Friday, August 3, 2007

Judith Giuliani's Coverage in Vanity Fair

What do you know, it's the "Marie Antoinette syndrome" again, and it's only been about a week!

The September issue of Vanity Fair paints a scathing portrait of Rudy Giuliani's wife, Judith.

What are three names we call a powerful, threatening woman we don't like? Queen, witch or bitch. Vanity Fair suggests Judith Giuliani is two out of these three. Here's supposedly another woman married to a powerful, wealthy man who wants to be a "queen." From the article: "There is a reason why she wore that tiara at her wedding: she really does see herself as a princess," a former Giuliani aide told the magazine. "Not as a queen. Queen is her goal. Queen is who she wants to be." The article is filled with quotes from unnamed sources.

As I wrote in my article on the "Marie Antoinette syndrome" in the Chicago Tribune last Sunday, "The press has endlessly, and gleefully, repeated the line from Amiel's interview in Vogue magazine in 2002 in which she gave a writer a tour of her vast closets and said, "I have an extravagance that knows no bounds." Vanity Fair focuses on Judith's extravagant tastes, which have already been written about.

As Tina Brown wrote in a column in 2004, "Judith Giuliani tempted fate last year with her appearance reclining on a loveseat in a scarlet Carolina Herrera ball gown and talking about her monogrammed silver napkin rings in a cover story for Manhattan's glossy giveaway Avenue magazine."

Why do these women tempt fate? It seems to me these women should be more aware of the Marie Antoinette syndrome and not play into it. Stop posing for these magazines and talking about your expensive purchases! Stop provoking the "lower" classes to revolt! Be like Laura Bush and be more "old money" about your newly-found wealth and newly-bought luxury purchases. And then maybe people (i.e. other women) won't hate you so much! The problem is these women don't seem to care if others hate them--they just want their man to love them. What Judith Giuliani and Barbara Amiel have in common is that they started out with not much money, and through marriage and work, increased their class status. They aren't used to money and upper-class society and so they don't know how to not "rock the boat" once they come into wealth. Maybe they are just too excited about their newly-acquired baubles, too proud. But therein is the danger: society doesn't like women who are too proud. (Having too much pride was one of the traits that led you to be called a witch back in the witch trials of New England, and times haven't changed too much.)

If Judith Giuliani truly cared about helping her husband win the nomination for President, and was smart about it (part of the problem is her inexperience) she would heed history, and act more demure, and not so regal.

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