Nefertiti was an icon of divine feminine beauty, power and mystery - a true Goddess. This Captivating Queen of the Nile has set a tone that never goes out of style in beauty and in attitude, being embodied by iconic women all around the world.
Both men and women embraced beauty In Ancient Egypt and regarded it as a sign of holiness. From their talismanic use of Kohl around the eyes, Malachite a copper ore for piercing mineral pigmentation, Red ochre for lip colour to henna and hair extensions. This attention to cosmetics was not just out of vanity, but for health and protection. The painted eye in particular was to ward off evil spirits. Undecorated the eye was vulnerable to the influence of the ‘evil eye’. Egyptian beauty values, practises and looks have survived the archives and are appropriated in our modern society.
Nefertiti, was perhaps one of the most influential rulers of her time and gave mankind a premature lesson in women empowerment. Known as the living goddess of fertility and beauty she showed the powerful chemistry that allure, beauty and confidence can generate. Ruling alongside her husband Pharaoh Akhenaten during the wealthiest period of Ancient Egypt they created a revolutionary Aten cult and worshiped one God Aton. Nefertiti is depicted with a Pharaohs crown and is as large as the Pharaoh in inscriptions suggesting she was seen as Akhenaten’s equal and given a significant amount of power. Some Egyptologists have even suggested she may have even ruled as a pharaoh after the death of her husband and before the reign of King Tutankhamun, under a pseudo name.
Thousands of years apart intelligent, talented and compassionate women have been using their striking appearance and beauty to convey who they are and achieve positions of influence much like Nefertiti. Emma Watson uses her Potter power being a book club leader and United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador. Queen B, Beyoncé’ who has sold over 100 million records and won 22 Grammy Awards uses her grace to contribute to many philanthropies using her fame to ignite conscious thinking and collect support to create a better world. Princess Diana, who’s elegant beauty, charm and relatability campaigned for acceptance of AIDS victims. Singer Rihanna who has a tattoo of queen Nefertiti on her rib cage recently used her status to launch her own inclusive makeup line. I have watched these women fiercely defend their positions from sexist low frequency media interviewers, false gossip and patriarchy. Whilst their beauty is undeniable, what really captivates the public is the beauty that shines beyond their cosmetics and genetic blessings.
Like all major influencers Nefertiti herself has had her fair share of controversies. The most notable being the bust unearthed by German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt and his team in 1912. Later CT scans revealed that underneath shows a bump on the ridge of the nose, wrinkles on the cheeks and around the corner of the mouth, less prominent cheekbones and less depth at the corner of the eyelids. This could have been to match the king’s perception of how beautiful he viewed the queen to be or the royal sculpture Thutmose’s ideal version of the queen. Just like leaked photos of un photo shopped models we are presented with a more accurate yet equally beautiful perception of the queen.Beneath her makeup and bust, it seems that even ancient Egyptian queens were just like us.
Looking back throughout history of women empowerment and influential women, many very cleverly have used their physical appearance as a propaganda tool to advance their personal agendas, careers, political status and evoke change. Regardless of Nefertiti’s alleged ancient Photo shopping, controversy surrounding the King, mystery of her disappearance what remains certain is this, Power and confidence IS beauty. So, take a leaf out of her book and awaken the Goddess within.
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