You know that notion that if you just linger outside the workplace of someone you have a crush on, or sit in their favorite coffee-shop enough, eventually they’ll notice you and fall in love with you? And how that never, ever works, and you just end up consuming your body-weight in caffeine and cake-pops?
That worked for Madame Pompadour. Admittedly, that was in 1744, and she may have been the last person it worked for, but wow, did it ever work out.
But then, everything worked out for Madame Pompadour. If she was a ball player she’d have hit a home run every time she did anything. She would have hit home runs idly walking on her way to the ballpark. She was probably the most memorable of all the French kings’ mistresses (and when you consider all the French Kings, that’s a lot of mistresses.) Pompadour was not only beautiful, graceful and charming, she was a renowned intellectual, and she helped craft the political the cultural climate of France during the mid-18th century. She patronized everyone from Voltaire to Boucher, and the Pompadour style (of art and architecture, not the hairstyle, though I guess, also the hairstyle) is, unsurprisingly, named after her.
Not bad for a commoner in 18th century France.
Which is one of the reasons I wanted to write about her this week. I’ve gotten a few emails about how most of our Shelved Dolls are women like Edie or Zelda or Evelyn all of whom have heartbreakingly sad stories, and seem like they do not always makes the best life choices. Some people have asked whether, although I present myself as being in favor of women being as smart as they can be, I really, secretly, prefer bimbos. I feel like Hugh Hefner probably has a better retort for that than I do, but I will say, I tend to focus on these unhappy women because, as a rule, tragedies have a better narrative arc than happy stories do, but no. No, I am not suggesting that women who are cool and competent and generally fantastic don’t have great stories, too. So, for the record: GLOSS READERS – BE LIKE POMP. SHE IS YOUR ROLE MODEL, NOW. READ THIS WHILE HALF RECLINING ON A DIVAN.
(And if you like bimbos – next week we have Madame du Barry!)