Marie Antoinette – Let Me Eat Cake!

Marie Antoinette – Let Me Eat Cake!

Apparently Marie Antoinette never uttered her most famous words “Let them eat cake.” It is a supposedly false attribution. Asha wonders how it is known that she in fact did not utter these words since all those who are claiming to know this clearly were not alive during that period of history. Marie may or may not have said the words but she surely must have done something that set off a revolution that ended with her losing her head.

What is it about history and key historical figures that make us want to keep on finding ways to stay connected with them. Marie Antoinette’s story is one that has captured collective imagination while she was living and in the centuries since her death. There have been film adaptations of her life seeking to capture the essence of her story. The most recent is the 2006 Sofia Coppola directed adaptation that featured Kirsten Dunst. Asha’s favorite Marie Antoinette film is the 1938 adaptation that stars Norma Shearer.

What is it about Marie Antoinette? Why does her story captivate us so? Maybe it is the tale of riches to rags that strikes a deep chord. In these current times I think it is intriguing to see a story that captures what happens when the aristocracy loses sight of the plight of the common man leading to its detriment. Are there shades of Marie’s time in history being duplicated today?

Apparently when we want to criticize someone (mostly women) for decadence and being out of touch, it is not uncommon to call that person a modern day Marie Antoinette. There have been several women recently that have been called out in the media as modern day Maries. Former French first lady Carla Bruni, Kate Moss, and current US first lady Michelle Obama have all been the recipients of this title. However, they pale in comparison with a women that seems to embody Marie Antoinette so well one might think that she is Marie reincarnated. That woman is Gwyneth Paltrow.

Gwyneth may not be actual royalty but she is Hollywood royalty so that is pretty darn close. With her annoying lifestyle blog, her unconscious coupling or whatever she is up to these days, she is the embodiment of the aristocracy. She wants us to eat gluten free, macrobiotic cake and spend a mere $900 on her favorite new Dior sneakers. We have actually lampooned Gwyneth once before in this comic gem, but she is the gift that keeps giving so we delight in bringing her up as long as she continues to be utterly ridiculous and pompous.