pale makeup to assert status and maintain power

European history has numerous examples of powerful women who used a mask of pale makeup to assert their high social status and to maintain power in patriarchal societies: Catherine de Medici (1519 – 1589) wife of Henry II of France, Queen Elizabeth I of England (1553 -1603), Marie Antoinette (1755 – 1793) wife of Louis XVI of France:

1555 - Miniature of Catherine de' Medici - attributed to F Clouet640px-Elizabeth_I_in_coronation_robes640px-Marie_Antoinette_by_Joseph_Ducreux