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    Carolyn Bessette's Image Changed Dramatically Once She Began Dating JFK Jr. & Her Friends Hated It

    By Kristyn Burtt,


    It wasn’t easy being John F. Kennedy Jr.’s girlfriend from a public perspective. If the paparazzi weren’t hounding Carolyn Bessette, fans and fashion magazines poured over every detail of her wardrobe when she stepped outside of her apartment. A new biography, Once Upon a Time: The Captivating Life of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy by Elizabeth Beller, revealed how stressful it was for the Calvin Klein publicist, and how consumed she was over transforming into the perfect mate for the Kennedy heir.

    Bessette had the pressure of iconic Jackie Kennedy in the back of her mind, and although she never got the chance to meet her future husband’s mother before she died in 1994, the former first lady’s classic fashion sense became entrenched in her wardrobe. The makeover began in February 1996 when her light brown hair was turned into a golden shade of blonde by celebrity colorist Brad Johns. She helped usher in the pencil-thin brow trend and succumbed to the idea that she needed to be thinner on her already fit frame. Her friends didn’t love the transformation though.
    Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Jr and guest attend a party at the Whitney Museum to celebrate the Exhibition “The American Century: Art & Culture 1900-2000.” on March 11, 1999 in New York.

    Pal MJ Bettenhausen felt that the makeover wasn’t authentic to who Bessette was at her core. “She was always fit and had a beautiful figure, but she became so thin and pale…I think she felt she had to fit in, to be what she thought people expected a Kennedy to be,” she told Beller in the book. She believed Bessette would have eventually found her own fashion voice, but the woman presented in public was a facade.

    Her friend Michelle Kessler laughed to Beller in the book just thinking about Bessette knowing she was “a fashion icon.” Her pal added, “She was trying to be nothing of the sort. Carolyn was trying to have an interesting life and go about her day without interruption.” Nobody could have predicted the tragedy that would befall Bessette, JFK Jr., and her sister Lauren Bessette in 1999, but her chic style, favoriting neutral colors, almost feels like a blueprint for Meghan Markle’s post-royal wardrobe .

    Bessette had to follow in the footsteps of JFK Jr.’s former girlfriend Daryl Hannah, who was not loved by Jackie because of her acting career. The former first lady would have probably adored her future daughter-in-law if they only had the chance to meet. Perhaps then Bessette would have found her distinct fashion voice that spoke to who she truly was behind the scenes.

    Before you go, click here to see photos of JFK and Jackie O.’s grown-up grandkids.

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