A live window display to celebrate UK Plus Size Fashion Week on September 3, 2015 in London, England.

How Body Positivity Coexists with Fat Shaming

Retail workers at a plus-size clothing store had to promote the contradictory messages that every body is beautiful and that being fat is bad.
A hedgehog in a porcelain cup

Biomimicry Comes for the Noble Hedgehog

Inventors often use animals' adaptations to the environment in applications that benefit humans, from sharky swimsuits to hedgehog-inspired helmets.
Lawyer Inez Milholland, wearing white cape, seated on white horse at the National American Woman Suffrage Association parade, March 3, 1913, Washington, D.C.

Why Did the Suffragists Wear Medieval Costumes?

Medieval costume was a standard feature of U.S. women’s suffrage parades, often with one participant designated as Joan of Arc.
Design for Necklace with Brazilian Beetles, ca. 1900

Insect Jewelry of the Victorian Era

The wing-cases of gold-enameled weevils hung from necklaces; muslin gowns were embroidered with the iridescent green elytra of jewel beetles.
Three women wearing corsets

How Colonialism Shaped Body Shaming

When did heaviness and curviness in women become connected with the idea of "savagery"? It has a lot to do with 19th-century imperialist world views.
“Colors That Never Run,” W1, Undated.

Ed Hardy Changed Tattooing Forever

Trained as a printmaker, this artist helped change American tattooing from a fringe behavior into an art form people use to express themselves.
Empress Joséphine holding a Jacquemus Mini Le Chiquito handbag

A Mini History of the Tiny Purse

The purse has always been political, a reflection of changing economic realities and gender roles.
Portrait of Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger

The Codpiece and the Pox

A brief history of the codpiece, that mysterious garment favored by 16th-century gents who just may have been covering up their cases of syphilis.
A contraption used to extract the silk from a spider

The Tangled History of Weaving with Spider Silk

Spider silk is as strong as steel and as light as a feather, but attempts to industrialize its production have gotten stuck, so to speak.
"The Macaroni. A real Character at the late Masquerade", mezzotint by Philip Dawe, 1773

The Gender-Bending Style of Yankee Doodle’s Macaroni

The outlandish "macaroni" style of 18th-century England blurred the boundaries of gender, as well as class and nationality.