Decoding The Secret Meanings Behind Flowers

Photo courtesy of Saipua

Say it with roses

Contemporary communication is efficient, private, and fast. In other words, if we want to send someone a dirty message, all we have to do is text them. But before technology streamlined conversational potential, opportunities to merely speak to someone were limited. If you werent sharing physical space with someone, your only option was to send a telegram, a letter, or a gift through the multi-day mail service. But what if you wanted to send your long-distance lover a Victorian version of the present-day eggplant emoji? Basically, you were shit out of luck.

Throughout history, weve assigned symbolic depth to flowers. From the sexualization of Georgia OKeeffe paintings to the rose count of a mail-ordered bouquet, we like to see flowers signify more than they inherently do. Over time, this has meant that each flower species held its own identity, characteristics, and attributes; by giving them personality traits, we elevated their significance. Without all of our storytelling and the help of poetic symbolists like Shakespeare and the Bronte sisters, would flowers be more than just pretty things that grow out of the ground?

But before OKeeffe indelibly tied flowers to a womans sexuality, England's upper class during Queen Victorias reign was building a secret language around flowers. It was during this era that explicit and larger meanings were assigned to flowers. While it might not have been appropriate or possible for Victorian lovers to sext, it was common for them to use flowers to convey similarly themed messages.

Most notably, floriography was immortalized in paintings. Have you ever wondered why so many classical artists loved to incorporate seemingly random blossoms into each of their paintings? Sure flowers are beautiful and hold a universal appreciation, but that wasnt the only reason why painters were keen on them. It was actually all about the ability to tell a story, to send a message, to immortalize a thought. Artists depicted flowers and herbs and plants to spell out secondary ideas that were not immediately apparent to viewers. Victorian painters like John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti were well-known for their usage of floriography. Millais infamously used daisies in his painting Ophelia(1851) to depict innocence lost. And Rossetti utilized the symbolism of daffodils to portray a woman suffering from unrequited love in Veronica Veronese(1872).

While some contemporary traditionalists have kept floriography alive in paintings, like John Gordon Gauld in his workInner Potency(1999) featuring a hydrangea, the practice is mostly antiquated. Though if you speak to a spirited florist that has a deep-rooted passion for flowers, chances are, they know all about the language. After chatting with the florists at Saipua of Brooklyn, New York, about the fascinating language of floriography, they shared their own message in a bouquet with us, to show how easy it was for people to hide meaning in a beautiful arrangement. 

To the unknowing eye, this gorgeous arrangement (seen above) might look like a haphazard, if beautiful, assortment of pink flowers. But if you were to go by floriography, these flowers have a lot to say. Cherry Blossom stands for impermanence, tulips stand for dangerous pleasures, and ranunculuses stand for a radiant charm. Together, this collection of flowers tells a story of love, lust, attraction, and intrigue. 

According to the Victorian Flower Dictionary, some other flowers that might be used similarly would be acacia, which stands for secret love; aloe, which stands for an indiscretion; apple blossom, which stands for temptation; or moss, which stands for coquetry. 

On the other hand, to end an affair, according to the Victorian Flower Dictionary, one might send a bouquet with anemones ("forsaken"), striped carnation ("I cannot be with you"), basil ("hate"), or daisy ("farewell"). The secret meanings behind these flowers is an important lesson to take advantage of the opportunity to read into art, especially of other eras. But also, it's a reminder that even when we might think that our modern form of communication, reliant as it is on emojis, feels reductive or simplistic, it is, in fact, part of a long tradition of communicating without words, and instead relying on symbols as our own secret language. 

"Inner Potency," by John Gordon Gauld

We also see Margot Robbie take on Sharon Tate

The new trailer for Quentin Tarantino's upcoming movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood gives a look at the Manson Family. In the previous clip, we saw Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio at their funniest. Now, we get to see Margot Robbie take on actress Sharon Tate, Lena Dunham become a cult member, and how the fictional and real-life story lines will intersect in the film.

Per a press release, the film—that follows a fictional story set around the time of the real-life Manson murders—"visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore."

In this clip, after being introduced to Dalton and Booth, viewers get to see how the latter ends up mingling with the Manson Family. As Booth picks up a girl (Margaret Qualley) on the side of the road, he unknowingly welcomes a Manson family member into his life and begins to visit their ranch. The fiction and real-life stories intersect when we find out that Dalton lives next store to Tate, who was murdered by the members of Charles Manson's cult in 1969.

Watch the new trailer for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood ahead of its July 26 theatrical release, below.


Photos by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

This photo proves that they are the chillest onscreen family

Sophie Turner just posted a photo of herself, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright—aka the Stark siblings—to her Instagram, showing just what the three used to get up to when the Game of Thrones cameras weren't rolling.

The photo shows Wright looking quite pleased with himself while sitting on a makeshift throne, wearing no pants. As he should be, seeing as (spoiler) his character, Bran, won the Iron Throne this weekend. Williams, meanwhile, is looking way too cool to be involved in the shenanigans, wearing a pair of black sunglasses and staring absently off-camera. As for Turner, she's looking away from her onscreen brother, too, nervously smoking a Juul.

"The pack survived," Turner captioned the photo.

This photo just goes to prove that the Stark siblings are the chillest onscreen family. (It also proves, yet again, that Turner's social media is an absolute delight.)

We're actually a little sad that this footage didn't make it into the final season, considering how many modern-day objects have been spotted in the show's last few episodes.

Photo via @mileycyrus on Twitter

Meet Ashley

Miley Cyrus shared the trailer for her forthcoming Black Mirror episode, and it's basically Hannah Montana set in a dystopian future. Cyrus is a pink wig-wearing pop star named Ashley who is rolling out an in-home virtual assistant, named Ashley Too, that looks like her and shares her voice. But, as is the case with every Black Mirror episode, this technology is not as cute and fun as it's advertised to be.

In the trailer, we get the idea that Ashley is all about wanting fans to "believe" in themselves—but underneath that pink wig, maybe she doesn't feel that same self-love. After Ashley Too introduces herself to fan and new owner Rachel, promising to be her friend, we get a look at Ashley's darker side. She's depressed and tired of the pop star life. A record label executive says to several people in the room, "She doesn't understand how fragile all this is." As they consider upping her dose of medication, Ashley's life is on a downward slope. "It's getting so hard to keep doing this," she voices over glimpses of a police car chase, performances, and breakdowns backstage.

But back to the technology: Does Ashley's breakdown also mean the breakdown of Ashley Too? Looks like it. We see Rachel's virtual assistant screaming, "Get that cable out of my ass! Holy shit! Pull it out," breathing a sigh of relief as soon as they pull it out. A title card then reveals the episode name, "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too."

Watch the full trailer and get a full view of Cyrus' cyborg-esque pop star look, below. Black Mirror returns to Netflix on June 5.

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Photo by Paras Griffin / Stringer / Getty Images.

Several actresses allegedly had "issues" with him

Lena Waithe's Showtime series, The Chi, just lost one of its main characters. Jason Mitchell, who was also set to appear in the Netflix film Desperados, has been dropped from both projects following multiple allegations of misconduct. He has also been dropped by his agent and manager.

Hollywood Reporter heard from a source "with knowledge" of The Chi, who says that Tiffany Boone, the actress who plays Mitchell's girlfriend on the show, is just one of several actresses who had "issues" with him. She eventually told producers at Fox21 that she could no longer work with him after filing several sexual harassment complaints. Apparently, her fiancé, Dear White People co-star Marque Richardson, would join her on set when she would shoot with Mitchell.

While news of Mitchell's alleged misconduct is just now beginning to surface, it looks like the ball started rolling on the fallout weeks ago. He was dropped from Desperados and replaced by Lamorne Morris before filming began. A source from the production team said that the producers received "specific information" that they reviewed and acted on quickly. Similarly, a source familiar with Mitchell's former agent, UTA, said the decision to drop him a few weeks ago was very quick following the allegations.

Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images

Prior to the college admissions scandal, she said she doesn't "care about school"

Apparently, Olivia Jade wants to go back to school despite all those YouTube videos that suggested otherwise. Back in March, it was revealed that her mom, Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin, and dad, Mossimo Giannulli, had scammed Jade's way into the University of Southern California. Now, Loughlin faces jail time, and Jade lost out on plenty of lucrative ad partnerships.

According to Us Weekly, "Olivia Jade wants to go back to USC," per a source. "She didn't get officially kicked out and she is begging the school to let her back in." Another source though ousted Jade's real motivation to the publication. "She knows they won't let her in, so she's hoping this info gets out," they shared. "She wants to come out looking like she's changed, learned life lessons and is growing as a person, so she for sure wants people to think she is interested in her education."

Jade previously shared in a YouTube video she's in college for the "experience of like game days, partying" rather than the education. She also said, "I don't know how much of school I'm going to attend... I don't really care about school, as you guys all know." Though these statements were made prior to the scandal coming to light, her brand partnerships didn't come into question until her parents were indicted.

Right now, despite previous reports that Jade and her sister would both be dropping out of USC, Jade's enrollment has been placed on hold—meaning she cannot register for classes, or even withdraw from the school—until her parents' court case comes to a close. Then, the school will make its own decision as to how Jade will be affected. I think, either way, she should have to pay off a few of her classmates' loans for all the BS she pulled.