A special series where modern Maries consult the queen about life, love and catastrophe. Send your own question to whatwouldmarieantoinettedo at gmail.com to be answered next Sunday.
I am writing to you because I feel like you’re the only one who can sympathize. I’ve somehow become the media’s punching bag. Every little thing I do is being blown totally out of proportion, down to my stupid nail polish (BTW: the “F*** You” message on my middle finger had nothing to do with my stupid court appearance or the judge who I know for a fact hates me). And now, for some stupid probation violation, I’m being sent to jail. You had tough times. How did you get through them?
My darling girl,
I think we’ve all worn “F*** You” stencils on our fingernails, in one form or another. I certainly did when I refused to wear the grand corps corset. I didn’t mean to offend, but shirking such a privilege was certainly seen as such. I did, however, mean to offend when I famously refused to speak to Madame Du Barry, King Louis XV’s mistress. The stalemate was so well-known, courtiers took bets on when we might finally exchange words.
You and I have much in common, really. We’re both the subject of scandalous rumors and even lesbian affairs. It’s easy to think we’re being singled out, but only because we are. I was a queen and you are a starlet. And while some of our troubles could not have been predicted, controlled or stopped, we have to admit: we contribute to our share of problems.
I didn’t uphold my court responsibilities. I often didn’t maintain the charities French queens supported. I openly disdained many of the traditions that were my privilege as a queen. I thought, “I am the queen, I can do what I want,” and preferred to spend my youth with my friends as a private person. You, darling, have had trouble showing up to movie sets and court dates. You spend more time on planning outfits for court than appeasing it. Your whims outbalance your responsibilities.
That’s not to lecture — only to say, from one Marie to another, that there is a way out. I am often seen as a sympathetic figure in your modern day, but only because I stopped partying and spending and rededicated myself to my family. Not that a sensitive biography from the likes of Antonia Fraser helped much 100+ years my death, but a girl will take what she can get.
You Modern Maries need not wait so long. Who remembers that Drew Barrymore was a child addict who posed for Playboy? Drew emancipated herself as a minor, got herself sober, and worked on her craft. It was a long road, but today she’s better known for empowering movies like Whip It than the time Steven Spielberg sent her a quilt with a note to cover herself up.
You are an actress, daughter, citizen and (apparently) a pop-singer songwriter. Do those things well. Do that and remember: You’re only a Modern Marie if you can make a change. If you don’t, you might become another type of girl altogether.
*Disclaimer: You know this is imaginary, don’t you? That dead queens and former child stars aren’t posting to this blog? Just checking.