EMMANUELLE BEART

EMMANUELLE BEART (2016)

I WILL PREVIVE [The Book Of Rocks] diary extract, 4 November 2016

AND GOD CREATED FRENCH WOMAN series (2016)

“I had a lie-in. If I blocked out the sound of the screaming, crying kids it was quite relaxing. Ish. Keep it real, girl. Lie-ins are obsolete. Towards the end of drawing Jeanne Marine I really started to see Emmanuelle Béart’s face within hers. It was weird. So here she is. Oui, encore une fois. When I first saw her in Manon des Sources in 1986 I thought she was unbelievably beautiful, enough to want to name my daughter after her, but I soon realised that both names would probably be corrupted to Manny and that was that – canned!

For me, Emmanuelle fits the concept described in Ways of Seeing the best: that historically women don’t see themselves; they watch themselves being watched by men. Her heart-shaped face, big blue eyes, full lips and fine bone structure paired with feminine curves on a tiny frame led one man to say about her, “She has the face of a virgin and the body of a whore.” She has spent her time fighting against this, trying to show her different faces as she herself perceives them to be. Can beauty hold you back?

Aged 38 she was famously photographed nude in the Mauritian sea for Elle magazine. The 550,000 copies sold out in 3 days. She said about the photos, “I don’t like them, I love them. Magazines keep showing us very skinny models of 15 or 16. I am 38, a mother and a woman and I thought “Why not?” For once, let’s not have someone very skinny, very young. Let’s make things move.” I think I love you, Emmanuelle, so today I’m drinking Maliblue by Darius in a blue-skied Friday toast to you and older women. Santé!”