Beauty / Society & Culture

On My Obsession With Floral Crowns

Mary Todd Lincoln, crowned

Mary Todd Lincoln, crowned

There is something about floral crowns that draws me in.  I constantly live inside my head, observing the world around me as if it were on film as it happened-simultaneously authentic and produced. It is real and not real. I view the world like this to a fault.

I live by idealism, and when it doesn’t manifest, I am heart-broken and disillusioned.

My lovers and friends sometimes try to choke me back on their little Lisa leash, saying, “Hey, come back down to earth.”

What they don’t realize is that we make our own realities. I like mine this way, sort of. If I wanted to live by logic and reason, I’d probably have an amazing, high-paying job, a tub of fucking boredom and that nagging feeling that I’m never high. Never living one of those elated moments where omg that yellow curtain is so beautiful in the sun and I feel like nothing could be better than being alive. 

Bust of a 2nd Century Roman hottie.

Bust of a 2nd Century Roman hottie.

Instead I have opted for the poor artist, totally dreamland, ever-changing, super fun and beautiful lifestyle.

It has not been 100 % perfect. It’s been a challenge. I’m broke, and always working on staying grounded.

This is why I like floral crowns.

They say to me, “It’s OK. be a princess.” They say, “wear me with a leather jacket, and you can be a princess and a fucking gladiator.” They say, “invest in beauty.”

I started my obsession with them when I was young. I stole dandelions on my way to school, plucked them through neighbors’ fences and tied the ends together, my little fingers covered in their milk. It irritated my skin, but I loved making tiny little wreathes, which I wore in my hair, or as necklaces.

My mother wore then in the 1970s.

My people (the Italians) designed golden wreath crowns early on:  “The Etruscans also made the earliest gold crowns and, among the objects employed for personal adornment showcased in this section, there are quite a few pretty crowns, some decorated with small gold ivy or acorn leaves (first half of the 4th century BC), others with laurel and oak leaves (second half of the 4th century BC).”

It wasn’t just the Etruscans. The Japanese, the Aztecs and the Sumerian Queen, Pu’Abi, also wore crowns of flowers. They’ve been used by many cultures and signify many things: celebrations, rituals, death rites, weddings, rebirth and femininity. This incredible Mythphile blog launches into all of it, intersecting “mythology, psychology, and modern culture” (are you kidding me, most perfect blog topic ever?)

For me, though, it’s the acknowledgement of the magical.

It’s the limited connection with earth that I have in New York City. It’s the adornment of the self as ritual–the actualized, existing, being of life. It’s me sitting at the vanity, brushing my hair and crowning myself because I live and am.

The acknowledgement of the self has been reappropriated, just as the crown has through cultures, as something narcissistic and pathological. I don’t always agree; I think self-adornment and care is an extension of survival.

Holy fuck, ladies. Am I honestly likening a Forever 21 trend to Darwin? No. But I am saying that being happy makes us live longer, and things that are beautiful and good for you, like self-gifts, make you happy. Why not.

Let’s look at some of my favorites:

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3 thoughts on “On My Obsession With Floral Crowns

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