I admit it. I’ve been really upset about Joan Rivers passing. Of course I didn’t know her, only saw her perform once, but for some reason, this felt like a personal loss to me. I feel horrible for her daughter and grandson, and I feel devastated for Joan.
I am not a big celebrity person. Sure I read the tabloids, but that’s mostly for the fun of seeing cellulite on the celebs, or trying to figure out what the hell is going on with Jen Aniston.
But with Joan Rivers, I truly admired her, loved watching her, related to her, and not just because she dislikes Gwyneth and Angelina like I do.. And the more I learned about her, I appreciated her.
My daughter, almost 11, was really upset when she heard about her passing. We watched Fashion Police often together, but Joan was so much more than her cutting critiques of the dresses, she possessed qualities every woman should model.
These are just a few I will enforce with my own daughter:
1) Know what you are good at and own it. Joan came into a man’s world. Maybe two other women were doing what she was doing at the time. She faced endless rejection and sexism, but she always knew she was good, and persevered.
2) Be passionate about your life. If you have a chance, please watch her documentary Piece of Work. She loved her job. Didn’t want a day off. Wrote jokes constantly. When you love what you do, it truly makes you a happier person.
3) Family is everything. Money and career are great. But if you don’t have the love of family, you aren’t completely fulfilled. Even George Clooney has come to realize that. Joan was the most committed woman to her her daughter and grandson till the end.
4) Bad Shit is going to happen in your life. How are you going to deal with it? There is no such thing as a perfect life. Everyone, and I mean everyone, goes through his or her share of problems. You either crumble and feel sorry for yourself, or you throw on some Chanel like Joan, a beautiful ornate necklace, and start another chapter. Joan had to cope with the suicide of her husband, a huge lull in her career, and difficulties with her daughter, but she plowed through and created a wonderful new life for herself.
5) Be a nice person. I have watched a lot of coverage since Joan died. And with every tribute, the person is crying and relaying a story of how Joan helped them, wanted them to succeed. She helped pay for employees’ kids schooling, sent flowers to a security guard when his mother died. As far as you may rise, if you aren’t kind, it just doesn’t amount to much.
6) Encourage other woman. Joan helped other female comics throughout her life, Guiding them, mentoring them. Appreciating them. Helping others succeed doesn’t hurt your own success.
7) It’s great for women to have opinions and be strong -minded. One of the reasons I think everyone loved Joan.; she said what she thought, and was unapologetic. The jokes were jokes, but when she was giving her opinion, it was for no other reason than that she believed in it.
8) Live life to the fullest. There is truly no point to this thing called life unless you enjoy your time here. Joan lived. She was eighty-one years old and wasn’t ready to stop, but I imagine till the very end, she had no regrets.
To me, she is the perfect role model for our girls, and for me.
Rest in peace.