I am up feeding my daughter in the wee morning hours right now and so I decided to peruse Instagram just for fun a short while ago. And I just happened across a post about Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. In the post they described how she was anti materialistic and so cultivated a very chic, minimalist style. And then right after saying that the post went on to discuss her Turkish honeymoon and the photo used was of her getting off a private jet.
I’m sorry, but what total bullshit. *smile*
Now, mind you, I actually adore Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s style. And I believe that she might have had some deep and meaningful desire to value things greater than the material and she likely succeeded. More than fair enough. But…it’s also all so ludicrous… She was not some aid worker living in Sudan who had turned her back on anything superficial… And she might have admired Mother Theresa but, I’m sorry, she wasn’t the real McCoy.
Unfortunately you simply can’t be totally blameless and saint-like as long as you abide by certain rules of Western Culture and benefit from those privileges. And given how blessed Bessette-Kennedy was she was far from living a life of stark materialistic innocence.
And why do I care? Because I wish more people were more real about soo many things…including how lucky they are.
Mind you, I don’t mean bragging or putting on airs. Obviously, if you read my blog with any regularity, you might now realize that I find that sort of pushiness rude and insulting to everyone. But it’s ironic how people can indeed put on airs while also ignoring or missing the real astounding level of blessings they have compared to so many other people and what those blessings mean. And of course in the case of someone extremely blessed by even American standards, as in the case of CBK, it’s absurd to miss it. (Although she personally might not have missed it and I hope the person writing that post doesn’t read this blog because I don’t mean to insult them.)
…I just wish people would be more honest about their place in the world in every way. And that desire comes out of the same part of me that decided to share personal details to make a point. Details that hint (at least) to any sane and honest person that I’m in the class(es) I had and have professed to be in. And frankly also details that indicate that I’m NOT in the same class as someone like Carolyn Besette-Kennedy who was part of the true elite. …And again, how the heck do you reframe her world and ignore the fact that she was profoundly blessed and that she didn’t exactly go all St. Francis of Assisi about it… I mean good grief. She might have been minimalistic but her clothes were also of impeccable and exquisite quality.
I guess thing is, I feel that in order to be truly helpful in dealing with poverty one has to be truthful about wealth of all degrees. And again, process what that all means. It’s just like how you can’t ignore the reality of white privilege if you care about ending racism. AND the part of me that admires Ayn Rand feels it’s immoral to lie about how altruistic and “good” we all are too. Again, we almost all have benefited from some sort of tragedy here in Western Society. It’s evil to feign innocence unless you’re a child. And frankly it’s not just Western Society. Humans are rarely immune from such things, even if it’s accidental, unless they’re a child.
So…what does one do? I don’t know. But it can’t help to be disingenuous. And while I don’t mean to dim the astounding beauty of Ms. Bessette-Kennedy let’s not forget that like Jackie O. before her, these were not women living the same lives as most American people, that many American people or even that many people (period) in the entirety of human history…
And…let’s be real about how amazingly lucky most of us are too. Real so that we can then be grateful and then be generous…