Huh, if I might… I have seen in many images women having a marking/tattoo-like on their foreheads? Does it mean something or…?
Hi! The markings on the forehead are beauty ornaments called Huadian/花钿. They’re purely ornamental accessories that became fashionable among women during the Tang dynasty. I wrote about Huadian in my posts here, here, here, and here. Also fyi, I have a masterpost that compiles all my previous replies, so please check it out if you haven’t already ^^ (Image via)
Hello! I was wondering if I could ask you a question about something I noticed in post 136427994491 (and in tradition Chinese photography in general). I've noticed that there are sometimes a red marking on a women's forehead. Do these markings mean anything? I'm particularly curious about the one that looks like a flower and the ones that are a dot
Hi, of course I’m happy to answer your question!
The forehead markings are called “huadian/花鈿", and they are a purely ornamental type of accessory that was most popular during the Tang Dynasty. Huadian came in a variety of colors (red, green, yellow – but mostly red), shapes (flowers/petals, animals – birds/fish, etc.), and materials (paint, paper, gold, pearls, petals, fish bones, seashells, feathers, etc.). Nowadays it is usually painted on/a temporary tattoo. Fouryearsofshades has a write-up on huadian here. Below – historical huadian:
Huadian can be worn on the cheeks, as seen in the two left pictures in the 2nd row above – these are called mianye/面靥 or xiaoye/笑靥. They usually took the form of a dimple about one centimeter from each side of the lips, and came in a variety of shapes, including coins, peaches, birds, and flowers.
There is a legend about the origin of huadian, recounted by Hua Mei in the book Chinese Clothing (pdf):
“The Huadian or forehead decoration was said to have originated in the South Dynasty, when the Shouyang Princess was taking a walk in the palace in early spring and a light breeze brought a plum blossom onto her forehead. The plum blossom for some reason could not be washed off or removed in any way. Fortunately, it looked beautiful on her, and all of a sudden became all the rage among the girls of the commoners. It is therefore called the “Shouyang makeup” or the “plum blossom makeup.” This makeup was popular among the women for a long time in the Tang and Song Dynasties.”
The flower/petal shapes typically represent the plum blossom. I’m not sure if the dot represents anything significant, besides being a common shape.
Below – actresses wearing huadian and mianye in film/tv:
Hope this helps! 🙂
Edit: See here for post identifying the the actresses/films/tv series in the compilation above.
Hello! Thank you for making this lovely blog! I was wondering, as like an artist and and cosplayer, if there were any kind of guidelines or rules as to how to put together a hanfu outfit? It’s just there seems to be quite a few layers and several styles for one to pick from and I’m unsure if there’s any do’s and don’t when it comes to choosing. Thank you for your time!
Hi, thanks for the kind words! Unless you’re aiming for historical accuracy and/or trying to stick to a specific dynasty/time period, you should feel free to put together a hanfu outfit however you want! ^^ The only real “rule” is left-over-right for crossed-collars (unless you’re portraying the dead/undead, in which case right-over-left is appropriate). If you’re interested in how different styles of hanfu are generally put together, you can see my Masterpost for more references. Hope this helps, and have fun! (Image Via)
Is there any disrespectful/offensive way to portray hanfu in drawings and stuff? I really wanna try drawing hanfu but I wanna make sure that it's respectful to the culture and all that.
Hi! When it comes to drawing hanfu, something to watch out for is to make sure that the collars are crossed left-over-right (if you’re drawing crossed-collars). Also, and this is just my personal opinion, I would find overly-sexualized depictions a tad offensive. Otherwise, feel free to express your creativity! ^^ (Image Via)