5 Ways Mona Lisa Was a Climate Activist

Source: dynaimage

Last week, a martyr for the climate cause snuck into the Louvre dressed as an old woman and threw cake at the Mona Lisa. While some idiots are calling this “senseless” and “unclear as to how this relates to the climate,” they just don’t realize that in her day, Miss Mona herself was a fervent climate activist. She may not have organized school strikes, but she probably couldn’t read. Therefore, the cake vandalism was a deliberate homage to this icon in global warming activism. These are just some of the ways Miss Mona showed dedication to climate goals.

  1. 1 She refused to smile because she knew about fossil fuel extraction.

    For years critics have been attempting to reveal the mystery behind the “Mona Lisa smile.” How did Leonardo da Vinci capture such a mysterious and coy expression? What many observers of the Mona Lisa don’t realize, actually, is that the lack of smile was purposeful. Mona Lisa was a die-hard climate activist, and made her political statements in blatant ways. The lack of smile, and her entirely ambiguous expression, was in protest against the future of coal burning and fossil fuel extraction that would begin almost 200 years after her time. She never smiled because she foresaw a dark future for the Earth’s climate, and da Vinci was able to capture this with a stroke of his brush.  

  2. 2 She didn’t wear makeup because she knew that the cosmetics industry perpetuated climate change.

    Even though this meant having nonexistent eyebrows, Mona Lisa never never touched a brow pencil in solidarity with the climate movement. What could be more On Fleek than that? Palm oil, a typical ingredient in beauty products, harms many plant and animal species, specifically the hairless Sun Bear. As any tour guide at the Louvre will tell you, Mona famously loved Sun Bears, so the decision between Sun Bear and Sephora was a no brainer.

  3. 3 Her side eye is directed at politicians who commit to climate goals and never follow through.

    If there are two things Mona Lisa hated, it was showing teeth and empty promises. So she never shied away from showing her frustration with politicians who talked a big climate game but never took action on the real issues. So Mona Lisa took her beady, makeup-less eyes and gave those politicians a piercing side eye, which was perfectly encapsulated in Van Gogh’s masterwork. If her ambiguous face and stern side eye didn’t make them take action, then I don’t know what would have done it. Maybe only a full-on toothy grin, but I guess we’ll never know.

  4. 4 She recycled.

    While she plays it coy in the painting, Mona Lisa was indeed an avid recycler. As you may be able to glean from the painting, she separated all her trash diligently and even made crafts with discarded materials. She was also known as the first woman to start the trend of wearing second-hand clothing. Her sheer headdress was once a courtesan’s soiled undergarment, and the robes that she is modeling are from ThredUp.

  5. 5 She stands in front of a meadow that no longer exists.

    This is more of a general fact, but the mountains, rivers and valleys in the background of her famous portrait are now deep, deep underwater. She sits grimly in front of them, as if to say “take a picture, why don’tcha, these beautiful landscapes won’t be here much longer.” If only someone had been around to throw cake in her era!

If any of these surprised you, you probably just didn’t pay enough attention in Art History. But it’s okay — we got you! Follow us for more historical figures you didn’t know were climate activists, and how those issues were solved with dessert.

Writers: Maddy Schmidt, Naomi Rubin

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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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