Mom…what does a naked baby shooting arrows at people have to do with Valentines Day?
This is actually a fair question.
While assisting (yes, I was just assisting) in the construction of Big Boss’s Valentine’s Day mailbox for school, we stumbled upon images of the “naked baby shooting arrows.”
Damn you, World Wide Web.
Now, I know the naked baby in question is referred to as Cupid, but I’m not clear on where he came from or why he has to be naked to get his point across?
Cue the googling…
According to history, Cupid was not the first naked person to run around shooting people. It was actually Eros, the Greek God of love who first shot arrows at unsuspecting souls in some weird attempt at spreading love. It was also Eros, who during the hellenistic period (I know, what the HELL does that mean, right?) was depicted as the cherubic and toga-less youth. Sometimes kids just don’t want to wear clothes. I get it. Mine have gone through this phase too.
Weirdly enough this image of a naked baby shooting arrows or Cupid, as most of you know him has been the symbol of love and the unofficial mascot of Valentine’s Day for what seems like forever.
Did I miss the voting on this one? Because when I think of love, a naked cherub does not come to mind. I guess women have only been permitted to vote for the last 95 years though so we definitely missed a few things. Reason #632 why women should be in charge of all decisions.
I digress. Back to Cupid.
It wasn’t until the rise of the Roman Empire that Cupid emerged as the Roman God of Love, when Roman authors retold the Greek myths in their own creative ways.
Now, as with all juvenile delinquents, there’s a parental unit standing in the shadows just waiting to be blamed. Not that I am speaking from experience or anything. My kids are perfect, of course.
So, in Cupid’s defense his parents are Venus (Goddess of Love) and Mars (God of War). This may be the very definition of a dysfunctional marriage. Hence the book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
Anyhow, I’m sure it was super confusing for Cupid to grow up with parents who have such extreme and opposing views. Although, when I think of parenting, love and hate are definitely the two words that stand out wildly waving their hands shouting, “pick me! pick me!”
This explains why Cupid is depicted as a mischievous love spreading juvenile. He was torn between two worlds and couldn’t commit to one. Which is why he’s spreading love but doing it in a most unpleasant way. Hence the use of a bow and arrow.
Once these arrows make contact I’d imagine they cause the recipient to scream bloody murder but then they fall head over heels in love, so I guess it’s worth it…
Unless of course Cupid chooses to shoot you with one of his lead tip arrows. Yeah, he had that kind at his disposal too. These will still cause the recipient to scream bloody murder but then they experience a feeling of utter loathing. Think marriage after 7 years reimagined into an Alanis Morissette song.
It’s possible the phrase “love hurts” was born out of Cupid’s obsession with controlling people’s emotions.
Still curious about the Hellenistic period? I had to google it already myself. It refers to the time when Greece was ballin’ outta control. I mean, their culture was dominant in the Mediterranean.
So, Happy “Naked Baby Shooting Arrows” Day or Happy Valentine’s Day if you prefer to be more traditional.