Yesterday my daughters and I were walking through a wealthy neighborhood when we came across one of those cute “book sharing” boxes that you often find in wealthy neighborhoods because, like, let them eat books, right? Anyway, one of the free books was a really useful guide to “improving the female figure” written by a former squadren leader for the Royal Air Force in the late 1950s. The guide promised to help both “underweight and overweight females” reach their perfect, man-pleasing potential — unlike the “aimless arm-flapping” most females did to make sure their bodies were proper wife material. I read some excerpts to my daughters, and we all laughed, but it made me wonder just how far we’ve come when today, even exercising isn’t enough to “get a good man.” Now we need to fill the spots that need filling, freeze the spots that need freezing, cut up the spots that need cutting up, and hide it all under thick layers of paint and shapewear in order to meet beauty standards. Oh yeah, and make sure to angle and filter and blur that shit, because nobody wants to see your actual real-life gross human physical form.
Sixty years ago, when the book was published, my beautiful saint of a grandmother became addicted to the nightly cocktail of Valium and sherry her doctor prescribed her “for her nerves.” Lots of women who were attempting to find their happiness and purpose behind a stove experienced the same fate. It was only when she passed out behind the wheel and drove into a ditch that she realized something was wrong. She wasn’t being treated, she was being sedated so that she would be a better wife.
Once again, GUHTS has me thinking about all of the ways women have been forced to hide their individuality, their creative energy, and their critical thought for the “good” of society. I’m watching their lyric video for the track “Handless Maiden” and it’s as horrifying as any apocalyptic nightmare I’ve come across in my decade of covering the shadowy side of human expression. GUHTS’ intense post-metal percussion and ominous riffs carry the scathing vocals like blood coursing through anxious veins under a perfectly poised exterior. Their EP blood feather comes out August 6th — pre-order it here. Today we’re sharing the lyric video for “Handless Maiden” with you, so now, let her pull you under — and don’t forget to smile!