mothers

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    Mother's Day was on Sunday, but we're celebrating the powerful women in our lives all week. And now, it’s time we took a look back in mythological history and paid tribute to 4 strong mythological maternal goddesses who remain the most revered figures of all time.

    Terra

    Simply put, Terra (the Roman equivalent of Gaia) is “Mother Earth.” She is the ancestral goddess and mother of all living things. She is the creator of all life, trees, flowers, water, and everything we need to survive. She is the divine mother who takes mercury and gives care to those who respect her beauty and conserve her greatness. It’s important to pay homage to her everyday, even if it’s small because she gives us air and life.

    Unknown d2b93Ceres, Bacchus, and Venus by Jan Miel, 1645

    Ceres   

    As the famous story goes, Proserpina (or Persephone) was taken away by Pluto to be his underworld bride unbeknownst to Ceres who was her mother. Ceres demanded a search party for her daughter and even refused to harvest crops until her daughter was found. When Proserpina was found, Jupiter and Mercury worked out an arrangement with Pluto to let Proserpina come visit her mother for half of the year on earth for the harvest, then live with Pluto the other half in the underworld. When Proserpina is gone, Ceres goes into mourning by creating cold seasons. Upon her return, we have fertile seasons. Ceres represents the love and bond between mother and child.

    Cybele

    Known as “the Great Mother,” Cybele was worshiped as a goddess of fertility and nature. She was the “Mother of Gods,” the protector of everything sacred. Open and pure, she accepted people as long as they lived their truest life. This meant being honest in who you are and always representing your intentions. Her unconditional love for nature, animals, her own family, and others is what makes her a wonderful maternal goddess.

    Cybele a Phrygian earth goddess surrounded by putti lions Wellcome V0015028 85882Cybele. Engraving by M. Küssel, via Wikimedia Commons

    Venus

    As the Roman counterpart to Aphrodite, Venus was known for her amorous heart, beauty, and countless love affairs. But, she was also known for her unwavering devotion to her children. Unapologetic by nature, Venus honored and stood by her children—even the bad ones (Phobos and Deimos). She also taught her son Cupid, a thing or two about love. Venus also embraces and cares for the “outsiders” of the world, offering them her love, food, and tender sentiments (while caring for them like her own children).

    Top photo: The Abduction of Porsepina, Joseph Marie Vien, 1762

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    Mother’s Day is May 9th, and all this weekend, major networks will be honoring their favorite TV moms with marathons and specials. Here are five TV moms that stand out to us as barrier-breaking women all on their own.

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    1. Tracee Ellis Ross as Dr. Rainbow Johnson in Black-ish

    Dr. Johnson, who goes by Bow, is hell-bent on providing for her children more than her parents provided for her. As a successful anesthesiologist with a social media addiction, her efforts are certainly comedy fodder for the audience. Her views are very liberal, giving her children the space they need to become whoever they want, regardless of color. She takes pride in being Black and pushes her husband, Dre (Anthony Anderson), to do the same. Bow is a reminder that everyone should be who they want to be but cannot make it there alone. Mothers give us the help we need.

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    2. Connie Britton as Tami Taylor in Friday Night Lights

    Tami’s role as a mother is not limited to her daughters. As the high school football coach’s wife in a small Texas town that reveres him as a priest of their athletic religion, Tami is a mother to every player on the team. She is also a guidance counselor and then a principal at West Dillon High, allowing her character to influence many young lives. Tami triumphs in establishing a school environment that does not always put football first, making sure everyone is accounted for and not left in the sport’s wake.

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    3. Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman in That '70s Show

    Kitty is not just a mother to Eric (Topher Grace) and Laurie (Lisa Robin Kelly and Christina Moore) but to the whole gang. She takes Hyde (Danny Masterson) in when his mom leaves him, she makes sure the neglected Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) is looked after, and she basically raises Fez (Wilmer Valderrama). Though both Donna (Laura Prepon) and Jackie’s (Mila Kunis) mothers are in the picture at one point or another, Kitty is truly everyone's maternal figure and female role model. Though many of the roles she assumes as mother are appropriate for the time period but considered dated and unfair now, Kitty is the only one that can put Red (Kurtwood Smith) in his place, and that is an achievement anyone should hold with high pride. 

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    4. Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore in Gilmore Girls

    Of all the women in the Gilmore family, Lorelai is indisputably the best. She raised Rory (Alexis Bledel) on her own as a single mom, started a flourishing business, and showed compassion to all of Stars Hollow’s eccentric characters. Her various love interests are good people. She continuously puts her personal life on hold for her daughter. That’s not necessarily what makes a good mother, but it provides space for Lorelai to show how much she cares about everyone around her. Her heart is bigger than her parents’ house.

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    5. Florence Henderson as Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch

    Once one is able to see past the smoke and mirrors of sexism and outdated gender roles, any viewer can see the strength in Carol Brady. After her husband left her, she did what was expected of a single mom in the ‘70s—she provided for her children by remarrying. Carol found someone who could provide for both of their children and who could be a parental figure for her daughters. Her character has written-in shame because she is a divorcee, not a widow like her new husband, but she perseveres through the stigma and demands that she be treated right. Though she is shut down many times, she tries to teach her daughters that they can do anything a boy or a man can do—a progressive thought for the time period. She is a rock to both her children and stepchildren equally.

    Top Photo: Creative Commons

    Second Photo: Erik Melvin from Wikimedia Commons

    Third Photo: Black Tied Dinner from Wikimedia Commons

    Fourth Photo: From Youtube

    Fifth Photo: Greg Hernandez from Wikimedia Commons

    Sixth Photo: ABC Television from Wikimedia Commons

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    Halsey has unveiled the cover art for her latest album, “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power,” complete with a video tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the 13-minute-long silent film, Halsey is lavishly dressed as she walks barefoot around the famous New York landmark, looking at various artworks depicting motherhood, including Duccio Di Buoninsegna’s ‘Madonna and Child’, as she cradles her own baby bump. The singer, who announced her pregnancy back in February, could have stepped out of one of the paintings herself, appearing with charcoal eyelids, a dress accentuating both her curves and pregnant belly, and draped dramatically from head to toe in a gold cloth. 

    The video culminates with Halsey staring silently into the camera before yanking a curtain from a painting of her album cover. Inspired by Renaissance art, the star is shown regal and relaxed as she sits on a golden throne, one breast exposed, holding a baby on her lap. 

    The image reflects Halsey’s desire to reconcile the perceptions of the female body as either sexual or maternal. In a recent Instagram post, she explained that her latest release would be a concept album exploring "the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth. " The singer further explained that this journey has made her want to explore the Madonna/Whore complex; the idea that a woman is either pure and undesirable, or immoral and desirable - two categories which subconsciously continue to define female artists.

    The album represents a wider defiance against the quietly accepted rules of the music industry, which often see motherhood mark a premature grave, or at least decline, for the careers of female artists. Two options tend to arise; their star fizzles due to a perceived lack of sex appeal and marketability, or they survive the transition only by undergoing a series of distracting image changes. 

    On another note, Halsey has taken her pregnancy as an opportunity to de-commodify her body and shatter the lens through which it has been viewed both publicly and privately. The female body and its vulnerability have been a recurring focus for Halsey throughout her career: in an emotional speech at a women’s’ march in New York back in 2018, she delivered a poem in which she described the cycle of sexual assault she had experienced; from childhood to her teenage years and into her career – and the harsh reality that superstardom does not make her immune to it still.  

    The new album is a triumphant celebration of the convergence of Halsey’s ever-thriving career with her joy for a pregnancy she was not sure would be possible (she has previously spoken about her diagnosis of endometriosis, which carries risks of infertility). In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, she also revealed how she suffered a miscarriage right before a concert, and made the painful decision to perform, nevertheless. The singer has said she blamed herself, believing the miscarriage to be a result of the stress touring had placed on her body: “That was the moment of my life where I thought to myself, ‘I don’t feel like a fucking human being anymore.’ This thing, this music, Halsey, whatever it is that I’m doing, took precedence and priority over every decision that I made regarding this entire situation from the moment I found out until the moment it went wrong.”  

    It is a powerful moment to see Halsey stray into the unmarked territory of merging her artistry so explicitly with her role as a mother: “My body has belonged to the world in many different ways the past few years, and this image is my means of reclaiming my autonomy and establishing my pride and strength as a life force for my human being.” 

    'If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power" is set to be released on August 27th, via Capital Records.

    Top image: screenshot from YouTube 

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    Becoming a mother has been long identified as a woman’s main “role” amongst patriarchs, but motherhood is certainly not for everyone, nor does it come easy to many. In a video for Vogue, Musician Grimes, 33, challenged the expected role of the “mother” when she revealed that her 16-month-old son X Æ A-Xii, X for short, with Elon Musk, calls her by her first name. 

     

    Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, told the camera:

    Being a mother feels weird to say. For some reason I don’t Identify with that word.

    “X, he says ‘Claire,’ but he doesn’t say ‘mama.’  Like maybe he can sense my distaste for the word ‘mother.’ Which, I don’t even know why I have a distaste for it, because I respect it… I just don’t identify with it weirdly.” 

     

     

    Born in May 2020 and nicknamed X, the famous parents have gotten used to questions surrounding their son’s nuanced name. The Canadian-born singer broke down the name’s meaning for fans in a tweet where she says "X" is "the unknown variable," while "Æ" is the elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)." The tweet also reveals that X’s full name was inspired by the  “CIA's Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance plane. "A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft).”

     Grimes told Rolling Stone  that her song “So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth” is “about getting pregnant-the sort of tragedy of agreeing to it, even though it’s a great thing.” What Grimes is hinting at, is the expectation posed on women and especially wives to become mothers. Motherhood is often construed as a duty to womanhood rather than a choice. 

    She went on to say that, "For a girl, it's sacrificing your body and your freedom. It's a pretty crazy sacrifice and only half of the population has to do it. It was really profound to me when I decided I was going to do it, to actually go through the act of unprotected sex." 

    Although Grimes’ words may appear to be in opposition to motherhood, she tells Vogue while getting ready for the Met Gala that being pregnant “was a kind of rebirth for me, like artistically” and that like herself, her son enjoys “radical art. “I’ve watched 'Apocalypse Now' and stuff with my baby," she explains.” 

    The former BUST covergirl is a non-traditional mom for sure, and we're totally here for it. 

    Top photo: Amber Gray