Kim Kardashian at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, New York City

Kim Kardashian at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, New York City

 Kim Kardashian at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, New York City   Kardashian first came into the public eye after a video containing footage of her engaging in intimate relations was released without her knowledge. In the aftermath of that release she, and her family, gained international superstardom through social media and reality television. In the words of Forbes Magazine she has “monetized fame better than any other.”

Kim Kardashian at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, New York City

Kardashian first came into the public eye after a video containing footage of her engaging in intimate relations was released without her knowledge. In the aftermath of that release she, and her family, gained international superstardom through social media and reality television. In the words of Forbes Magazine she has “monetized fame better than any other.”

Gan, Stephen, Go on Set With Kim and Kanye From the September Issue, Harpers Bazaar, 11 August 2016.

In a press interview promoting their feature and cover of the 2016 September issue of Harper’s Bazaar, rapper and fashion designer Kanye West refers to his wife Kim Kardashian as “Our modern day Marie Antoinette.”  West further explains his thinking behind this comparison saying “She gets hair and makeup every day, not just for a photo shoot. Why? Because every day is a photo shoot.” 

In the same article Gan asks the prolific fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld what is so special about Kim Kardashian to elicit such high volumes of media and industry attention.  He responds, “She carries herself so well. It's everything people don't expect in fashion. But she knows how to manage it. It's a very special silhouette. Her skin is beautiful. In a way she is very seductive.”  

Covington, Richard, Marie Antoinette, Smithsonian Magazine, November 2006.

The rise and fall of one of France’s most famous monarchs- Marie Antoinette- who, at the early age of 14 was adored by her subjects, only “by the time of her execution 23 years later, she was reviled.” Throughout her time on the throne, Antoinette was “Tarred by pamphleteers for sexual wantonness” while also praised for her “many acts of compassion.”   She was “extravagant and lighthearted,” exceedingly social, and “sought escape” from boredom “in masked balls, opera, theater and gambling.”

One of contributing factor to the eventual downfall of Antoinette and her husband King Louis XVI was their inability to understand the general public’s “thirst for democracy.”  He writes,  “Cloistered in the luxury of Versailles, the royal couple was oblivious to their subjects' plight.”  

On the eve of the French revolution, Antoinette took many political and diplomatic steps her husband declined to take in an attempt to save the French Monarchy.  The leader of the French National Assembly once referred to Antoinette as "the only man at court."

These efforts were in vain as revolutionaries executed King Louis XIV on January 21st, 1793 and Antoinette on October 16th, 1793 “two weeks shy of her 38th birthday.

Mikelbank, Peter, and Boucher, Phil, Inside Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Extravagant Versailles Rehearsal Evening, People Magazine, 23 April 2015.
 
On the night before their wedding, Kim Kardashian and, then fiancé, Kanye West held their rehearsal dinner at the Palace of Versailles, France.  Kardashian and West provided their guests with a lavish dinner and private tour of the palatial chateau that once belonged to French Monarchs.  The couple and officials of Versailles made the following statement in the weeks leading up to the festivities  “Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have decided to let their guests discover the Château of Versailles during a private surprise tour on Friday, May 23, the eve of their wedding.  In making this choice, they are contributing to a better understanding and maintaining the exceptional heritage of the castle of Versailles, which is classed a World Heritage site UNESCO."    

Cavendish, Richard, Death of Madame Tussaud, History Today, Volume 50, 4 April 2000.

Cavendish recounts the life and death of Marie Tussaud, the founder of the worldwide chain of eponymously named wax museums.  

Born in 1761 to a single mother, Tussaud spent a large part of her childhood going to work with her mother, who worked as a housekeeper to a Doctor named Philippe Curtius.  Curtius “had a talent for wax modeling and ran a museum of his waxwork heads and busts.” Curtius soon taught her the art of wax modeling.  She soon became his assistant and accompanied him to Paris, meeting “many of the leading French aristocrats and intellectuals of the day and she modeled both Voltaire and Rousseau from life.”  She met members of the French royal family and was hired to instruct King Louis XVI’s sister Elizabeth in the craft.  

Tussaud was also introduced to revolutionaries such as Robespierre through Curtius.  Cavendish recounts that Tussaud “was forced to make casts of the heads of victims of the guillotine, many of whom had been her uncle’s friends and dinner guests.” Two victims whose head’s she recreated in wax were King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette.
 

Bricks on the Outskirts of Kolkata, India

Bricks on the Outskirts of Kolkata, India

The @Home Café, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan

The @Home Café, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan