Back By Popular Demand: Why Did Women Suddenly Stop Fainting?


Why doesn’t anyone faint anymore?!

It’s probably because I grew up reading Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë and Tolstoy, but it seems like back in the day women used to faint all the time. Everyone was always “suffering from delicate constitutions” or steadying themselves on the arm of the nearest gentleman. I mean, seriously! Did you ever read any of those books from the 1800’s? Women were dropping like flies!This two minute video had almost 13,000 views on YouTube before I deleted my personal account and moved it to the new Prayers and Apples channel last week. My venture into the YouTube world started as an assignment for Dr. Shigehisa Kuriyama’s course, “Medicine and the Body in East Asia and Europe” (Harvard, Fall 2011): come up with an original discovery. Now, if you think that’s a little vague you’re not alone. Our whole class was freaking out until Dr. Kuriyama gave a little extra direction: think about the the most interesting question you can and find the answer. For some reason, my topic popped into my head immediately: Why did women suddenly stop fainting?

But then it just stopped. No one ever faints anymore! And that just always seemed like the absolute strangest thing to me. So I decided to get to the bottom of things.

But what I found was definitely not what I was expecting…

(I’m not too sure what to say about my voice in this video? I sound like a valley girl in real life, so I don’t really know what happened – I pushed “record” and it’s like Radio-Voice-Jessi took over!)

If you like this video, check out Depression: From Sadness to Pain, another investigative assignment I completed for Dr. Kuriyama’s class!


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