WOTM: Jackie Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy: Mother, Wife, First Lady, Icon 

“I am a woman above everything else.” 
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Jackie Kennedy. There is no need for much of an introduction for this issue’s Woman of The Month. Her impeccable taste for fashion, her classy lifestyle, fair share of heart wrenching tragedies and wise words that relate to everyone, has left a beautiful mark on this world and all the people she has inspired. So for the next 5 minutes (more or less, depending on whether or not you’re a slow reader, which I am), do lend me your thoughts as we appreciate and look back on the accomplished life this amazing woman lived. And she really did live it. 

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born on the 28th of July 1929 in Southampton, New York to a wealthy family of Irish, English and French ancestry. As a child, she enjoyed reading and had read every single book put on her bookshelves, she was especially fond of reading works from the poet, Byron. When she got older, she went on to share her love and passion for reading to those around her, especially encouraging her children to enjoy reading. “There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all”. Jackie also took classical ballet classes and learnt French. Another one of her hobbies was horse riding. It was at the young age of 1 that her mother, an accomplished rider, first put her on the saddle of a horse. Jackie then went on to ride at competitions and was given the title of a National Champion by the age of 11, having won several national championships. 

Jackie’s parents got a divorce when she was just 10 years old. This was a difficult time for her as divorce was not very common then and most of her friends’ parents were still together. This however, caused her to ensure her own family and relationship with both her husbands (which she did not have at the same time, just FYI!) was always in a stable, healthy and opened state. Jackie Kennedy took care of her children with so much love and always put their feelings first, before hers. She was not just a mother to the nation, but most importantly a mother to her children. Jackie did not flinch at the thought of letting her children know just how much they mean to her. “The children have been a wonderful gift to me, and I'm thankful to have once again seen our world through their eyes. They restore my faith in the family's future”.

Jackie Kennedy was an all-around exceptional student. She went to and graduated from Miss Porter’s  School, an all-girls boarding school in Connecticut. After, she continued her studies at Vassar College, New York where she studied literature, history, art and French. Jackie even spent her junior year of college studying in Paris, France to fully immerse herself in her French education. Once she got back from Paris, Jackie decided to transfer herself to The George Washington University to be close to her family. I guess to her, family was always put first. 

After graduating from college, Jackie went on to be a photographer. She would go around the city and try to capture the most raw photographs of everyday-people. She would then go up to them and ask questions on the issues they may or may not have encountered that day. Jackie Kennedy enjoyed getting to know about people and writing about them. She enjoyed telling stories. Real stories. “Being a reporter seems a ticket out to the world”. It was as a photographer and interviewer that she met John F. Kennedy, who later went on to become her husband. Jackie married John F. Kennedy on the 12th of September 1953. 

During his Presidential Candidacy, Jackie Kennedy remained supportive of her husband. She accompanied him during his travels around the country and stood by his side until the day he was elected as the President of The United States. Taking on the responsibility of the First Lady must not have been easy, but she did it with so much grace and poise that she was able to conceal the never ending pressure exerted onto her and made it seem as though she had no weight piled up on her shoulders at all. Being the First Lady may not have been her choice of an occupation but she found passion in it. She found a way to love it, she found a way to be the Lady of the people. Despite her title, she continued to live life the way she did before. With passion, fire and purpose. “I want to live my life, not record it”.

Jackie Kennedy was an icon. She had iconic hair, aura and style. Her style was not only represented by the classy clothes she put on but also by the way she walked, talked, responded and was with people. Her style did not just stop at her clothes, it latched on to who she was as a person. However, Jackie Kennedy did have the talent of expressing her words through her own personal style as well. Her ways of speaking and storytelling was unique, like no other. She had a way around words and one of her greatest gifts to us all were the stories she told. “Once you can express yourself, you can tell the world what you want from it… All the changes in the world, for good or evil, were first brought by words”. 

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis will forever live in all of our hearts. She touched the lives of many people. Some who had the opportunity of knowing her personally, and some who only got to know her through the public eye. Either way, she changed some sort of perspective in all of us. Jackie Kennedy was an icon, a believer, a supporter, a mother and a lover and she is missed everyday. Though she might be gone, her ever inspiring words will never die. And neither will her passion. “One man can make a difference and every man should try”. 


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