Friday, June 26, 2009

Losing Farrah & Michael


I like Ungirdled Passion to be a place for you to come for a grin or a giggle, but today of course, is a sad day with the passing of both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.  Losing both in one day is still hard to believe.  Part of being Ungirdled is letting yourself be sad when you need to be sad.  Today, I am sad, and I suspect you may be sad too.

I remember my sister and I, as teenagers, glued to the TV set on “Charlie’s Angels” nights.  I now know how silly the show was, but back then, it gave us na├»ve teen girls the feeling that women could kick a$$ too, and that was an important message for us to receive at that time.  (It actually gave us the message that women could kick a$$ while wearing three inch heels, no bra, and designer clothing while being professionally made up and coiffed as they did the bidding for a man they never met, but that’s another story for another day.)  The point is, while older women may have tuned in for the fashions, and males tuned in for what they called “jiggle TV,” my sister and I really took from that show that women could be independent, effective, free agents.   Farrah went on from there to live a truly Ungirdled, courageous and accomplished life.  

What to say about Michael Jackson?  A mega talent.  A superstar.  A gift. He changed music.  He changed dance.  He created music video.  It doesn't seem enough.  Sure, he got pretty weird in his final years, but what a surreal world he lived in from the time he was a tot. I chose to remember him from his Jackson 5, Off The Wall and Thriller days.  His music from all three periods continues to move and cheer me along as I exercise, garden, clean and mow.  He taught me to be one of the party people night and day – that living crazy is the only way, that at night, I should leave that 9-5 up on the shelf, and just enjoy myself.  It's really hard to hear any of his songs and NOT want to shake it.

I watched the Barbara Walters special on Farrah Fawcett last night, and at the end, I think she summed up yesterday pretty well for us:

“They were two very different people, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett.  The hugely talented boy who wouldn’t grow up and who struggled his whole life with his own image, and the girl who started as just an image but grew up to be an independent, courageous woman.  Farrah’s death at 62, was expected, but it was still a tragedy.  Michael’s death at 50 was a bolt out of the blue, so shocking, that it’s still hard to believe.  What are the lessons they taught us?  Celebrity has its pitfalls?  That nobody has it all, but talent has its own rewards?  Tonight, we lost two stars whose lights will never be dimmed.  To both the friends and families of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, we send our heartfelt sympathy.”

I am so grateful each was given to us to shine their light in the special way they each did.  

View Michael's fun, upbeat Black Or White video here.

View a pictorial salute to Farrah here.

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