Jennifer Ashley on Julia Sugarbaker!

I am wild about Jennifer Ashley. I fell for her ages ago when I read the genius of a book The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie, and I've been an avid reader and hand-seller of her books (written as both Jennifer Ashley & Allyson James) since then. She writes beautiful books, and I have no idea how she writes so many of them in a year. She's either the hardest working woman in publishing, or she's cloned herself.

All this is to say that I'm thrilled Jennifer has taken some time out of her insane writing schedule to join us for Girls Who Wear Glasses month in celebration of One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (Yes...yes...I know it's March today...but it's sort of Month-ish) to talk about her favorite lady in lenses-- Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women!

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Dixie Carter in GlassesOne favorite show of my younger years was Designing Women. I loved those four strong ladies, each striving to make it on their own, all finding friendship and support with each other. I liked the message the show sent, that women could make it on their own, without having to compromise what they cared about..

The leader of the gang, Julia Sugarbaker (played marvelously by Dixie Carter—who can forget the “Ray Don speech?”), was beautiful, strong, opinionated, and yet compassionate. And she found no shame in pulling out a pair of designer glasses when she needed them and mounting them on her nose.

Because I’m a woman who has worn glasses since age seven, I love seeing glasses-wearing women portrayed as being beautiful, smart, and strong. Cause you know we are! :-)

I wear glasses *all* the time, because I can’t see a foot in front of my face. (If you look at my author photo, you’ll see them in my hand—I had to take them off for the shoot so light wouldn’t reflect on them),

So I have affection for Julia and all the ladies of Designing Women, who showed us that women could be beautiful, successful, resourceful, self-sufficient, and surrounded by friends, and that wearing glasses didn’t slow them down a step.

I raise a glass to girls with glasses!

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Thank you so much for coming over to play, Jennifer!

Your turn readers -- in honor of the Designing Women of Atlanta and Jennifer's fabulous Scottish MacKenzies -- let's talk accents! What's your favorite accent? Tell us in comments and one lucky commenter (US only) will win a copy of Jennifer's The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie -- and get acquainted with the family!