Women in Power: Pearls Vol. II

 

Queen Elizabeth I had pearls sewn into her wigs, as well as wearing thousands at a time. (Image Source: Pinterest)

All across the world, there are women in positions of power here in the year 2020. Royalty, politicians, community leaders, heads of state, corporate moguls, etc. For celebrities of all stripes; there is a common look among many of them: Pearls!

There is a story about Cleopatra, as told by Pliny the Elder in his work- “Natural History”. The legendary Queen of The Nile bet her then-lover Marc Antony that she could host the most expensive dinner of all time. When it came time for dinner to be served, they were presented with glasses of strong vinegar.  The Queen plucked an enormous natural pearl earring from her lobe and dropped it in her glass, after a time it had dissolved in the vinegar and she quickly drank it down. While Marc Antony is said to have declined his portion (the second earring), he had to admit that she had won the wager in spades.

Cleopatra was likely not the first and far from the last empowered woman who loved pearls. Women have been adding these gems of the sea (technically rivers and streams too) to their favorite looks for ages. There have been periods where it was actually illegal for anyone but royalty and perhaps the highest members of their courts to wear them. Pearls have been through many varying styles and classes over millennia. Resurging in popularity over and over they have captured and recaptured the hearts of people who love beauty. They have symbolized many things to many different groups of people throughout the centuries, but they maintained an air of prestige and affluence.

There are several different things that pearls have symbolized over the years. Femininity, an association with the moon, an association with water, purity, wisdom, calming serenity, love, integrity, and wealth are all linked to the Pearl. Since Queen Cleopatra’s day, pearls have been associated with strong female leadership, and that remains clear today.

Here are some examples of powerful women in the pearls they love:

ROYALTY

Left to Right: Pearls were favorites of Diana, Princess of Wales (Image Source: Assael) Queen Elizabeth II has long loved Pearls (Image Source: Pinterest) Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge follows in their fashion footsteps (Image Source: Daily Express)

FIRST LADIES 

Left to Right: Jackie Kennedy Onassis looked stunning in her strands (Image Source: Couture Over Coffee) Nancy Reagan in a layered set (Image Source: Pinterest) Barbara Bush looking classy (Image Source: Ageless Heirlooms) Michelle Obama looks magnificent in a multi-strand (Image Source: Victoria News)

 

HOLLYWOOD ELITE

Left to Right: Meryl Streep looks amazing (Image Source: StyleBistro) Lupita Nyong’o in a dazzling pearly gown (Image Source: Elle) Constance Wu in 1020’s glam (Image Source: Behind the Chair) Helen Mirren appearing heavenly (Image Source: Pinterest)

 

Of the thousands of gemstones nature has provided for adornment and symbolism, none may be as simple – and yet as powerful – as the humble pearl. I know that I feel more empowered when I dress up an outfit with a great strand of pearls. Natural pearls can be incredibly expensive and it stands to reason that they remain associated with the crème de la crème. I also think they just look great and make your skin look lovely.

I hold my head a little higher when I wear pearls, I love how they make me feel. What kind of jewelry makes you feel stronger when you wear it?

Written by Kayti Kawachi

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