…and I don’t mean Napoleon Dynamite. Though the same could probably be said about him.
Despite the fact that Napoleon Bonaparte was an asshole in every way, he did manage to create an iconic look for himself. And more people remember that look than remember the things he did. Branding, my friends…
I speak of the notorious “hand in the shirt” pose. There are many theories as to why he posed this way in a few of his portraits. One theory often advanced is that he had severe stomach problems. As you might if the British and Prussian armies were both coming down on you at the same time.
And so he was holding his aching belly. But this somehow became a pose that signaled “regal-ness”. Is that a word? Others took up the pose in portraits when they too wanted to look uppity and regal.
And we can thank our lucky stars that Napoleon had stomach problems and not athlete’s foot or bladder control problems. Could have been an entirely different look. Or jock itch… Which would have then led to this portrait instead…
Oh, and if you’d like to experiment with the pose yourself, you can get the Napoleon Bonaparte action figure.