It’s Thanksgiving week! That may mean different things for different people, but like always, we can trust history to be weird about it. (And not for the obvious reasons.)
OKAY! Let’s dissect this one a little bit. What we have here is one of Charles Gibson’s “Gibson girls” carrying a baby on a tray.
I have tried to determine what is actually going on here, but the internet hasn’t been incredibly helpful. This is the Meredith theory:
Gibson Girls were fictional figures in pop culture that represented new ideas of womanhood that were emerging at the turn of the century. These women were bold and modern and athletic, and didn’t follow the norms that were set out for them. Given that, I’m assuming that this particular illustration is a statement about the disregard for “family life” as these women were known above all for their independence? Or the baby represents the birth of all of our thanks we’re going to give?
Or maybe it’s just about eating babiesIT’S PROBABLY NOT ABOUT EATING BABIES.
I don’t know, man. I’d like to. It’s just very very weird.
On a separate note, I think Gibson Girl illustrations are fascinating. If this is your first, they don’t all have undertones of cannibalism. One could actually argue that most don’t.
For more weird history, check out You Made it Weird: History’s Halloween.