, especially the female body.
Notwithstanding three waves of feminism, John Bulwer’s 1654
declaration that ‘woman is by nature smooth and delicate; and if
she have many hairs she is a monster’ 3 still holds true almost four
centuries later. The glut of depilatory products on the market (never
mind the proliferation of Brazilian waxing salons) advertises that
female bodyhair – in any form – remains disturbing
stereotypes regarding the passivity of women, it does so at the expense of the wolf. Lycanthropy is still connected with the unleashing of the ‘beast within’.
The connection between puberty and the emergence of lycanthropy recurs in male teenage werewolves. The premise of Teen Wolf (both the film from 1985 and the television series which premiered in 2011) is that ‘PUBERTY IS WEREWOLFISM’, as exhibited in the parallels between the increase in bodyhair, speed and physical prowess that come with both puberty in young men and turning into a werewolf
similarities between these two
werewolves. Issues of corporeality and the non-normative female body
arise. Both texts offer, though in different ways and to differing
degrees, a depiction of the female body that, while not explicitly
monstrous, has an uneasy emphasis on potentially abject features.
Gerald’s werewolf has an ‘old’ body; Harrison’s
Clawdeen has excessive bodyhair. Additionally, both these female
1950s horror movie, in which our hero, a connoisseur of the obvious,
tells her that he is not like other guys, that he is, well, different.
We see the nature of this difference when he suddenly becomes a teenage
werewolf and chases his hapless lady through a dark wood. In this
transformation he becomes much more Michael than he was before: hands
and fingernails elongate, facial and bodyhair grow