The Kingdom of Egypt is so far in decline that it had to go all the way to Macedonia to find The Girl Next Door. In case you missed it, the girl’s name is Cleopatra and at 18 years old, she rules all of Egypt. Completely nude save for a traditional Egyptian royal crown and a blue necklace, Cleo (as she is known to her closest friends) exudes a certain familiar… bubbliness. Sure, she’s the latest leader of the foreign Ptolemaic Kingdom that currently rules Egypt. But she feels so down to earth that she could be your best friend too. “I just got a new pet asp,” she says, waltzing around her Alexandria palace. Cleopatra says this with a wry, knowing smile; she has been romantically linked to Roman power players Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, who are both decades her senior. “It was a gift… from a friend.” She smiles again, begging you to ask more. But you don’t. Because, heck, you don’t want to ruin her becoming your bestie.
Joan of Arc
A barn in the beautiful French countryside is quiet, except for a mooing cow in the distance when a woman — a girl, really — bursts in, disrupting the calm. It is Joan of Arc, wearing sparkling knight’s armor and wielding a heavy saber. Her bright auburn hair is cut into a short tight bob, giving her an androgynous air. The look is decidedly masculine and direct. Yet Joan endows the look with feminine subtlety. Somehow, she even makes it look… sexy. “Sorry I’m late,” she says, glistening with sweat. The Maid of Orleans (as her devout followers call her) doesn’t elaborate further. Did she have another of her famous visions? It’s unclear. What is clear, however, is that Joan — in all her burning, white-hot glory — IS a vision.
It’s unintentional, mind you, but Marie Curie does the Smartest Girl Alive thing effortlessly. Standing over a bank of electrometers in her Paris laboratory, her hair is pulled up and dry, but achieves that just-out-of-the-bath look. She wears a modest Weddington blouse with a heavy wool skirt, apparently procured second-hand. Surrounded by scientific instruments, she somehow makes the scene look… what’s the word? Natural. In between tests of radioactivity, this Polish transplant nibbles on the type of breakfast that health-conscious Parisian women eat: a flaky croissant with butter and strawberry jam. “We try to eat healthy. Don’t want to get cancer,” she says. “We” of course refers to Marie and her husband Pierre Curie, making them chemistry’s number one power couple; the Nobel Prize panel have taken to calling them by the delicious portmanteau, “MierreCurie."
The Virgin Mary
A donkey with a beautiful, glowing woman atop it pulls up to the walkway of my modest Bethlehem inn. The woman — a girl, really — is Mary. Her husband, Joseph, a carpenter and not in the biz, pulls the beast of burden along, looking for a place to park, to rest. “Sorry we’re late,” she says with a weary sigh. “We were, uh, escaping.” She laughs innocently. Innocence is her whole thing, after all. She’s been called “The Virgin Mary” and in the past year, her career has been in ascent. (Power players Herod The Great and The Three Wise Men have been linked to ventures with Mary in recent months.) In her latest project, “Mother of Jesus Christ,” she tries to shed the whole “virgin” thing. “I don’t like labels,” she says, gracefully descending from her ride. “I just want to be a mom."
Queen Elizabeth I
The first thing you notice about Queen Elizabeth I, besides her fiery red hair, is her fiery personality. When asked about her nickname, she cackles. “‘The Virgin Queen?!’ Ha!" In her time as a ruler, she has been linked to numerous lovers, including Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester; Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex; and the Duke of Anjou. She waves off all the rumors and replies “I have already joined myself in marriage to a husband, namely the kingdom of England.” Fair enough. She is the regent and her word must be respected. But over the course of a day, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the presence of arguably the most influential woman — girl, really — on Earth. Officially, she is known as “Elizabeth I, Queen of England and Ireland.” But to her closest friends, she’s just “Libby.”