All of my role models were movie or TV stars. I’m sorry – no public servants, no servants of God, no philanthropists. What can I say? I’m shallow (but in a deep sort of way).
Growing up in the ‘60s, the perceived, went through radical changes. Opportunities that, for my mother and father were impossible to grasp, presented themselves. Getting married and having babies was no longer the only goals to which women should aspire. We were told to want more. But what should we want?
I never didn't think I was going to college and I never didn’t think I would have a career. As I sat on my bed in my teenage room (yellow and white with a daisy-patterned bedspread and yellow shag rug) I knew I could pull myself up by my go-go boot straps and be an independent woman. Being independent meant a) having a job, b) making money, c) living on my own, and, most important to me at that time, d) looking the part (I told you I was shallow).
There were lots of fabulous 60s chicks to look up to, but, for some reason, my ideal of the independent woman was a combo of Gene Tierney, Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Crawford in a suit. Julie Christie (the woman whose looks I most coveted) was soft and rebellious. But not professional. Gene, Barbara and Joan were always in possession of themselves, they spoke with authority and they rocked in those suits. They were crisp, clean and perfectly made up. And they were tough. Nobody was going to tell these gals to get coffee!
|Sometimes a sweater was okay if you were working hard|
Life was a little bit like Laurence Olivier’s approach to acting – if you look the part, you will become the part. I think I eventually came close. Close enough so that now the inside feels authentic and the outside can relax a little.
So, thank you, Joan, Gene & Barbara, my secret confidence builders.
|That's right - it's my corner office now!|