The human species has had a second skin for about 30,000 years. This invention of the Paleolithic allowed him to reach the Moon and circulate around the planet.
Closer to home, with the rise of intelligence and derision, came madmen, clowns, and writers. Not only has clothing become a second skin, but it is also a pretext for individual expression, for the coloring of an era.
Until very recently, barely fifty years old, I propose, this took place to the rhythm of fairgrounds, religious rites, the mood swings of kings and potentates. Just look at the attire of Orthodox priests, the efforts devoted among some peoples to making hats and other heavy ornaments, feathered or plated with precious metal. This forces us to realize that the human spirit is so objectified as to perhaps taking its consciousness away from the frog-like realities invented by the chemistry of the brain.
Ladies clown may also be an example. Apart from finding the thing funny, at times I have never been able to associate the phenomenon with simple clownish behavior. Michel Tremblay has, so to speak, ennobled them, others have made good films out of them, but the fact remains that this exaggeration of the woman remains mysterious to me. If psychoanalysts and other moral surgeons have their idea(s), if it is easy to bring everything back to these professional and commercial events, I see in them, on my humble side as an ordinary guy, the courage to exist, the call for an excessively comical visibility in order to colour own’s modest presence in the chessboard of anonymity.
The reasons for disguise are multiple, often in opposition to each other. There is a wound for that one, a beautiful delirium with this one, a catharsis, or an existential dead end, or even a saving way out for others.
The Rio Carnival, to put it mildly, is certainly one example among many. There would be in a small village in Europe a special festival where citizens allow themselves, for a week (not a second more), all the excesses, as if normality had become a coat too thick for their Floridian souls.
Coming back to these false ladies who display their fake attractions as others return to their iPhone or Nexus (or whatever the name), I remain perplexed about the choice, the pretext for madness: the woman. Why don’t the dredge queens choose the buffoon kings, the testicles-princes?
Is masculinity a great shame or pain? A goal so difficult to achieve? Some will tell me that it is quite the opposite. We willingly dress up in the inaccessible, we appropriate it comic to hope to touch its inexhaustible power.
Maybe. But I don’t believe that such power exists in women, nor in men. The transgression remains. This week, during the Literary Pride Festival, I met a man who, by day, is called Robert, and who, by night, is called I don’t remember what is his female name. He saw his otherness in an astonishing way, dressed simply, a few delicate charms, a sober wig, clothes that a mature lady, probably called an old maid, would wear. No clashes, a diffuse elegance, and no real beauty, but a quiet affirmation in the eyes. He/she does not make more noise than that, it seems to me, does not try to convince, to shout. We can guess the struggle, the impossibility of displaying during the day, in addition to weekends and holidays, this other way of being. However, the objective seems to have been achieved.
Any difference is frightening, both for others and for what is moving within. That’s what I perceive in fake ladies. Would that be a big or a small subject for a novel? There is so much to say and think about. Mind, heart, body are all mutants… and each of these universes, incestuously linked, pulls the strings of our behavior.
We will probably never see the end of this burlesque series.