TV: Let Them Eat Cake… And Wear Headbands.

 

It has been a Gossip Girl-heavy week here on The Scarlett Woman, and today is no exception.

Blair Waldorf is known for her Upper East Side opulence and her stop-at-nothing mindset to becomeand staythe Queen B. But now she’s more concerned with being taken seriously as an academic Columbia student and an “empowered” woman.

And who was more empowered than Marie Antoinette, one of Blair’s idols, whom she adorns her bedroom with images of? While some view her as a decadent, frivolous vixen, others (including me) see her as the ultimate emblem of grace, class and power. Kind of like a latter-day Joan of Arc, but with bigger hair. Plus, she has the same birthday as me.

Both misunderstood in some respects, the vision of Marie Antoinette as everything that was wrong with the French monarchy persists to this day, as does the common perception of Blair as one-dimensionally vindictive and conniving. That’s why she and Chuck make such a good couple!

However, anyone who’s done their research or is committed to the guilty pleasure that is Gossip Girl, will know that this is not entirely true. Accounts of the Queen’s true persona by those close to her say that she was generous, kind and courageous. While the first two adjectives aren’t usually applied to Blair, fragments of her nature underneath all the hating, haute couture and headbands show that she’d do anything for her closest friends, family and lovers.

Marie Antoinette is even alleged to have carried on a sordid affair with Count Axel Fersen, similar to her Gossip Girl counterpart’s on-again-off-again trysts with Chuck Bass.

While the character of Blair Waldorf has been compared to such female fictional greats as Scarlett O’Hara (who also has a penchant for the Queen) and Holly Golightly, who both have certain Antoinetteisms, Blair is one of the only characters who is modelled so closely on the French queen. This is evident most recently in the episodes “Juliet Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” and “The Witches of Bushwick”, in which Blair tries to distract herself from Chuck with macaroons, Marie’s dessert of choice, and decides she can’t be with him until she makes something of herself first.

If Blair does follow in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette, this surely won’t be a problem for her. Who remembers her husband, anyway?

Related: Gossip Girl Proves There’s No Such Thing as Wonder Woman.

Sexual Healing: Gossip Girl Takes a Page Out of John Irving’s Book.

Women in Fiction: My Favourite Fictional Females.

Women in Fiction: Are Our Favourite Fictional Females Actually Strong, or Stereotypes?