Wallis Simpson and The Concept of Jolie Laide
I finally watched Madonna's film, WE (rented it On Demand) about the life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. I was really excited to see this film as I wanted to know more about how Wallis and the King of England first met. The parts about Wallis were beautifully done and Andrea Riseborough did a marvelous job portraying her, but I found the modern storyline woven into the script very distracting. In short, I didn't learn as much about Wallis Simpson as I would have liked.
Because the film left me with so many unanswered questions about her life I read the biography, That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor by Anne Sebba. This is a very well written, interesting biography that highlights the major plot points of Wallis' life.
The thing that intrigues me about Wallis is that she was what the French would call jolie laide, which literally translates to ugly pretty. She was not a classically beautiful woman, but made the best of what she had by dressing beautifully and grooming impeccably.
I love the idea of jolie laide because it suggests that we do not need to be cookie cutter beauties to be attractive. Suddenly features like tiny eyes, a jutting chin or a prominent nose could actually be deemed attractive. That these features need not be 'corrected' by plastic surgery in order to be considered beautiful. The motto of jolie laide is 'work with what you've got', and that is very refreshing indeed.
A great article called 'The Unfairest of Them All' that appeared in the New York Times back in 2005 gives a great perspective on jolie laide. To read the article click here.
If you are unable to see my video above where I discuss Wallis Simpson and the concept of jolie laide click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur
Check out That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor on Amazon.com by clicking here.
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