Shakespeare to Blame for Our Obsession with Clear Skin?
Shakespeare had no problem describing a character's physical flaws in an insulting manner, and now Shakespeare is being blamed for creating a stigma against those suffering with skin diseases. British researchers analyzed Shakespeare's language and found it reflected the Elizabethan obsession with perfect, unmarked, pale skin.
It's probably because at the time, London was a "melting pot of diseases," many of which produced sores on the skin. Researcher Nina Goad says, "It is interesting to note that much of the Elizabethan stigma over disfiguring skin disease still persists today. Over the last few decades dermatologists have tried to address the effect this can have on patients. Even now, examples exist in films and literature where visible disfigurements are used to represent villainy or malice."
"You're Blaming Shakespeare For What Now?!" the blog Shakespeare Geek scoffs. "In other news, Shakespeare's popularity is also responsible for cross-dressing, bed-tricks and the occasional regicide."
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