Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

Jackie O is hands down my favorite person. My "obsession" started with Jack, and as I read more about him, I learned more of Jackie, and fell prey to her charm.

Jackie grew up with a mother who showed her little love, and a father who showered her in it. Her mother taught her to strive for perfection, and to never let a man know how intelligent she was; her father taught her to play up intelligence and master the art of flirting. She won the most eligible bachelor not merely by her beauty, but by her wit and allure. She wooed heads of state from a myriad of countries with her sense or worldliness. And she handled the most traumatic event--her husband having been shot and killed in her arms--with dignity that is rarely seen today. After a brief marriage to Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis, which put her on the list of the 50 Wealthiest Woman, she went back to work to keep her family's life normal. Jacqueline, in her short 64 years, accomplished a most remarkable life.
(Jackie in Givenchy at a ball hosted by Charles de Gaulle of France)

The lessons which I have learned from Jackie are simple:

Keep it classy. Jackie always spoke proper English, and made sure she spoke slowly and clearly enough for all to understand. She also wore the appropriate clothing for every occasion, but still managed to turn heads with the grace with which she wore the clothing. There is no need to speak with a vulgar tongue, and it is never becoming to wear barely-there clothing.
(Wind-blown Jackie. Ron Galella)

Always be self-aware. Jackie knew her hair was kinky; she often wore an Hermes scarf or a pillbox hat to disguise it. She knew she had a rare gift of charming everyone she met, so she used it to help her husband’s political career. She knew she wasn’t very good at sports, so she stayed away from Kennedy family gatherings where such activities would take place. There is no better tool in life than to know yourself. What flatters you. In what activities you do well. How you look at every moment. Your strengths. Your weaknesses.

Know your goals. Jackie knew she didn’t want to be a housewife like every other woman of the late 50’s and early 60’s. She had an inquisitive mind and wanted to see the world. When her parents tried to keep her in Newport Beach, she studied abroad in France and then came home to work for a newspaper. Don’t allow others to extinguish the passions you have in life. They are yours and belong to no one else.

Keep your private life private. There is no need for everyone to know of your whereabouts or what you did or with whom you were out to dinner last night. If you give away every detail, you cannot possibly keep people interested.

She was a unique, determed woman who lived her life as best she could, helping others along the way. If only we all had a little bit of Jackie in us...

"We must give to life at least as much as we receive from it. Every moment one lives if different from the next. The good, the bad, the hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love, and happiness are all interwoven into one single indescribable whole that is called love. You cannot separate the good from the bad. And, perhaps there is no need to do so either." --Jacqueline Kennedy

I'm afraid I do not know from what websites these pictures originated; my sister sent them to me through email. I do apologize.

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