The Consummate Contrarian-Fran Lebowitz

“I’m not a contrarian, I just know I’m right—there’s a difference.” (Quote by Fran Lebowitz)

We as a society have a fascination for individuals who are non-conformist, daring, defying-societal-norms, rule-bending. We may or may not like them or even approve of them, but there is a definite sticky factor to them that piques our interest, fascinates us and lures us to know more about them.

Some find them to be audacious, debauched, depraved and corrupting-the-fabric-of-moral-society kind of folks. A no-no for their children to have as role models.

Others like me, find them to be brave, fearless and gutsy. They dare to risk and they risk. They don’t just live life but live a Big life on their own terms–they are Unique.

Lebowitz is interwoven into the NYC pop-culture fabric, the same as Snookie is into the New Jersey pop-culture, for whatever that is worth!

A Jew by birth, expelled from school due to general “surliness,” picked up by the quintessential lord of pop-culture Andy Warhol to write for the Interview magazine and thereafter acquired various titles such as the sardonic American author, writer with the acerbic wit, social commentator and among other titles, the most-stylish by Vanity Fair magazine. She has her own documentary named Public Speaking, directed by none other than the prolific director Martin Scorsese.

She is a true Contrarian who has lived life on her own terms. She is 60-years old and yet an enigma to the die-hard pop-culture followers. A full-boiled egg that all want to crack and cannot get enough of, but nobody has successfully peeled it yet.

A recluse by nature, yet the cynosure of all eyes in the high echelon of the New York culture scene (Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair is counted as one of her close friends). She hobnobs with the cultural elite, the nouveau riche and the intelligentsia (yes, she has her own dedicated table at the Waverly Inn). She is photographed for glossy magazines, has journalists scampering for an interview with her to enhance their resumes and has an IMDb site dedicated to her (isn’t that the final stamp of being a celebrity!). Despite such high exposure, that another celebrity would only get after multiple visits to the jail, a clothing line for Target and a stint at Betty Ford Clinic, little is known of her personal life. She is 60-years old and yet people continue to speculate about her sexuality and her sexual preferences. Truly bewildering.

She is unruly. In this politically correct “smoke free,” “ban on smoking” society, she smokes two packs of cigarettes a day and in fact locked horns with Mayor Bloomberg after the ban on smoking in restaurants was enforced in NYC.

She defies cultural norms. A woman, but has never been photographed wearing a skirt or a dress. Her signature attire is the manly men suits tailored at Savile Row. What can I say, she knows style!

She is quirky. She drives a 1978 checker cab, true to the “yellow” spirit of NYC. I am sure the cabbies are proud of her.

She non-conforms. In this world of social media and internet marketing, she does not own a Blackberry, iPhone or iPad and prefers to write the old-fashioned way with a pen on a legal pad. Oh the horror of it, how dare she!

Yes, she is Unique. She has a devil-may-care attitude. She is confident. Most importantly, she believes in herself–she believes in herself even if she is not right!

She inspires me to believe in myself, to be confident despite my quirks, eccentricities, whims and idiosyncrasies. She should inspire you as well.