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A Jackie or a Marilyn?

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I think about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis quite frequently. So elegant, so well dressed, and married to one of history’s most notable hunks. I try not to project the impressions I get from reading on the internet and looking at pictures onto people I’ll never know, but I can’t help but think she was a beautifully complex person, full of life and full of love.

I can’t lie; I don’t hold Marilyn Monroe in the highest regards, because while I can appreciate that people are multidimensional and have stories behind their behavior and actions and what makes them who they are, you can only scapegoat the past for so long; after a certain point it’s time to take responsibility for the course of your life.

Respectively, Jackie and Marilyn have come to represent tropes of virtue and sin, of the wife and the mistress, of the proper and the wild. At a certain point in our lives, I think all girls ask themselves if they’re a Jackie or a Marilyn or which they’d rather be. I’ve definitely gone through my Marilyn phases and I undoubtedly consider Jackie the superior but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather be neither.

As desired as Marilyn Monroe was by men and as envied as she was by women, she was terribly unhappy and desperate for love in the worst way. As picture perfect as Jackie’s life seemed on the surface, all of the pearls and privilege in the world didn’t make her husband loyal.

I don’t want to be a woman that accepts disrespect or mediocrity. I don’t want to be a woman that is remembered because of who she married or who she slept with. I don’t want to be a slave to appearance, appetites or addiction. They both had it wrong.

Both Marilyn and Jackie were so much more than “a Marilyn” or “a Jackie,” and I think it’s important that women realize that the gray area between the two is so much more interesting and substantial than the saintly white or the vulgar black.

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