Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


  Lessons Learned from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

In the past months as I prepared my book and book proposal to go to publishers, even my favorite magazines became after thoughts. So yesterday, I stacked up my Town and Country and Vogue magazines to flip through while the boys were in the pool.

In addition to a layout of absolutely fabulous (and WEARABLE, though not necessarily AFFORDABLE) gowns, the May 2004 issue of Town and Country had a wonderful excerpt from a book about that queen of Tall Poppies, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The book is What Jackie Taught Us: Lessons From the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Tina Santi Flaherty.

The first lesson that Ms. Flaherty says JKO taught:

"When she became First Lady, Jackie quickly realized that regardless of what she accomplished, she would be judged primarily by the way she looked".

Oh, how UN-p.c.! And, oh, how true! In our culture, we don't want to admit that the way you look has anything to do with your success in every part of your life. So we go about avoiding saying, "Yes, you are brilliant, you have all the right credentials, and you have a lot to offer the world. But, first, you need a new wardrobe"...or make-over...or manicure...or manners lessons. We just say, "I am sorry to inform you that we chose another candidate for the position. We wish you great success."

Look-ism is a fact of life. It will never change, and the harsh reality is that no matter how intelligent you are, you're judged by how you look and what you wear. Yes, I feel the darts from those who want to believe it isn't so pinging off my computer screen. However, instead of getting angry, Tall Poppies work within the system and make sure that they are their personal best. Perfection isn't necessary, but working toward perfection will always serve you well.

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