darkness of the mehendi is supposed to predict how deep the bond with the new husband will be, because, traditionally, marriages are arranged, so its a bit of a gamble, and women are forced to read signs into every little thing. A practice that is supposed to be for decoration then becomes a way to grade the new bride’s purity, chastity and the future happiness of her marriage. The same association with chastity and purity applies during religious ceremonies.
Whenever I apply mehendi at a someone’s wedding, I always feel a niggling of GUILT, and ANXIETY - for not being the ideal Hindu woman; for being neither chaste, or pure, or even remotely spiritual. And mehendi, despite its prettiness, is also associated with a certain rigid idea of womanhood, motherhood and femininity. I say BREAK THAT.
That’s why this beautiful, beautiful idea is a great way to unhinge leaf-paste (because that’s what it is!) from all sorts of medieval ideas about how women should be womanly. If it helps set anyone free, helps anyone feel pretty and proud, I say go for it.
Because that’s what this is - reclaiming an art practiced in a female space, democratizing it, opening it up, applying it on anyone and everyone, free of moral and value judgement. Bringing it back to the delight possibly felt by women in Asia millenia back when they giggled ‘Ooh, hey lemme draw a flower on you with that cute leaf-paste’. Reclaiming it for us, and for all our uses, in all our different lives. This makes me fiercely happy.
This is really beautiful.
i just wanted to clarify some things
artists know the risk they are taking when they post their art online. people are inevitably going to take it apart, color edit it, flip it around or otherwise post it uncredited.
saying that an artist shouldn’t post their work if they don’t want it bastardized is probably the stupidest stance on this subject you could take. if all artists followed this line of reasoning, there would be no art on the internet.
when an artist posts their work, they are trusting you to enjoy it respectfully. and when you betray that trust either knowingly or unknowingly, it’s like saying the artist’s time, skills and thoughts aren’t worth anything.
you are NOT entitled to an artists work just because they decided to trust you enough to share it with you.
an artist is within their right to feel upset that someone has used their work in a way they never intended it to be used. they are within their right to ask for it to stop and not happen again.
just because it’s “bound to happen” doesn’t mean it’s any less deplorable.
Belgium’s Flower Carpet Festival
The Flower Carpet Festival is a popular event that takes place in Grand-Place Brussels every other year. Since 1971 over 600,000 Begonias flowers are arranged in an intense pattern filling the city square with a powerful and graphic carpet made entirely out of flowers. Taking months of planning to produce (with only 48 hours of install time) the event brings together landscape architects, technicians and hundreds of voluntary participants weave the flowers in place for the five day event!
"Please visit this video to learn the setup: youtu.be/iipUPpCFGYg
These brushes are for Photoshop, and the above video will explain the setup and format of the brushes, which need to display as large thumbnails, with 9 brushes per row.
They are a combination of brushes I’ve made myself and those culled from friends, colleagues, and other great artists. A lot of them might have bizarre names, but they’re all categorized so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Enjoy, and I hope it helps!”
HOW THE MOKIN CHILDREN ARE ABLE TO SEE WITH AMAZING CLARITY UNDERWATER
The Mokin are a group in Thailand that are nomadic and have a sea-based culture.
In the sea there is less light, so usually one’s iris will dilate. But the Mokin have an adaption where instead of dilating, they constrict as much as possible.
This allows them to see with much better clarity. Recent studies suggest that any child can quickly learn this trick. It exemplifies how well our brain adapts to our environment.
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