Queen Cleopatra of Egypt is one of the most famous women in history, famed for her beauty throughout the world and across the ages. She is a style icon to rival Marilyn Monroe, and her signature looks and rituals still ripple throughout fashion and pop culture today.
Her fashion was a product of her own society, which was one that embraced makeup, as Ancient Egyptians believed that the gods such as Ra and Horus would give protection to those wearing certain makeup. Most famously, she lined her eyes with black kohl, a commonly-worn style at the time which was designed to deepen the eyes as well as lengthening and accentuating her eyelashes. Even today, we still use this technique albeit with the more advanced technology of liquid liner, and the signature ‘cat-eye’ black liner still represents beauty and sexuality.
Cleopatra has also had an effect on more modern cultural references, even gaming. There are world-building video games like Civilization that represent Ancient Egypt with Cleopatra as the face of their society.
Her influence has also reached the gambling community, with casino slots online based on her opulence; Cleopatra is famous for her gold attire and lavish lifestyle, which included bathing in milk and spices to rejuvenate her skin. The queen’s luxurious image transports players into her world, which is one full of romance and wealth. There are even treasure-hunting slots titles such as Cleopatra’s Chest that use her image as one of many symbols within the game
Cleopatra in Wider Culture
This world is depicted through films, television and plays. Famously, Shakespeare wrote Antony and Cleopatra as one of his most glamorous and exciting tragedies. The play was also adapted into a ballet in 1808, which is understandable considering the emotion involved in non-speaking art performance. The image of Cleopatra instantly conjures up ideas of heartbreak and intrigue, with even her death being a performance of tragedy after she learned that she was going to be made a slave to Roman society.
Cleopatra has also been used in advertising and the world of celebrity, such as in the 2013 marketing campaign for ooVoo, an online messaging platform. Cleopatra’s ability to be at once relatable and unattainable makes her image such a powerful tool. As she is famed mainly for her beauty and charisma, different ages and cultures can adapt her appearance to fit beauty standards that they currently value. Cleopatra’s influence is so widespread because we think of her as a concept, rather than an individual, which means that her image can be applied to almost anything, and those who view that image will still understand the message behind it.
It is understandable then, that the person we could consider close to Cleopatra in terms of notoriety and beauty standards, Kim Kardashian, also used the famous queen as inspiration, posing for Harper’s Bazaar in 2011 as ‘Cleopatra with a K‘. The raunchy private lives of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and the way that we as a society consume them shows how little has changed, especially when it comes to the inner workings of wealthy, beautiful and charming figureheads.