My mom had asked me to find some light up angels and then like 5 days later I finally remembered to do it…and then I got to thinking about winged people and how they are often (but not always) depicted.
Angels generally don’t rub me the right way. I dunno if it’s the fact that religion says I’m supposed to believe in them despite my natural inclination to group them with fairies and mermaids, or that they are like people but so pure and holy (you think you’re better than me?) except the fallen ones I guess, but I’m gonna leave my agnostic ramblings out of this one.
Supposedly angel wings are symbolic, so I guess they’re just for show and serve no physical use. What do they symbolize, another creature’s arms growing out of their backs? Why not an insect or a bat? Why white and not brown or a blue and green mix? If doves and pigeons are practically the same, then why are doves viewed as peaceful while pigeons are viewed as pests? Clouds are in the sky too, how about some clouds growing out of their backs? How about some other celestial bodies, miniature stars or planets maybe. C’mon we’re talking God here. Surely he is not bound to pick one type of species from one planet to represent his high-in-the-sky-ness. Wow, you have bird parts. I’m SO impressed even though I see birds outside like every other day.
Now on to flying people, since sometimes people aren’t angels but flesh and blood bird-feathered folk in which case I can only ask, Where are the tail feathers? Don’t birds use their tail feathers for flight? So how come I see so many winged people flying around with ease regardless of their weight and additional two arms without tail feathers? That goes for you too Pegasus.
Speaking of additional arms, 2 are the wings and 2 are human. Why still keep the human arms. Why aren’t the wings the only arms? Too hard to pick things up I guess. What if we replaced the bird with a mammal, I mean humans are mammals after all. What if we replaced the wings with bear arms or elephant front legs. This also goes for horses. Imagine Pegasus with two man arms growing out of his side or another pair of horse legs. It’s a strange visual but makes no less sense than bird wings.
At least bats are mammals, but why should bat arms and fingers grow out of the back instead of where the arms are supposed to be? Animal wings fall to the side, not the back. If they can just be anywhere, why not put them in the front too, some nice boob wings. Maybe put one on each hip. Insect wings on the back actually make more sense to me. At least insect wings belong on the back and their legs and arms are a separate thing all together. Bird wings don’t have that privilege.
Fine, let’s allow the wings as far as skin and skeletal structure goes. Why the feathers? Mammals don’t grow feathers. They grow hair. I want to see people running around with giant vaguely hairy chicken wings - all moist and oily, skin bumps, unhealed scars, how majestic.
What about proportions and weight. How large would a set of bird wings have to be to lift a full human off the ground, plus the weight of clothing and any other additional objects they might be carrying such as I dunno, another person in their arms? What about the weight of the wings? It seems like a lot of back strain. “Time to take flight…OW my spine! I’m dead.” Well, you might have that problem when if you’ve got stuff growing out of your back instead of at the shoulders. Wow, what does that joint look like, the back wing joint. Wouldn’t it require as much mobility as the shoulder?
Multiple wings, a cruel joke by nature perhaps. So many extra body parts, how about just one good pair of wings that works instead of 2 or 3 smaller pairs that don’t? As for angels, having more bird anatomy than a normal bird seems very unnecessary. If the wings are just for show then it’s very un-humble to go overboard in such a way. (Same goes for angels with multiple faces. Fine, I’m horrified. Get lost.)
Not to say I’ve never fallen prey to these things or that I don’t have winged characters. I think over the years I’ve had some of all types. I remember having a few bird winged characters with tail feathers. There was a 3H character with small wings he couldn’t fly with which made him depressed and bitter. He wanted learn how to fly a plane or helicopter or anything that flew really, but he lacked the drive to do anything about it. So there he remained, bitter and working at some air themed fast food place. In retrospect it’s so obviously how I felt about life at the time. Then there was an anthropomorphic bird who was a religious figure accompanied by, who else, cardinals. He had wings as arms/hands and also the typical back wings, so he looked four armed. He felt the wings made him majestic but others found it odd.
My ramblings are based on things I see most often. I know there are some winged people that fall into these other categories. I’ve seen creatures with the wings as arms. I’ve seen wings attached at the shoulder instead of on the back. It’s just that the norm seems to spark a lot of questions within me.
At the end of the day, it’s all fantasy, and none of it makes a lick of sense. Still it’s kinda fun to try to make sense out of it and maybe become a bit more creative with how to handle wings in the process.
And what’s the deal with unicorns? Why is the horn on the forehead instead of in the nose area like it is with rhinos, and chameleons, and narwhals?