Mata Hari, spy, dancer and courtesan, became famous for her ability to skillfully find the keys to the hearts of men. And if the estimates of her spy talents differ according to historians, the reputation of a brilliant seductress is not disputed.

In February, it will be 103 years since Mata Hari was arrested by the French intelligence services and accused of spying for the enemy in wartime. It was decided to find out what helped Hari win men, and deduced five secrets from her appearance.

The secret of seduction n°1: curiosity and erudition

Famous under the pseudonym of the dancer Mata Hari was actually a rather modest name - a girl named Margaret Gertrude Zelle. At the age of 18, Margaret was able to take the plunge when she announced her marriage to a man 20 years older than she was and moved to Java with a new husband. The marriage was a failure: the husband was an alcoholic, suffered from syphilis, and beat his young wife. The other would have been of such a life turned into a vampire, but for Margaret personal misfortune became an excuse to forget in a dance and books.

The girl joined the national dance troupe and in her free time she studied Indonesian history and culture with such persistence, as if she had been promised a ticket for life. It's funny how that turned out. Thanks to the dance skills she learned in Java, Margaret was later able to perform in Europe, and the knowledge she gained in the East Indies allowed her to have conversations with people from all walks of life. But it turned out that the future Girl Scout was a little less curious, not to see her in Paris, La Scala, or in the expensive mink.

The secret of seduction n°2: a beautiful legend

Mata Hari was Dita von Teese at the turn of the century - both of them never left the picture and lived in the world of their own imagination. More than Margaret's pretty face, men were attracted by her unusual name (Mata Hari in Malay means "Eye of the Day"), by the fictitious story of her life (royal roots, education received in an Eastern monastery) and by her constant aura of mystery. Mata Hari knew how to sharpen the curiosity of men, rightly believing that an exotic bird would please them more than a domestic goose. After all, how many daisies were there in Europe? And Mata Hari - just one.

The secret of seduction #3: courage

Giving men what they want and not being ashamed of eroticism - it is not a great science, but in fact few people dare to do it. Mata Hari was a pioneer of European striptease - before it was publicly undressed, she only dared low-level cabaret performers during the exciting but undignified show. Margaret-Mathe first offered the men a striptease, of which they had nothing to be ashamed of, showing nudity, at the sight of which it was not necessary to lower one's eyes. And the men repaid her entirely with their attention and expensive gifts.

Meanwhile, Mata Hari could not dance. She and her ex-husband testify to this in her letters and diary. "I never knew how to dance. And if people came to my performances, then I owe it only to the fact that the first one dared to appear before them without clothes" - said of herself as a dancer.


The secret of seduction #4: the love of disguise

Despite the common stereotype, not all girls like and know how to dress up. But there is a paradox: women's passion for beautiful dresses often conquers men. By indulging in the whims of the beloved, men feel their power over her - Mata Hari would easily confirm this. Far from the ideas of women's emancipation, the dancer took from her fans everything they gave her: jewelry, fur coats, dresses, and in return gave them their attention, a sense of importance and selection.

secret n°5: subtlety

An intimate relationship must be kept secret, she says, Mata Hari. And she was right: men have always been madly attracted to women whose past is shrouded in mystery. On the one hand, fans of exotic dancers wanted to find their experienced mistress, and on the other hand - don't want to look pale against the background of Hari's previous favorites. Moreover, a relationship with a courtesan, although of a very high standard, could damage the reputation of many of Margaret's great patrons. As a result, the names of their "friends" (and biographers believe there were over a hundred of them) Mata Hari kept the strictest of secrets, and most of them managed to remain incognito forever.