Mythology Monday: No Girlfriend? Make One!

Hello again, friends! It’s Monday, so you know what that means: time to dig out some ancient myths. This week, I’m going to talk about Pygmalion, and how he brought his RealDoll to life.

So, let’s get started!

First off, we have this dude named Pygmalion. Pygmalion is a sculptor from Cyprus, and he would like you to know that he really, really isn’t in to the ladies. Like, so not into them it’s unreal. Now, there isn’t really any indication that he’s into dudes either, he just seems to be really misogynist. Which is basically ancient Greece in a nutshell. Seriously, ancient Greece was not a great place to be a lady, though some areas were better than others.

But I digress.

Anyway, Pygmalion is doing his sculptor thing one day, and he makes a lady that he names Galatea. And, because the statue is incredibly lifelike and, well, hot, he falls deeply in love with it. This presents a couple of problems: 1) statues aren’t really great conversationalists, and 2) he didn’t make any holes in the statue, so he can’t really do the deed with it either. But that’s nothing that a little prayer to Aphrodite won’t fix!

By which I mean he makes an offering to Aphrodite and, since it doesn’t seem she has anything better to do, she brings Galatea to life. Galatea instantly falls in love with Pygmalion, aka the first guy she’s ever seen, and they pop out a couple of kids named Paphus and Metharme. And they lived happily ever after.

So, some of you may be familiar with the name Pygmalion already. This was also the title of a play by George Bernard Shaw, which would later serve as the basis for the film My Fair Lady. Now, neither of these involve a statue coming to life, but they do involve a guy trying to mold a working class woman into a “proper lady.” Which is a whole bag of yikes that I’m not particularly interested in covering right now.

I am interested, however, in how the trope of a statue or other inanimate object coming to life has persisted over the years. We have Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, wherein a statue of Queen Hermione comes to life; the well-known story of Pinocchio; and even the popular Toy Story series.

All because one dude decided to carve himself a girlfriend.

(Hey, all. So my financial situation ended up not being as dire as I was worried, since my state really beefed up its unemployment benefits. Still, when this is all over, I would very much like to have this be my job. So, if you’d like to help me out with that, please consider supporting me on Patreon! I also have a Ko-Fi and PayPal if those things are more your speed. Thanks!)

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