Her head, always coiffed by the traditional Phrygian bonnet, appears on France's postage stamps, wine-bottle wrappers and euro coins. She is Marianne, the symbol of the republic. Her bust has replaced the crucifix or statue of the Virgin in public schools and town halls. Although not obliged to by law, most of the mayors of France's 36,000 towns, villages and communes display a plaster mail-order Marianne.
By 1969 it was decided that, rather than a heroic ideal, Marianne should be a celebrity. The first bust was of Brigitte Bardot, oddly thought a calming influence after the events of 1968 with her pouting lips and expansive décolletage. Later models included Catherine Deneuve and, for the bicentenary Marianne in 1989, the model Inès de la Fressange, a member of an old aristocratic family. Finally depoliticized and deprived of her vitality, Marianne was next seen with the assembly-line glamour of the actress Laeticia Casta.
Last decades, there have been those who find Marianne a little too common, with her somewhat small breasts and robust stances. That’s why Macron’s quiet 2017 revolution has led to the choice of a busty young French Lady as the new symbol of the republic, the model Atlanna.
Born in Morocco, Atlanna is a 21 years old professional top model working in Paris and well known for her uncommon 80 degree spinal angle. Representative of the bimbo wave surging in France for some years through the reality TV phenomenon, Atlanna’s bust is being chosen by the mayors as the icon of the new French generation.