Marie-Antoinette's hair was an element of her body that signaled her acceptance of or resistance to external forces and played a performative role in the corporeal inscription of her identity as dauphine and then as queen of France. The queen's hair became a site of her attempt to assert personal agency, which could assume negative social and political ramifications, since the assertion of this agency was frequently considered to be in opposition to her responsibilities as queen. The queen's coiffures not only mirrored the evolution of her character, but were sometimes perceived as tools for a dangerous foreigner seeking to undermine the stability of the nation. During her imprisonment, Marie-Antoinette was briefly able to assert full agency over this aspect of her body. Finally, through the exhumation of her remains, and recently with the aid of modern science, the queen's hair continues to play a performative dynastic role.


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pp. 183-200
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