Hey, best witches! Time for another FRIGday update to the 30 Days of Deity Devotion. Just a quick note about scheduling: So I really have been unhappy with overwhelming this blog with Deity-specific posts when 1) it’s supposed to be more of a witch blog than a pagan blog, and 2) not everybody works with Frigg & Thor. And let’s be real, the FRIGday and THORSday posts are my own devotional acts, the only reason they’re publicly shared is because the public might find them interesting.
So, I’m trying something new. I’ll be writing my devotional posts on their proper days, but if I can’t get them out at a reasonable time, or there have been too many pagan posts lately, then they’ll just sit in my drafts folder until a better time. Basically: I’m going to be writing them just as often, but you’ll be seeing them less frequently.
So let’s move on to the real point of today’s post:
We’re on Day 9 of the 30 Days of Deity Devotion for Frigg and the assignment is “Common mistakes about this deity.” So my first thought is, “Well, that would be the Frigg-Freyja hypothesis, but I already covered that. Should I just skip today?” But almost the second I thought that, I realized a more perfect topic for today: The misappropriation of Frigg as a beauty goddess. A very specific beauty too: One that is soft and delicate, meek and polite, young and willowy (sometimes she is depicted with a pornstar body instead), and cute and pastel-coloured.
I have seen a lot of posts going around describing Frigg as a goddess of love and beauty. Part of this is an attempt to make her interchangeable with Aphrodite (who also shouldn’t be boiled down like that, but this isn’t her post). Part of it is also her conflation with Freyja that has led many people to view her as the softer, tradwife version of Freyja without all the focus on strength and aggression. But the most insidious reasoning I’ve found is that she must be delicate, meek, thin, and adorable because Odin calls her “beloved.”
Wow, just wow. This idea and reasoning reflects the worst of what’s going on with our society, and it’s what I feel most called by her to address. I’m not saying that she’s not pretty. If you ask her if she’s pretty, she won’t give you an answer. Odin would likely say that she is. The problem is that pretty isn’t what she is. It has no part of her aspect as a beloved wife, a queen, a mother, or a homemaker. And the idea that she must be beautiful to have hooked a powerful guy like Odin is insidious and insulting. It grotesquely conflates love with beauty, and she’d like us all to care more about ourselves and each other than to hold that view.
Beauty ≠ Love
People often ask Kendra and I how our relationship has such a good foundation, and I often say it’s because we met on the internet. We met personality-first. We also have a foundation of respect for each other, and care enough about each other to seek therapy and try to find mature compromises. We very carefully and painfully sniff out the problems we have and pull them up by the roots. We each have different toxicities to unlearn (me = authoritarianism and paranoia, her = putting everyone else above herself and not communicating). But the biggest plus in our relationship is that we didn’t found it around sexual attraction.
Yeah, I think my wife is beautiful. I tell her all the time. She tells me so often how pretty I am. And as women who have been told throughout our lives that we are ugly and undesirable, it’s important that we tell each other that. To conventionally attractive women, it can be insulting to have a big deal made of it. And yes, every woman is more than her beauty. But I have the rule “Always tell fat girl they’re cute when you see them being cute” for a reason. When society tells you that you can’t be beautiful, going ahead and being pretty anyway is a powerful thing. Putting on makeup that makes you happy and a dress that makes you feel like a princess is so fucking powerful when you’re choosing it for yourself despite being told that you’re inherently ugly.
But it’s not a foundation for love.
I have a cousin who is very conventionally pretty. She’s naturally tall (but not “too tall” for most men) and thin, with pale skin and dark hair and eyes, and a very conventionally attractive face. She has very low self-esteem and is on her third husband, and honestly the problem is that she’s so convenientionally pretty. She had horrible rumors spread about her in high school and couldn’t FORM friendships with girls because of their jealousy and competition – because she was pretty. Her first husband was jealous and controlling and literally proposed just so he could put a ring between her and other men (she is extremely faithful, but he didn’t want them to even look). Her second husband started cheating the second he got access to even hotter action. I wish the best for her and really strongly want her to find love and support, but I do not have faith in her third husband because he literally told my grandmother he couldn’t believe Cousin was divorced because she’s so pretty. His courting of her was based entirely on her looks. My cousin is kind to a fault, she’s very accomplished in several careers, she’s so incredibly empathetic that it creates fragility, she’s an extremely hard worker who is financially independent despite two divorces, and the only reason he can’t believe Hubby 2 cheated and left is… Because she’s pretty.
You can’t found a relationship on beauty. Beauty fades. Beauty is unreliable. Beauty doesn’t hold you while you cry. Beauty doesn’t work through mistakes or seek therapy to improve itself. It’s just beautiful. It adds nothing to your relationship other than giving you something to look at.
Our society in general shows a confusion between sexual and romantic attraction. I see it so much in real life and I see it exemplified in TV and movies as a high ideal of romance: “Wow, they’re so hot. They must be my forever destiny.” And the person with this crush won’t know anything else about the partner they’ve already decided that they’re going to marry and have three kids with. This is upheld as romantic. That you’re so taken away by their beauty that you don’t care about anything else but “winning” them.
That’s a terrible foundation for a relationship. A partner who does not give a shit about your personality, your likes or dislikes, your hobbies, your career, your passions or dreams does not respect you. A relationship cannot be founded entirely on a willingness to have sex with each other. If you want to fuck this person, go fuck this person. And then go settle down with someone who actually loves and cares about you.
Yes, beautiful people can love, they can find love, they can have happy and lasting relationships. But those relationships aren’t based on their beauty alone; they’re based on a mutual respect for each other as people. When you partner up only because of beauty and times get hard, you’re going to realize that you’re married to a stranger.
How this applies to Frigg
Whenever they are attested together, we see Frigg matching wits with Odin. We see her trick him into favouring the Longobards and even naming them. We see her set him up for torture to win a game of favourites. He never minds these things. He takes them in stride. He turns to Frigg, laughs, and says “Well, you got me there, Beloved.”
Nowhere does her beauty get mention. Maybe she’s beautiful, maybe she isn’t. I’m sure he’d find her beautiful and sexually attractive. I’m also sure she’s not willowy and doesn’t have a pornstar body. For one, in their time, that’s not the body type that was valued in women (so Freyja might not look like that either). But also: Shes a matron. She’s had kids, she cares for a home, she oversees several properties. She’s has too much knowledge and experience to be considered young anymore. Even if she started out as willowy, she wouldn’t be that person later on. As a mother of at least one, she definitely has saggy boobs now and lots of stretch marks.
Okay, so, she’s a god. It’s unlikely that she actually has one real singular form. And we can see her any way that we want to see her. But the energy she gives off is a woman of at least 50. A broad, strong-boned woman that might be beginning to bow a little. And, yes, all that is UPG, but looking at the lore, I honestly don’t know how you could see her otherwise. And I’ve noticed that Friggspeople rarely post content of the delicate, willowy, adorable Frigg. The content that happens usually arises from that being the only Frigg statue in the witch store. This idea pretty clearly arises from people who don’t know her well, only knowing that she is Odin’s wife.
And I’m sorry, but Odin gets plenty of strange. He has no reason to base his marriage off looks alone. He can have looks whenever he wants. Lore also speaks clearly alongside the plenty of Odinspeople who say that the last thing he would ever want to deal with is someone who is delicate, shy, and meek. He very clearly married Frigg for her skills as a homemaker (as he is away a lot, so that would be valued), her lack of intimidation by him, and her ability to outwit him. Odin is rarely shown meeting equal or greater wit, and one of those rare few people is his own damn wife.
Frigg might be beautiful. But she’s not delicate. She’s not shy or meek. Maybe she’s cute, maybe she likes pastels. She’s polite, but in the way in which a queen would rarely be anything else. But she’s smart and clever. She’s quick-witted. She’s strong physically and emotionally. She’s capable. She’s authoritive. She’s stubborn. She demands and commands respect.
And that is why she’s beloved.