Gro of Arc, and other queer renditions of great women in history

This photo of openly gay Norwegian handball star Gro Hammerseng — whom you might remember from the Olympics, where she led her team to a Gold medal —was used in a calendar for Norwegian magazine Henne wearing a 40 kg (88 pound) armored knight costume in a recreation of a Joan of Arc battle scene:

It’s a stunning photo, and before you ask — no, it isn’t photoshopped. They actually recreated the battle scene for the photo shoot, like they do on movie sets.

“We wanted to show people the celebrities in a surprising and different situation with weight on the cultural historical and literary setting, with a touch of ‘fairytale,'” said the calendar’s editor. “As an editor, it’s fantastic to be able to play so much while shooting.”

(Apparently it wasn’t as much fun for photographer Mona Nordoy, who said the horse began to run off at one point when Gro leaned too far in one direction, and she “almost puked” because, “I was afraid I had ruined the career of one of Norway’s biggest athletes.”)

The calendar’s editor-in-chief is very pleased with how Gro’s picture turned out, saying, “The combination of femininity and masculinity is fantastic.”

This photo got me thinking — what would it look like if someone created a calendar exclusively of lesbian and bisexual women recreating famous women in history?

I decided to try my hand at envisioning what one might look like (since it’s a weekend, and I clearly have too much free time). The results are below.

(In case Ellen’s head on Queen Elizabeth’s body didn’t give it away — yes, these photos ARE photoshopped!)

Ellen DeGeneres as QUEEN ELIZABETH I of England
(Fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty)

(first African-American pilot)

Shamim Sharif as INDIRA GANDHI
(India’s first and so far only female prime minister

Rachel Maddow as AMELIA EARHART
(first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross)

Jessica Clark as CLEOPATRA VII
(ancient ruler of Egypt)


Lindsay Lohan as MARIE CURIE
(Nobel-prize winning physicist and chemist)

(Heh. It was hard not to laugh while making this last one! Even Lindsay seems to be laughing at the idea of her as Marie Curie.)

Alas, since it’s unlikely that we’ll see such a calendar anytime soon, I’m just going to enjoy this photo one more time:

Gro Hammerseng as JOAN OF ARC
(15th Century French hero and Catholic Saint)

Yep, still stunning!