Today's Wonder of the World is...Marianne!
Flickr photo by zoreil
Marianne, the national emblem of the French Republic! The personification of liberty and reason!
Not to be confused with this Mary Ann.
Flickr photo by ark_phx
Though I like her too.
You may remember that I mentioned Marianne earlier in the week, when we talked about change.
Flickr photo by luxeurocoins
And then Wednesday, when we celebrated the hat, she crept into my thoughts again. Know why?
Flickr photo by Josh.photography
No, I'm not going to insult Marianne by comparing her to the Smurf. Look at the Smurf hats.
And then look at hers.
Photo by www.alison0313.etsy.com
They're wearing the same chapeau!
(By the way, you can find that lovely Marianne here.)
The hat is a Phrygian bonnet, worn in the Roman empire by slaves after they'd been freed by their masters, making them citizens. Perfect for Lady Liberty!
You can find Marianne in town halls and courts of law all over France.
She also hangs out in the sun...
Flickr photo by jul85
Standing up for human rights.
Marianne has changed through the ages, but haven't we all?
In 1970, Brigitte Bardot served as the model.
Flickr photo by hagerstenguy
Later she resembled Catherine Deneuve.
Flickr photo by sugarpie honeybunch
But in 1999, the mayors of France (all 36,000 of them) decided to vote amongst themselves for a new Marianne. The winner was Laetitia Casta.
She is gorgeous, isn't she? The only problem was that shortly after she became the emblem of France, she moved to London.
Also, there was a small rumor involving taxes.
After that, Marianne had a new face, a completely made up face that wouldn't move to London or have taxes to pay.
One that reflected the new multiculturalism of France, a Marianne with North African features.
Flickr photo by AlainG
Maybe this one? She's beautiful.
France has a new Marianne now. In 2003, the mayors took another vote, and boy, did it cause a raucous.
It's Evelyne Thomas, the host of C'est mon choix, (It's my choice,) the slightly trashy, very popular afternoon talk show I watched to improve my French. (At least that's the reason I told people!) The Parisian intelligentsia was not thrilled with the pick, but I think she's lovely.
Anyway, it was a fair election, and Marianne is all about liberty and freedom, right?
Besides, it's their choix!
Have a wonder-full Friday and a super weekend, y'all!
And before you go, take a look and listen to another famous lady of France, Madame Sarkozy, the First Lady of France.
The first time I heard Carla Bruni's sultry voice I was living my French life, on vacation in Corsica. We'd stopped at a potter's studio and I was walking around, admiring his work, as he sat at the wheel, talking with me. Her song came on the radio and I completely lost my train of thought. I've been listening to her ever since!
PS. I'm not sure what the deal is about the man in the video. It cracks me up, but I don't think it's supposed to!
PS again What famous person would you pick to represent your country? Any thoughts?