Beauty Never Sleeps, digital collage, 2017
[ASMR] soft spoken daydream story: Beauty Never Sleeps
Catharine de Medici (1519-1589), wife of King Henri II (1519-1559), could no longer restrain herself. She asked a carpenter to drill two spy holes in the floor of her bedchamber. This allowed her to observe the movements of the divinely beautiful and 18 years older Diane de Poitiers (1499-1566), mistress of her husband, whose bedchamber was directly beneath hers.
Next to the lessons in making love, de Medici witnessed the peculiar beauty routine of de Poitiers through the spy holes. Even when de Poitier knew that she was being watched by de Medici, the holes in the floor remained open.
This scenario (the insecure wife observing the confident mistress) resembles today’s observation of beauty-vloggers on YouTube by their young followers. Just like de Medici, the followers acquire information about the woman they envy in order to camouflage their own flaws. Both beauty-vloggers and followers often work from the most intimate place at home in which they feel safe and comfortable: the bedchamber. They have no spy holes in the floor, but a computer which allows them to spy on the beauty routines of others. The bed, part of the decor of many beauty videos on YouTube, symbolises the reciprocal connection between girls and women in the field of beauty, then and now.