Yo, we're not denying the fact that there are cool-ass ladies everywhere... but today we are dedicating our time to French mistresses of bad-assery.
Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy (1650-1705)
D'Aulnoy was the lady that started the term contes de fées, which means fairy tales, that we use so often today.
She was in an arranged marriage with a much older man, Baron D'Aulnoy, who she barely gave two shits about.
Since she wasn't hangin' out with her man, she started a fancy salon in Paris where people, more like aristocrats and princes, told each other and wrote stories. She tried to be a historical writer as well, but that was basically a flop.
Having been born 135 years before the Brothers Grimm, D'Aulnoy is basically the OG of fairy tales and fictional stories.
George Sand (1804-1876)
George Sand, whose legal name is Amantine Lucille Dupin, was a feminist novelist and memoirist. Let me tell you, this lady was smart and fearless.
She wore men's clothing at a time where it was very risqué, claiming that men's clothes were sturdier and cheaper than women's attire. Her outfits allowed her to enter venues where women were not allowed, so she was able to meet and collaborate with the likes of Delacroix, Gustave Flaubert and many other prestigious Parisian artists. She also smoked a lot of tobacco in public, which was apparently uncalled for, for a baroness.
While some writers like Baudelaire shat on Sand for not being very lady like, the Baroness was paving the way for other women to embrace their femininity and masculinity at the same time.
Ada "Bricktop" Smith (1894-1984)
Other than Josephine Baker, it was extremely difficult to find any notable French women that were not from White and European descent. Surely there were many others, but the internet is quite washed out. But I digress. Ada "Bricktop" Smith was born in the United States, and then moved to Paris later on to join the Parisian saloon life style.
Cole Porter thought she had lots of swag (she was known, in fact, for her signature cigars), so he hooked her up with mad gigs in which she performed for the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. She inspired artists like Duke Ellington, Mabel Mercer, Django Reinhardt, Langston Hughes and Josephine Baker. Apparently, Ada and Baker shared a few smooches back in the day.
Bridget Bate Tichenor (1917-1990)
Bridget Tichenor was a surrealist painter and fashion editor that was born in Paris, but actually lived in Mexico for most of her life.
Apparently she used to be a model for Coco Chanel while her mother was Coco's PR representative during the late 1920s. We, personally, were surprised that PR was a thing back then. She then moved to New York to study, where she met Anaïs Nin, who had a little crush on her. She then became a fashion editor at Vogue Magazine. She soon left New York for Mexico after her second divorce.
Her art was inspired by 16th century Italian tempera style of painting which is a very long and smelly process (involves lots of eggs). This style of painting made an interesting contrast with her contemporary and surrealist imagery. In 1958, Tichenor joined the First Salon of Women's Art in Mexico along with other contemporary women painters of her time.
Consider yourself debriefed,