“People with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called character…Character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life—is the source from which self-respect springs.” Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem
This past week fierce novelist, essayist, journalist, and screenwriter Joan Didion was photographed by Jürgen Teller and named the face of Céline, a French ready-to-wear and leather goods luxury brand.
I work with many Millennials, and SHOCKINGLY found that none of them knew who Joan Didion was. Yet another reason to bring to the fore faces of women who have come before them. Yes, in a clothing campaign. It’s taking up space with an image of an older woman, looking fierce, glam, and strong. Another girl said, “oh, I just thought that was some old lady.” Ok: beyond concerning. But even the insertion of her image, of this hag (not), it opens up a conversation. Who is this some old lady? It’s shocking that it’s shocking that we don’t see more of this. Just like seeing Alyssa Milano pregnant on Project Runway All Stars feels like some freaking revolution. We just don’t see this, and we should. The old, the pregnant. Oh, that what which we’ll become. Over time.
At age 80, Joan Didion emits her usual tough-as-nails cool in the campaign image. The quote above is from her seminal essay “Self-respect: Its Source, Its Power,” first published in Vogue in 1961, and later republished in her 1968 collection, Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
A wry observer of the everyday, never self-indulgent. Fearless. The epitome of self-respect in every phase of her life…a writer whose uncanny observations mapped 60’s zeitgeist from the Vietnam War to the Women’s Movement, to what it means to be a writer and a woman, to the death of first her husband, and then her child.
Warrior. F- yes if it was market research that brought one of my personal heroines into the Tumblr-verse. Because it’s glam, it has the possibility of first seducing, and then bringing a new reader to her wry text.
These 2 articles question the Joan/Céline collab.