Friday, June 10, 2011

Life Lessons from Judy

I’m compelled today to pay a little tribute to someone who I feel epitomizes elegance: Miss Judy Garland, who would have turned 89-years-old today. We hear an awful lot, still, about Judy’s tragedies, but I’d like to focus on the good things about her, and how we might take a few ‘Judy-isms’and apply them to our own lives:

There’s No Denying Talent - we live in age in which lip-synching and pitch correction are the norm. In Judy’s day, an artist was expected to be just that: an artist - someone who could actually rise to the occasion and offer something substantial to her audience. Judy sang with such tremendous emotion, and even her few ‘off performances’ still outshine most of today’s musical offerings. As far as her acting goes, sit down and view A Star is Born. Enough said.

The lesson: When we are passionate about our craft, we shall overcome adversities and contribute something positive for the good of all.

Beloved Mother – Yes, Judy’s children speak of her later years, recalling how her prescription drug abuse affected the family dynamic. Yet they do so lovingly, defending her, and are quick to point out that she did the absolute best with what she had. Take a look at Liza and Lorna: A Tale of Two Sisters That’s the true meaning of family, if you ask me.

The lesson: We must remain mindful of the powerful influence we hold over children. We must support them, have fun with them, and encourage them to strive to be the people they want to be (not who we want them to be).

Surround Yourself With Cool Cats:

Need I say more?

The lesson: We’re known by the company we keep. Our circle of friends determines others’ perceptions about us. Choose wisely.

Look Fabulous Without Being a Cookie-Cutter Replica of Others – Early in her career, the powers-that-be at MGM took Judy to task about her weight, her nose, and other things. One of the things I love most about Judy is that she didn’t look like all the other Hollywood starlets of her time. I think she was most beautiful during the run of The Judy Garland Show. Her to-die-for wardrobe and simple hair and makeup screamed Sheer Elegance.

The lesson: We must find our true style, and never let those who think they know best influence us about our face, figure, or fashion. If we can retain the great Bob Mackie to design for us, all the better!

So there you have it: my little musing about an icon whose talent has withstood the test of time. Fifty years from now, will we reflect as such on the Taylor Swifts and Beyonces of our time? No offense intended, but I think not.

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