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The Not So Cliché First Ladies Of France

It seems like it has become quite the norm for the first lady of France to be out of the box, beyond the stereotypes of how a first Madame should be or look like. Compared to the iconic American first ladies, in recent years, France has proven that its circle of candidates is much broader.

The last two women who have resided in the Élysée Palace have no resemblance to one another and nor to their predecessors. Carla Bruni and Brigitte Macron have had their fair share of media hype at the beginning of their husbands' mandates. But a few months later they seamlessly integrated in the social and political life and their striking differences eventually fell out of the gossip columns. 

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy
Known as a supermodel who graced the catwalks and campaigns of international designers, her status as a first lady shock the local French and worldwide media. How can the French-Italian beauty, also a professional singer, take on such a prestigious task and become the ultimate female figure of the nation? How can she represent the French culture globally? Fast-Forward to nowadays; Bruni could be considered as the Melania Trump of the 2000s, a woman known for her beauty before her brains. But years into her husband Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency, their marriage - which was thought to be a publicity stunt - became stronger than ever. Carla managed to transform the political life into her own podium. Her persona reinvented the image of a French femme across the world as she toured and guest-appeared on American and international TV talk shows.

Brigitte Macron
At a first glance, Brigitte Macron might better fit with the traditional profile of a first lady in terms of age group, an intellectual occupation as a literature teacher, and a much more conservative look, but there was still something quite different about the Macron couple. Simply because Brigitte was much older than her president husband, 25 years to be precise. As Emmanuel Macron was launching his presidential campaign, the tabloids went head over heels about the nature of their relationship. Yet a couple of months after, Ms. Macron was being noticed as a style icon who likes flaunting French labels like Balmain and Louis Vuitton, and a woman highly respected by the citizens of France. Some claim that at certain turbulent times, her popularity surpasses that of her husband's.