Apparently historical women figures have to be hot in order for us to be interested in them. Well, that is according to the Washington Post. I know I am not one to talk seeing as The Duchess of Devonshire was a babe, but that isn't why I'm attracted to her. Her human nature appeals to me. She had eating disorders, was addicted to gambling, was passionate and involved in politics, and also took an interest in science while balancing being a fabulous fashionable trend-setter who was also an attentive mother. I'm more attracted to the fact that Georgiana bent the rules and took risks than the fact that she was a hotty. Actually, her contemporaries, including her mother never claimed her to be a great beauty.
So why does Martha Washington have to be one?
As Sadie at Jezebel asserts, The Washington Post kind of dumbs down their article in order to make Martha seem cool. Isn't that what you did in high school to fit in too? Dumb yourself down? They talk about her wedding shoes being fabulous (which they are, I won't deny) and then goes into a flurry of explanation saying she wasn't always an old frumpy lady. Umm we believe it, there are some gorgeous portraits to prove it (see right). But no, this isn't good enough, now scientists are working on a computer generated image of what Martha would look like in her mid-20's, to prove she was a hottie. They also go into detail about how she must have been skinny because her dresses were blablablabla...Is this why the emaciated Kiera Knightly was chosen to portray Georgiana in The Duchess? Now even women from the past have to meet our contemporary standards of beauty in order for us to have a remote interest in them? Is that also why The Duchess focuses on Georgiana's not very interesting affair rather than her accomplishments? Sad sad.
I'm all for getting people interested in history and it figures but are we so sad that this is what has to be done? Poor Martha, I think she would rather people were interested in her for her, not so they could paint hot interpretations of what she looked like in her 20's.