The trend taking over TikTok, and social media in general, is the focus of our discussion today.
Siren Eyes is essentially a look created from makeup. Specifically, it is an elongated winged eyeliner look designed to give a seductive look.
The concept, prevalent amongst most of the young female population, is connected to ancient Greece. Shocking, right?
Let’s go back to the past to see how we landed from ancient mythology to a 21st-century makeup trend.
How did the Siren Eyes Trend Originate?
Beauty influencer Danielle Marcan was the genius behind this TikTok trend that spread like wildfire.
I am sure you come across it at least thrice a day.
Whether you use TikTok or not, it’s on every social media site!
What are Sirens? The “sirens” are mythological creatures that have the power of allure in their voice. This is called the “call” of sirens.
It is also known to be in the form of singing.
In fact, songs are known to be the most common method of call of Sirens.
How does this relate to an innocent TikTok trend?
When we think about it, the only overlapping aspect between the makeup trend and Sirens is the concept of seduction and attraction.
What sense does it make to compare the two, then?
It is quite puzzling, but digging a bit into the archives will clarify the picture.
An analysis of Homer’s Odyssey provides a much better and more detailed description of the story of Sirens.
I am sure we will arrive at a suitable explanation for our question.
What is Homer’s Odyssey?
Odyssey is a poem by Homer regarding ancient Greek and is his best work for all the right reasons.
It is an epic poem, both literally and as a pun.
This piece of art is the best source for information on Sirens.
But Homer does not paint a picture of the Sirens – he does not mention how they looked.
He merely tells a story, which other theorists then used to arrive at conclusions about Sirens.
The story goes like this:
Odysseus escapes the call of sirens by being tied to the mast of his ship. It did not matter how strong the siren call was; he could not chase it. Similarly, his crew tried to block out the call by putting wax in their ears with wax. They termed this call of Sirens as “the magic song”.
How do Homer and Others portray Sirens?
Even though he describes the story of Odysseus and his escape from the Sirens, Homer is vague when it comes to the Siren’s appearance.
Gerald K. Gresseth extended upon Homer’s version of the folkloric Sirens and wrote an entire essay on it alone.
In his essay, The Homeric Sirens he considers a few possibilities of how they look.
Firstly, he writes of the possibility that they look like “anthropomorphic maidens”. The second probability is that the Sirens look like soul-bird creatures.
Even today, people who are into Greek mythology are divided among these two schools of thought.
That said, Gresseth maintains his support of “anthropomorphic maidens” as this concept is the closest to what Homer wrote about him.
He makes his point stronger, by highlighting that Homer never commented or alluded to the Sirens having bird forms of any kind.
He further says, “Actually, Homer doesn’t say anything on this matter either way”.
We are gradually getting to the point where the TikTok trend falls in this back-and-forth of visions.
How does Greek Poetry portray Sirens?
So, Gresseth veto’s the fact that Sirens can look anything like birds.
Conversely, classical Greek poetry adopts a completely different view.
These poems depict Sirens as male and female bird creatures with human heads.
An example of this is Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes.
Keep in mind we are talking about the 3rd century BCE.
In Argonautica, Sirens are half woman, half fish.
This image became more popular in medieval Europe (you might even have an idea of this image because the creature has since been prevalent).
The way the description of Sirens changed from “part woman, part bird” to “half woman, half fish” can be attributed to another theory.
This is the unification of the myth of Sirens and the superstition of the mermaid.
How are Sirens Portrayed Today?
With so many alterations along the way, one wonders what people think Sirens look like today.
Sirens are thought to be almost exclusively female in this day and age.
As this view became more and more popular, the fatal “magic song” and the Sirens became associated with a “kind of succuba” (a demon), according to Gresseth.
Keeping this in mind is not too different a view from today’s Siren Eyes trend.
The Siren Eyes give women the power, just as the song gave Sirens the power to access their “dark feminine energy” in order to achieve anything.
And by ‘anything’, I mean the seduction of men and having higher self-esteem.
Siren Eyes: Today
Undoubtedly, makeup enhances one’s features, giving one confidence.
Nancy Ann Rudd, a consumer sciences scholar, studied women’s cosmetics use.
She writes that makeup and cosmetics give the users the opportunity to “enhance personal identity construction”.
She adds that this results in a “psychosocial transformation”, which allows the user to feel the power to overcome gender disadvantages in the society or culture.
To some, makeup is simply a means to have fun. To others, it is far more than that – interestingly, parallel to Rudd’s description.
Rudd’s argument, then, is a reflection of the truth.
The beauty of Siren Eyes is intended to make a woman believe she has control. Controlling your appearance, something so small and easy, is the gateway to controlling something much larger, i.e., social outcomes.
It is rather sad how the makeup trend also encompasses the bitter truth of society.
From a Greek mythological creature and dozens of its own reconstructions to finally creating a woman’s makeup look, Sirens have evolved in more ways than one.
Politigory provides in-depth reviews of science, history, humanities, religion, social sciences and arts