Women – Three faces of Eva

Written by  //  May 8, 2011  //  oddsocks  //  1 Comment

evaAnother illustration I ripped out of Encyclopaedia Lusitânica. These are just three types of Portuguese womanhood, the “Bata”, the “Open Necked Shirt” and the “Beige, Gold and Big Hair”.
There are many more types covered in the encyclopaedia, but I would say a large majority of women could fall into groups one and two and a little tiny, but oh so visible, minority would fall into group three.

1. The Bata. This lady may be of any age, though at this time she is more likely to be over the age of forty years. In fact, she may or may not wear a Bata, but she is a WORKER. She toils from the moment she awakes in the morning, keeping the family going, keeping the house and home in good working order. She may also have a full time job, in which case she toils just as hard at work as she does at home. She keeps an immaculate house, immaculate children and/or grandchildren and tries to keep an immaculate husband. She relaxes with a bit of ironing in the evening in front of the television. She has never had time to take up smoking.

2. The Open Necked Shirt. This lady is a career lady. Her uniform varies, but very almost always includes the open necked shirt and similar hair do to that illustrated above. As in every other place in the world she has to work twice as hard as any man to reach and maintain her position, but she does it and has the hardened expression and several divorces to prove it. She also has an immaculate home because she is so rarely there. To relax, she smokes and does some more work and then goes out with her career girlfriends in the evening to discuss work and divorce.

3. The Beige, Gold and Big Hair. The darkest thing this lady ever wears is her mascara and eyeliner. Everything else is in flesh tones, gold tones and beige. She may have a job but it will be a job in name only, she won’t actually have to DO anything, she may be the wife of a rich man, but whatever she SEEMS to do on the surface, she is a master of the art of making doing NOTHING look divinely difficult. She openly sneers at all those she deems beneath her, and is unutterably rude to shop keepers, hairdressers, fellow humans. So that she doesn’t have to eat, she smokes. She lives to fill the pages of Caras and Olá magazines.

The many types of BATA

bataHere is a page I have ripped out of the Encyclopaedia Lusitânica (as opposed to Britannica, obviously.) As you will see I have put on my own translated labels over the original Portuguese.As you can see, the Bata comes in several different shapes and while differentiation in style most certainly does not reflect the SOCIAL status of the wearer, it DOES reflect her personality and modus operandi with regard to her daily life and work. Obviously, the TENT model is only resorted to in two circumstances: a. In mid August when it’s 40ºC outside and the wearer doesn’t seem to care that polyester is NOT the most BREATHABLE fabric, or b. When the wearer has exceeded all records and dress sizes and wears the TENT model all year round because that is all there is left that fits, i.e. grandma x 2

© Lucy Pepper

Lucy Pepper writes, draws, animates and is a generally all-round decent sort of chap. Go visit her site:


One Comment on "Women – Three faces of Eva"

  1. miss fidji August 5, 2011 at 9:19 am · Reply

    Brilliant. My personal pain of visions on the streets of Porto have been alleviated, this is exactly the piece that gave the cure to a big argggggh headache and sore eyes.

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