Unicorns have eaten the beauty industry alive. But what can the experts on antiquity teach us about these magical beasts?
In this video via Mental Floss, British Museum curator Naomi Speakman offers a little insight into medieval bestiaries and specifically unicorns. FYI, the only way to catch a unicorn is by plopping a virgin right down in its path; it will promptly doze off in her lap, leaving itself vulnerable. “The symbolic meaning of the unicorn really is deeply tied to the concept of purity, and it’s thought that the horn itself represented the unity between God the father and Christ, and that the unicorn and the description of the unicorn was related to the immaculate conception of Christ.”
“Even with things that look very playful and secular,” in art from the medieval period, “there was a Christian vein running through it the whole time.”
Ma’am, you are the expert, but I’ve got to believe that at least a few lewd blasphemers enjoyed joking about virgins and horns.
There’s even a touch of unicorn beauty inspo!! in the form of a small carved bone hair parter designed to look like one of the mythical creatures. Even better, a few survive that fit into small spoons to form the handle of a tiny little earwax spoon, like a medieval q-tip. Eat your heart out, Sephora.