Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Diva - For Goddess Sake!

All I'm saying is ... some people ... somewhere ... have said Mariah Carey can be a bit of a diva
(photo by Steve Gawley)

DIVA

Noun. Late 19th century.
[Italian from Latin = goddess.]

A distinguished female (especially operatic) singer;
a prima donna.

Diva is derived from the Italian root meaning of 'goddess'. This is interesting and apt, although I can't help but feel a little unfair to likes of Ceres, Diana and Venus - genuine Roman goddesses with the genuine godly powers of smiting and the like. After all, were they to act like the modern-day pantheon of air-headed divas with more ego than talent, we'd probably be saying of them 'Oh this is a bit much!'

And if you're in any doubt regarding the stratospheric level of self-importance a diva can attain, consider their riders - that is, the particular demands they level before appearing or performing at a venue. As reported by The Telegraph, these include:

Having someone walk backwards in front of you in case you fall over
(Mariah Carey)

Having a separate wig room
(Cher)

Custom-made germ-resistant toilet seats
(Jennifer Lopez)

Insisting that staff call you 'Number 1'
(Jennifer Lopez again!)

Having your dressing-room carpet ironed so it's not too bumpy
(Kanye West, who amply proves that men can be divas too)

Not that any of this is to take cheap digs as empty-headed celebrities. No, no, no. Rather, it just illustrates the aptness of the etymology of diva. Its synonym prima donna literally means 'first lady' in Italian, and like diva primarily refers to a distinguished female singer. However, just like Kanye West's ego, it has distended to become so much more than that. Or less than that. Because I kind of feel grubby just reading (and then writing) about such brazen pomposity. 

Do please leave your most demanding comments in the box below. 

5 comments:

  1. Everyone needs a separate wig room, Ed, everyone does. It's basically a human right.

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    1. I asked her if I could borrow a wig once, but she wouldn't Cher ...

      Ho ho ho!

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  2. Well Eddie, the only thing that bothers is that these ones - male and female - are living our times.
    Because when you go through any Museum - ok, ok a basic google it will do - and look paintings of Gods and Goddesses you can't help but feel as grubby as you do by reading The Mail.
    From the Birth of Venus to Aphrodite frolicking with Eros there's nothing that we haven't seen ;).

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    1. But but but, Teresa, the point I was making is that these gods were actually gods, so they can be excused for acting like gods. If Venus wanted a special wig room, so be it; it Ceres wanted her carpet ironed, all well and good. But these divas are not gods, and as much as they try and act like it, they never will be.

      And also ... ahem! ... who said anything about reading The Mail!? I don't mind getting grubby, but if we're talking Daily Mail, that's just downright filthy!

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    2. But these divas have Godless treatement and following by a few (gosh, so many), Eddie.
      In fact there's a pattern. The more you have on them the higher they get on the freak... sorry, diva status.
      Count your blessings they aren't REALLY Gods. I wasn't comparing or ... comparing. I was just saying that people tend to force us to know, see, watch, learn etc about their privates and has been so since Godly times. They are to blame. The original culprits. Because let me tell you, Mister, turning into a white Bull and kidnapping a girl that travels awfully uncomfortable through the seas isn't the way I think a God should behave ;) ahahahah or Aphrodite going around naked among children... ;) I don't care if they're Gods that sing or throw lightening too, tsk tsk tsk shame on them for doing and having the painting done tsk tsk tsk...
      Sorry for The Mail mention but I was thinking of those beautiful paintings and statues at the Louvre and couldn't come up with another example for the "other (dark) side"
      Take Care,
      T

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