Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, intelligent, savvy, Gone With The Wind, creators of their own image, mysterious, and of course JFK.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Marilyn Monroe at first glance appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to how they lived their lives, but the irony is they had quite a great deal in common. Both women dated Sinatra and Brando, both enjoyed and had in their library On The Road, each listed Gone With the Wind as one of their favorite movies, clearly both women had an air of mystery that made them all the more attractive to the public, and ultimately, this mystery is what they consciously created to cast out the image they wanted to public to see.
In Pamela Keogh’s recently released book (October 28, 2010) Are You a Jackie or A Marilyn?: Timeless Lessons On Love, Power and Style, the blending of history, style advice and tips on creating the life you yearn for is all superbly intertwined as to keep you turning each page until you’ve sadly come to the end.
Keogh (author of What Would Audrey Do?, Audrey Style, Jackie Style and Elvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The Style) has done an abundance of research that ultimately creates an intriguing biography/advice book that will inspire you to tap your inner talents. Did you know that Marilyn could have just as easily been the princess of Monaco as Grace Kelly, or that Jackie became a book editor at the age of 46 and remained in this profession for over twenty years in New York City working with such celebrities as Carly Simon and Michael Jackson as they wrote their autobiographies?
Such fascinating details are sprinkled through the 244 pages. Here’s a few more, just to whet your appetite: Jackie was a friend of Gloria Steinem’s and donated money in 1972 to help found the Ms. Magazine, while Marilyn in 1951 continued to enroll in evening courses at UCLA in “art appreciation and literature”.
But how can two women who appear to have lived such different lives, still be considered to be cut from the same cloth?
Answered in great detail, Keogh explains that while they may have on the surface presented themselves differently – Jackie the debutante and Marilyn the sex symbol, ultimately they were women who knew how to get what they wanted.
And if nothing else, whether you admire them both or neither, it should serve as a reminder that no matter what upbringing one has, their future is theirs to create. Jackie may have turned the other cheek regarding JFK, but was creating the life she desired – one of privilege and one of a devoted mother. Marilyn, knew she had no one to fall back on but herself, therefore, she played the role that would allow her to live the life that gave her the freedom and comfort she craved.
The lessons to be learned on style, carriage, manners, and an effective approach for creating the life you right now may only dream of, is what continues to resonate long after putting it down.
Taking our modern world of Twitter, Blackberries and Mad Men, Keogh weaves in between the entertaining stories and histories of two iconic women, ways in which each one of us can be the star of our own lives. And no matter which woman captures your attention, or maybe a little bit of both, keep these three things in mind: find within yourself “a sense of confidence, have a sense of history and always have a library card”.
To answer the question, Are You A Jackie Or A Marilyn? take the quiz that appeared in Vanity Fair’s September 2010 issue by clicking here. If you’re like most women (myself included), you’ll discover you have a little of both hidden within.