One of the hallmarks of Aspergers Syndrome is the special/obsessional interest; having to research a subject in such great depth, over and over, completely fixated on it, leaving virtually no room for anything else, is the only way I can describe it.
For a long time, Jacqueline Kennedy-the life and times of-was mine. And that seems really silly, doesn’t it? The average sixteen to eighteen year old-the timeline that this was my most prominent special interest-is probably most interested in boys, hair, make up, gossiping, Snapchat, Selfies… That wasn’t really me, to be honest. And I have been teased about my special interest.
Quite simply, it seemed a good idea to explain in a post why Jacqueline Kennedy is such a fascinating subject to me, as well as why I like learning about her. And that way, special interests could be explored in a far more creative way.
- Style and substance.
For teenagers like myself, I do feel that there are a lack of role models/icons who have style as well as substance. (Because can’t we be fashionable as well as literary?) Jackie was exactly that. Although Jackie found being known for her style as a source of annoyance-according to Carl Anthony-she was incredibly clever; fluent in various languages, she also restored the White House and created its library, helped shape her husband’s presidential library, and had a successful career as a book editor.
2. Jackie the writer.
Because to an aspiring writer, what wouldn’t appeal about this part of her life? Jacqueline wrote poetry, and was also the Enquiring Camera Girl for a Washington Newspaper. She also wrote some of the book One Special Summer in collaboration with her sister, Lee.
3. Witty one-liners and sharp mind.
Because I like people who are quick on their feet.. Jacqueline Kennedy, although bought up in an era where it wasn’t seen as the ‘done’ thing for women to be seen as clever, was very quick with one liners… If you don’t believe me, google what she said to JFK when he proposed. She was also incredibly sharp; for example, she was noted as being a shrewd judge of character when politics was concerned.
Yep. The Kennedy administration may have overseen some significant changes to Civil Rights that were latterly spearheaded by Lyndon Johnson, but Jacqueline Kennedy was putting it into practice, over theory. She actively taught her kids to be kind to people in spite of their race. Have you heard of the Sammy Davis Jr incident? (America’s Queen by Sarah Bradford related how Jackie intervened personally, as mixed race marriage was seen badly at the time, thus Davis was almost separated from his wife in photographs on this basis, allegedly.) I admire this. To be kind before it was even ‘en vogue’ was something incredible.
Do you have a special interest?