tease it higher


Hairdressers in ancient Rome had a difficult job. Many high class women demanded raven-black hair or manes of golden locks. Neither was that easy to achieve. Hair dyes were made from walnuts, cuttlefish ink and gall. Rich matrons might wear caps of fine gold mesh, poor women used animal bladders instead.


order your hog bladders here

“In those days, hair treatments required ingredients like decomposed leeches, urine and pigeon droppings.

A more highly sought after position was that of a flabifeller.

“Open to males or females, it involved carrying a fan for the mistress, flapping it on command. During the hot days of August, slaves might be in for some marathon fanning; most of the time, however, flabellifers were there for show, and knew it.


Musically inclined slaves nabbed the coveted fistulator positions, available only to those whose owners were public speakers. Fistulators carried a reed pitchpipe. To start, the fistulator gave a subtle toot or two so that the great man could proceed to orate at just the correct pitch. Gracchus, famed orator in republican times, was said to have been the first to flaunt a fistulator.

flaunt 1

Dita and Scarlett appear in Flaunt Magazine

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 9:36 am  Comments (31)  

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31 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. dita is so gorgeous (but the link is still hog bladders…)

    • ooops. thanks daisyfae – fixed it now xx

  2. Sure those hair dyes didn’t somehow involve toxic heavy metals, ma’am? Everything else cosmetic about ancient Rome seemed to…

  3. And I thought when people called me a flabbifeller they meant I should shed a few pounds.

  4. is dita scarlett’s fistulator or the other way around?

  5. Christ those girls have the most fabulous legs. I know you bat for the home team nurse, but in extremis (you know, a desert island situation or if all the men were ugly) might you weaken?

    • I’d weaken for both those gorgeous women. Toss in Uma while you’re at it willya?

  6. It’s good to see that humanity has come a long way in our struggle to get a grip on our vanity.

  7. Dita’s nice and all, but I predict the ‘local talent’ with see her off by about, ooh tomorrow evening!

    Get a grip people, friday approaches!

    The King

  8. Interesting that Fistulator has a whole new meaning these days.

  9. Very interesting that some slaves were more learned than their owners. I bet there must have been some major screwing going on, in every sense of the word!

  10. People take notice when you break out the fistulator.

    • I take it you’re not talking about the bird

  11. WHAT is the point of Dita Von Teese? What is her purpose and meaning? I’m mystified!

    • oh come on Tom, even gay boys understand the peep show 😉

  12. i make rip hold a fan above my head daily..i never knew there was a name for it. btw did you know that the renaissance oil painters used to use pig bladders to hold their paint? true.

    • No, I didn’t know that. My dad told me when he was a little boy in Ireland that he and his friends used pigs bladders as footballs (but not while they were still attached to the pigs)


  13. And to think that today, celebrity entourages are really just party buddies or bodyguards. I yearn for the days when a being a hanger on meant subtly tooting a reed pitch pipe.
    If you don’t mind me asking, where do you find all this information? Amazing!

    • I just think of something I’d like to research and then type key words into google

      • Dumb question, I know. I was just picturing you with the world’s most extensive library on home remedies, snake oil sales, and odd but interesting facts. Damn google, screws up all my mental pictures.

      • oh I’ve got that too! But I’ve used most of the information from my own library already. Check out my “Books Read” page and you’ll see where a lot of ideas came from. I then use google to corroborate what I’m writing about so readers can check I haven’t made it up

  14. What good would the pigeon droppings do?

    I am and will forever be your flabifeller.

  15. actually, leeches and cuddle-bone hair sounds a bit awesome, with black lipstick and nails and a steel bolt through the bridge of the nose (which makes it hard to breath or vomit), on a thursday night in the rain surrounded by muggles with piercing guns and murphy’s irish red who compliment the chalky bone-colored hair before pulling it so hard the stud starts to bleed again and nobody has a proper camera, just a shitty point-and-shoot the bought out of the trunk of a car from a financial lackey at carrefour.

  16. ‘Flaunt’ is a lovely word ….. “flaunt” “flaunt” “flaunt” …… I’ve got it now ……. “flaunt” …… *wanders away repeating ‘flaunt’ ad nauseum*

    • I see you are now suffering from flauntulism – – –

  17. it’s a wonder DP didn’t spot this occupation ‘sandaligerula’… too busy flaunting I suspect

    May just take a read of ‘Working IX to V’ 🙂

  18. mmm…where might one get a flabifeller, do you reckon? I’m sur youstill get one of these little minions around somehwere to fan you on cue…and not just the hair :p

  19. Is the beauty shop really any different today?

  20. Women in ancient Egypt would set large cones of scented fat or wax atop their heads. The sun would melt the cone over the course of the day, leaving the woman coated in scented oil by the evening.

    The things people do for fashion.

  21. I would prefer the scented cone of fat to pigeon droppings any day.

  22. So is the purpose of the flabifeller to keep their masters cooled down, or to deflect the stench from their hair?

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