|My copy of this lovely book|
Of all the books I read as I developed this blog, arguably none proved quite as influential as Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?, by Pamela Keogh. It’s rare to find a book that purports to help one achieve something that still manages to be fun, down to earth, and never hold anything over the head of its readers. From page one it is established that the reader is, in fact, a Jackie, a Marilyn, or some hybrid thereof, and aims to help you play on your natural abilities. (Your humble writer, in point of fact, is a perfect split right down the middle between these two amazing ladies.)
This off the bat affirmation that the reader has the traits of Jackie or Marilyn is a huge lift. All too often, in reading books designed to make one a lady, one finds that the author assumes an obnoxiously condescending tone that does nothing but turn one off. The implication is that one would have to do eons of work to even become slightly attractive, and even then one would merely be a pale knockoff (I’m looking at you, How to Live Like a Lady, which I’ll be reviewing all too soon…). Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?, however, never slips into this rut. It maintains, instead, a voice that is reminiscent of a sassy girlfriend, telling you exactly what you need to know and never talking down or demeaning you while she’s at it.
On top of all this, the book is loaded with information on the two ladies featured in its title. It handles how they comported themselves throughout life, how both cultivated their respective images of First Lady and Hollywood starlet, as well as providing a peek at the women behind the archetypes they formed. One is treated to well written mini-biographies of these two, from Marilyn’s rags to riches story to Jackie’s savvy political maneuvering both within and without the Whitehouse. They were the leading ladies of the age, and their lives of drama, glamour, and all too often tragedy make for a fascinating read.
And lastly, besides being honest and a good jumping off point for those interested in the two ladies discussed therein, Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? affirms a simple truth for its readers: You are worth it. Who can say what it is – perhaps love, wealth, fame, or some combo thereof – but you are worth it, and while it may be a hard road to travel to get what you desire, to settle for less would be a crying shame if not an outright crime. Settling does nothing but leave one with regrets. Better instead to strive to be one’s own woman, using the wisdom of two women who lived their spectacular, by turns glittery and grimy, lives with panache beyond telling.