by Emily Kearns
Carla Bruni as guest editor of Madame Figaro in March 2010
Long before she was the first lady of France, Carla Bruni was a popular figure in the French media. However, her media presence in France and globally has skyrocketed since her 2007 marriage to French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Like many first ladies, Bruni is often depicted carrying out the duties of a president’s wife. Unlike many first ladies, her celebrity is the result of a sometimes scandalous past, not simply her marriage to a powerful figure. To gain a better understanding of the media coverage of Carla Bruni in France, I give a brief overview of Bruni’s media portrayal and will examine two specific magazines’ portrayals of the first lady.
Grazia and Madame Figaro are two magazines with different audiences- one younger and one older and more conservative- that offer decidedly different portrayals of Carla Bruni. The French edition of Grazia began publication in August 2009 and is a style and gossip magazine. It caters towards a younger audience. Madame Figaro is an offshoot of conservative French newspaperLe Figaro and has an older, more conservative audience. Both magazines write about Bruni in fashion and trend stories. However, they differ in the coverage of her personal life, specifically her marriage to Sarkozy. Grazia often covers her personal life, while Madame Figaro does not.
Watch more on Bruni and Madame Figaro here.