Friday, April 20, 2012

Women I Admire

For as long as I have had the ability to understand what inspires me I have been inspired by three women – Bette Davis for her guts, Eleanor Roosevelt for her heart and Jackie Kennedy for her spirit. Davis kicked doors down, blazed trails and set a standard of excellence in her films which can only be approximated by actresses today. Roosevelt modeled the maxim noblesse oblige or the noble are obligated. American translation, the haves have an obligation to the have nots. Kennedy showed women of my generation that a soft voice, a gentle hand and a shy modesty can walk comfortably with great strength in sunlight or tragedy.

Of the three Kennedy was the most beautiful. She didn’t have the gaudy, augmented, plastic beauty we admire today, but rather her loveliness was subtle and delicate like the scent of a tulip. Davis was plain, but attractive. She didn’t give a damn what she looked like on screen. If the part challenged her she would play a prostitute dying of syphilis, a drunk x-film star or an aging spinster. Roosevelt was homely – some said ugly. Still, she was stunning in her compassion and glamorous in her care for the common good.

When I look around me now at the crap we women are being told to accept about our value, meaning, place and position I realize two things. The world is a better place for these three women having lived in it because they are the real feminine ideal. They more than establish any woman’s right to dignity, equality, freedom and existence on this planet.

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