Princess Admete wanted it, Hercules laboured for it, and Hippolyta almost never took it off.
This vase tells the tale of an ill thought out gift, Hercules charms, early woman’s liberation, and a wedding.
The cause of all of this?
A magic girdle.
Most people would not even consider a girdle as a gift for their daughter, particularly if you are the father. At best, it’s creepy and a little insulting, at worst it’s a great way to let your patriarchy flag fly. I think Hippolyta’s father Ares could have benefited from the help of a personal shopper.
Ares gifted his daughter this ‘magic girdle’ as a symbol of her ‘dignity’, which is really ancientspeak for virginity. Not cool dad!
Perhaps Ares could have appreciated some Spanx!
Needless to say for someone’s whose name means ‘let loose,’ a girdle was not a great fit. I am sure she was waiting for just the right bra burning-esque moment to liberate herself.
That moment would come when news of a visitor started spreading around the Amazon kingdom. He was handsome, he was a hero, he was Hercules, heartthrob of the ancient world. It wasn’t too often that such an eligible bachelor was so close.
So Hippolyta decided to visit Hercules on his boat.
She was so impressed by him that she gave him her ‘magic girdle’. It just so happened that retrieving it was his ninth labour. This was very convenient for Hippolyta, because she finally got to take off that allegedly magical, constricting girdle.
This is where the real magic began.
Hercules, in a good mood because he thought his David Lee Roth like charm won the day, introduced her to his friend Theseus. The two fell in love and would be later married.
The only way to find true love
in yourself and others
is to take the thing off
If you want to.
What do you think of this story and vase?