Many people might not know that Jackie Collins is the younger sister to famed actress Joan Collins. Even though she is less well known, she is famous for her award-winning stories rather than her looks. Tales that have always encouraged woman empowerment, even in a time when we were still struggling for equal rights.
The themes behind her stories have sparked some of the most controversial opinions of what we might consider feminism. Her books often focus on brash, independent women in situations of their own design. Strong, loud, sexually free types that are unafraid of causing a stir. This created a difference in point of view when discussing whether or not she should be considered an icon of female empowerment.
Speaking as the young teenager that I was when I first stumbled across one of her books, I wholeheartedly believe that her characters can be viewed as role-models. Perhaps not in the sense of every action they take, but most certainly in their characteristics.
Chances was one of the very first books that I bought from the library store on a whim. I knew nothing about it and chose it solely because of its bright pink cover that stood out among the other books in the library. It changed how I view a woman's position in this world forever.
The ladies, and I use the term lightly, in the story all had varying personalities, jobs, and character development but they all had one thing in common; The ability to think independently and make their own choices free of a man. They either broke free from a man’s clutches physically or mentally unchained themselves from the worry of what men think.
When most people think of feminism these days, the imagery is varied. Quiet and proud, loud and rude, sexually free and independent, traditional and elegant are all things that have been associated with the word. To limit the scope of what is empowering can be viewed as the exact opposite of being a feminist.
Jackie Collins pulled from her experience in living the Hollywood life. Hollywood has always challenged what is considered mainstream. Living with a famous sister can really put things into a new perspective, which she definitely capitalized on. That makes the heroines in her books no less valid than any other woman fighting for equality.
She proves time and time again that people enjoy coming out of their comfort zone. People revel in the explicit stories that have since been adapted into T.V shows and have won numerous awards. Men AND women have applauded the way Jackie Collins designed her character roles. Lucky and Gino are her most popular figures to date.
I think the way forward is paved with open minded thinking. Change only comes when we are able to see that the old ways do not work. I believe we could all do a little bit more of taking Chances.