Cleopatra Persuasive Speech

533 Words3 Pages
Intelligent, fierce, accomplished, boss ass; of all the traits that Cleopatra should be remembered for, ‘beautiful’ should not be one of them.

Cleopatra VII of the Ptolemic dynasty was Queen of the Nile for just over two decades between 51 and 30 BC. During her reign as Queen of Egypt she also ruled parts of Rome, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, cunningly created alliances with powerful leaders, led a naval fleet at the Battle of Actium, became a renowned scholar and had four children. Despite all of this, Cleopatra has all too often been remembered as a beautiful seductress, an insignificant mistress, the subplot to the legendary tales of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. The truth is, Cleopatra was a strong independent woman to whom both Caesar
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Here’s why.

I chose Cleopatra because she is often the first person that comes to mind when people think of powerful Arab women (despite there being uncertainties with regards to her Macedonian/Egyptian descent). Inspired by a statue of Cleopatra in the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum it was also a personal decision for me, as an Arab woman, to counter the sexualised and white washed depictions of Cleopatra in pop culture. From the fair skinned, blue eyed actress Elizabeth Taylor casted in the 1963 movie ‘Cleopatra’, to Katy Perry’s shameful cultural appropriation of Ancient Egyptian history in her music video for ‘Dark Horse’.

Whilst makeup has been relegated into this realm of feminine frivolity, and dismissed as a shield for people who are insecure about their physical appearance, I believe that it is an extremely powerful tool. I think that wearing makeup is less about pandering to internalised patriarchal beauty standards, and more about being being able present myself in whichever way I choose. Cleopatra was known for presenting herself in different ways. Even when her face was printed on coins in Egypt, she chose to depict herself with an ornate crown, a stronger jaw line and a more prominent nose because she believed those features would make her appear more powerful. It can even be inferred by recreating iconic braided hairdos, she attempted to emulate previous Ptolemaic Queens. By doing this makeup tutorial I wanted to highlight how
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