Do you know the phrase ‘l’histoire se répète’? This means as much that history repeats itself. Especially when you don’t learn from the mistakes made in that history. In this blog post, I want to discuss with you the phenomenon of a boudoir ( in the 18th century) and the page of an influencer. And is there a difference?
What is a boudoir?
A boudoir is a room, very elegantly decorated, popular in the 18th century, a domain of the wife. That boudoir is between the dining room and the bedroom. And the lady changes her clothing, takes a nap, and invites her friends or lover.
Sometimes it is a place to entertain your lover. Napoleon once said after he secretly entered a boudoir ‘I am not here to make a speech’!
But a boudoir is also the place where ladies with a lot of influence in society invite artists or politicians or friends to discuss art, politics, or just gossip. A very important and well-known lady with a boudoir is Madame de Pompadour.
The boudoir of Madame de Pompadour
Madame de Pompadour becomes in 18th century France the mistress of the French King Louis XV. She is very well educated and has her own opinion about all kinds of things. She is a great influencer of French politics and the French King.
But she has also an influence on society. Her clothing, her jewelry, and her make-up inspire other ladies to copy her. She also invites artists to talk about their art and she helps them be successful.
She is a girl of lower status that climbs very fast on the social ladder once she is the mistress of the King. Her opinion is that people with brown faces work on the land and are not the people she wants to be acquainted with. That will be a danger for her position. She is a smart girl and starts to promote using a very white foundation on your face. Then you definitely don’t look like a country girl. Many noble ladies follow her and the make-up trend from then on is ‘white powder on your face’.
The page of an influencer
When you look at the Facebook page of Nikki de Jager or Kim Kardashian you also see people who try to persuade others to buy their favorite products, favorite jewelry or follow their opinion.
The boudoir or the room changes into a telephone screen or laptop, but the mirror stays. The hang of showing yourself is just as deep as in the 18th century. Nowadays you want to look great, feel awesome, just as 2 centuries ago.
Is there a difference?
The boudoir of an important lady has a great influence on the ladies. Madame de Pompadour uses her influence to become more important than the others, to get more influence on the politicians and the King. And to survive her enemies, jealous of her success.
That influence is mostly felt in France. But when politicians from other countries try to speak to Madame de Pompadour to get favors, her opinion goes wider than just France.
The influencer of today reaches the internet in the whole world if she is successful. She wants to get a lot of followers in order to advertise certain products and earn money. It is not always clear whether the influencer of today is up to get political influence or that she only wants to get social?
The influence of the lady with a boudoir
An influencer of today, although she is rich and famous, works from a little screen, the telephone, or laptop. And it is possible that the tabloids try to show the wealth that the influencer is living in. Everybody can see, through social media, how she lives, and what she does.
A boudoir is still a place of privacy. You are invited to pay a visit and discuss with the influencer. Madame de Pompadour does not have a direct influence on politics. Her ‘job’ is to try to convince the King to do the thing she thinks he should do. Her influence is indirect.
The boudoir vs the studio of Kim Kardashian
The working space of an 18th-century influencer is very rich and nicely decorated. The center of the room is her dressing table, with all her silver make-up pots, her beautifully decorated silver perfume bottles, and exquisite made mirror.
The table itself is made of the most expensive wood and ivory you can find. With a lot of (secret) drawers for her letters and underwear.
The room is a place to get some privacy. And that privacy is not there when you are noticed by social media.
How the jewelry comes in?
The influencer of today receives all kinds of products for free to promote them on her page. If possible she walks around with those products and shows people how well she looks with those products. Sometimes she receives jewelry, but most of the time, she buys her jewelry with the money she earns. Or she gets special jewelry from a lover or admirer.
Influencers in the 18th century, like Madame de Pompadour, get her jewelry (and other expensive presents) from that one admirer, the King. But also from the people who ‘bribe’ her to influence the King. She does not need income, because she is a mistress and all expenses are paid.
Being a mistress is an honorable ‘job’.
Marriages are most of the time arranged relations. You don’t marry because of love, but because it is convenient for the family or the country. The mistress is your loved one and it is accepted that you provide her well and give her very expensive jewelry to show off with.
Mistress, decent lover, or businesswoman… you want to look stunning and feel beautiful. Nothing changed during time. The best tip I can give you on this subject is to accentuate your best features with the right jewelry and to cover up your minor parts with the right jewelry. Great tip, you might think, but how am I suppose to do that?
FlorenceJewelshop published a very practical PDF with all the answers to the questions you might have on this subject. It is free of charge. Just let me know where I can send it to.
Hug, Florence of FlorenceJewelshop