I haven't been here much lately, mainly because I was reassessing this whole blogging idea, triggered by critiques concerning Croatian version of this blog which all claimed the blog is boring, uninspiring and not adjusted to blog as a media or to its readers. Only one thought stopped me from ending this whole story; how much joy and happiness writing brings to me. And I decided to stay, because of myself and because of you, my readers (and future readers) with whom I'm hoping to establish nice and strong relationship in near future.
That is probably the advice our newest guide, Josephine „Jo“ March would give you. In my humble opinion I consider myself to be the most Jo, with some influences from Meg and Beth so please don't mind if this post gets a bit biased (it surely will have some autobiographic elements).
When thinking about Jo, I have always pictured her with a book in her hand, by the window, while the rest of the house is still asleep. After reading few pages, she leaves a book on the table and takes a pen, puts a notebook on her knees and starts writing. Wrapped in simple, greyish blanket made from wool, she is working on a play for her sisters to perform at Crhistmas Eve's party. Her beloved sisters...Even Jo was rebellious, somewhat wild and ready to disobey the rules whenever it's possible, the love and devotion she had for her sisters were even stronger then the love she had for books and reading.
The play was made for them, but Jo refused to put any signs of romantic love in it as she was opposing to it as strongly in her plays as she was in her life. The truth was Jo always wanted to be a boy, her messy braid reminded her how much she wanted her hair short. The comfortable, blue, cotton pajama and nice cosy pair of slippers were what she felt the most comfortable in so it always made her edgy when she had to go and put her „girlish“ clothes on.
Besides her clothes and hair, Jo feels miserable about the fact that her beloved Papa is fighting in a war and, as strong as her desire is, she can't fight by his side. All of the above, combined with her tendency to play boyish games and wear male clothes make her a prefect example of a tomboy, a girl who exhibits characteristics or behaviors considered typical of the gender role of a boy, including wearing masculine clothing and engaging game and activities that are physical in nature. At the time she couldn't do much about the clothing but she used every moment available to play with her friend Laurie.
We met Alcott's Jo March. But what about modern Jos, their behavior, their passions, their styles?
In my personal opinion, modern Jo is still in love with books and as a grown up, she is probably engaged in writing and publishing industry, maybe as a freelancer, due to her free spirit. She is still wild and restless which is probably the best shown in her teenage years, while she tries to create her own identity. She probably cuts her hair, infront of the eyes of her shocked parents, wears no make-up and puts a little (if any) effort in her clothing. As long as it is comfortable, she doesn't care about the price, brand or the fabric it's made from.
Young Jo probably goes shopping for new clothes when the one she has becomes unwearable, probably at the local mall. Since she gives away most of her allowance at the bookstore, brands she prefers are probably low-end, offering youthful clothes, unisex, maybe a bit more masculine but still with a feminine touch (as she is flirting with her newly born sexuality).
Growing up makes her become more and more aware of her feminine side and her clothing becomes more appropriate for her gender role. Every Jo March sooner or later finds love (or a partner with whom she's able to share her passion towards writing), starts a family and/or starts contemplating on her career. Most of her earnings still go towards purchasing the books but now she has more of it left over to be spent on clothes.
Even though she is still a frequent visitor of the local mall stores, web shopping is no mystery for her, now she checks up boohoo and asos almost as frequently as she visites amazon to check up for newest interesting titles. She still picks cosy over faddy but, in her new wardrobe, jeans have been replaced with classic cuts pants and skirts, she prefers trenchs and coats over baggy sweaters and her sneakers are now only for long walks over the weekends. For her everyday shoes she'll pick any with the flat outsoles. As I see her, the most important item of modern Jo's style would be a big, vast bag where a pen and a notebook would fit perfectly. Or maybe an iPad and ebook reader, one for noting new ideas and the other for reading ideas of others, anyplace, anytime.
Alcott's Jo at the end turned into a truly fulfilled woman; she was beloved by her husband whom she admired and respected, they had two sons to whom Jo proved to be a caring mother and she developed her writing career to an admirable point, which resulted in publishing several works ( Alcott's Jo's Boys were shown to be Jo's novel).
And modern Jo? Though it may seem hard at the beginning, I believe she'll find her way through. Now is not the time for rebellious girls, maybe even not the time for various ideas but all she can do, without betraying what she is, is to be herself and to believe in what she's doing. A wise man once said that those who win are those who dare.
With this wise thought, I wish you pleasant reading.