Kamis, 15 September 2011

Gentlemen prefer blondes

Dumb blondes . . . everyone knows the stereotype . . . heckeveryone probably knowsone!  Have you ever thought about how theygot such a less than flattering distinction? Well, it just so happens that there isa ground zero for the basis of the discrimination against ditzy fair ones. 

Catherine-Rosalie Gerard Duthé was a beautiful and muchadored French courtesan in the times of Marie Antoinette.  She was self described as l’arc et le carquois de l'Amour  . . . the bow and quiver of love

Rosalie was born into a minor bourgeoisie household, herfather held a trivial position in the King’s household.  At a young age she was instructed by a femalerelative her that it would be beneficial for her to take full advantage of herfeminine gifts . . . pale skin, rosy cheeks, shapely bosom and full figure . ..  perhaps realizing that was all thepoor girl would have to work with.

She escaped the hold of her family by going to work for the ParisOpera.  In case you didn’t know . . .opera literally translates from Italian to English as work.  Ladies of the opera were often working ladies. . . yeah, that kind of workinglady.    Indeed they sang and danced and performed theplays of the day but the young ladies of high society did not go to the opera,so that should tell you something.  Rosaliewas also not known for her acting abilities . . . that should also tell yousomething.    In fact, a satire was written about hercalled "Les curiosités de la Foire"  . . .  Curiosities of the Fair.  The play mocked her vacuous acting style . .. the long pauses, the silence; it was a huge success.

She was known to be sweet and have a pleasant tinkling laugh. . . she was said to be vivacious and charming . . . and also to be dumb as arock.  When spoken to she would pause foruncomfortably long periods before responding . . . if at all . . . searchingthe vast emptiness for something . . . anything . . . sensible to say in reply?    

But gentlemen were not necessarily interested in Rosalie's conversationalskills.  She was asked by the king to spend some time with his son . . . toteach him les faits de la vie .. . the facts of life. 

She was the companion to kings and nobility.  She enjoyed a lavish lifestyle by acceptingthe gifts these men bestowed upon her.  WhenRosalie was seen in the royal carriage, other women were jealous. Typically,only the royal family was allowed to travel in the carriage . . . not a womanof her trade.   It was said sheearned this privilege by means of her blond hair and that La Duthé a dû téter  . . .  La Duthé must have suckled royally.  Nice huh?

She was also sought after by many artists to pose for them .. . both fully clothed and completely naked.  In fact, there were many paintingof her nude or partially naked. Paintings of her were commissioned for gentlemento meditate upon . . . meditate . . .riiiiiiiiiiiight.  She may have also beenthe original pin-up girl.  

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