"To free us from from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves - there lies the great, singular power of self-respect"

1968 Joan Didion

I consider Joan Didion the most evolutionary journalist in the 60's fashion era. She transformed 60's Vogue by writing intimate literature on the pages of where you would conventionally find fashion & beauty advice, alongside photographs of pretty women. Didion placed advice on self-respect instead, and from there she started very early as an important figure in intimate literature even today.

It wasn't until I came across Joan Didion's documentary under the title Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold that I began to idolize the author for her incredible work both on fashion journalism, and literature in general. Her most celebrated work from the pages of a 1961 Vogue was an essay she wrote on self-respect, which she titled: "Self-respect: it's source, it's power" captured my attention and I found myself jotting down life lessons as I read further on and on into the essay.

"... people with self-respect have the courage of their mistakes. They know the price of things."
Didion confidently states many aspects related to self-respect, where she considers different traits that exhibit self-respect in an individual's personality. Admitting one's mistakes, discipline and having a sense of self-worth are few points Joan Didion mentions in her essay, appointing them to be elements that show self-respect in a person. One way of respecting ourselves according to Didion - which I find rather appealing and difficult to master - is having a strong sense of self-worth for better or worse; meaning: considering ourselves worthy of respect even when we fucked up big time. This is something I still wish to learn and hope to give myself one day.

The following extract is worth reading, taken from the 1961 Vogue featuring Joan Didion's 'Self-respect' article.
"In brief, people with self-respect exhibit a certain toughness, a kind of moral nerve; they display what was once called character, a quality which, although approved in the abstract, sometimes loses ground to other, more instantly negotiable virtues. The measure of its slipping prestige is that one tends to think of it only in connection with homely children and with United States senators who have been defeated, preferably in the primary, for re-election. Nonetheless, character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life—is the source from which self-respect springs."