Elizabeth Edwards died today at age 61, after living with breast cancer for six years. She'll be remembered for her husband John—his political career and well publicized affair—but in an Atlantic article last year, Caitlin Flanagan described what made Edwards herself remarkable:
Like millions of other women, I have always liked Elizabeth Edwards; in fact, I've had kind of a girl crush on her for years. She carries herself in such a graceful way, and she is one of those rare people whose good qualities are amplified rather than diminished by television. She's what you're supposed to be when you grow up: so comfortable with her intelligence and her position that she wears both lightly, appealingly. "Pretty is as pretty does," my father used to tell me endlessly, and sometimes when I'm watching her and thinking how pretty she is despite the years and the "chubbiness" she scolds herself for, I have to wonder if perhaps this is the truth of that old maxim: maybe she's just such a lovely person that she is transfigured by it.
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