I’m not sure exactly when it happened. There are moments in the more recent U.S. history of media (mainly the television, film and fashion magazine industries) that I’m sure were milestones in the gradual downfall of classy-ness but I think it would be unfair to put it on one person or TV show.
Somehow we got to a place where women are expected to act and dress in a way that isn’t really in accordance with our dignity and worth. Somehow we’ve adopted a ‘less is more’ mentality when it comes to how we dress, an unhealthy perfectionism when it comes to body image, a forced attitude of pep ‘it’s-all-A-OK’ and an outlook of sensitivity as weakness.
As we give away too much of ourselves (whether that is physically, emotionally or just commitment-wise) we lose our authenticity and the power we were born with (ok maybe you didn’t have much physical strength as a baby but you know what I mean).
It’s easy to blame others (society, your parents, guys, the Kardashian’s…) but really who we are and what we do is up to us. That is the beauty and challenge of free will.
I think each one of us has the calling to be our best selves- that is the person that has most to offer our families, our friends, our community and the world around us. But that person requires self-care, self-discovery and permission to negate the pressures of the world and choose our own, unbeaten path instead.
Today I challenge you to think about what may be some ways in which you are selling yourself short or submitting to outside pressures. That might look like…
Saying yes to an activity/commitment/favor because you think you ‘should’ even if it doesn’t feel right.
Making everything and everyone a priority over your exercise routine/sleep/hobbies that bring you joy.
Saying ‘it’s fine’ when it’s not.
Pursuing a thought/activity/person that doesn’t bring you peace.
Trying to fix/change someone else.
Acting in a way that you think people will like instead of how you are.
These things may seem like they have nothing to do with ‘bringing classy back,’ but I find that the less I do these ⇑ things, the more I’m able to be my more ‘classy’ (stylish, sophisticated, smart, elegant, admirable) self that I think as women we all strive to be. That doesn’t mean dressing like Audrey Hepburn (although that is definitely not a bad thing either) or drinking tea with our pinkies up. It means being more of who we are and striving to improve instead of settling for what the world expects of us or says we should be. It has to start with us. How we see ourselves, how we treat ourselves and each other.
Being classy is about how you carry yourself, how you interact with yourself and others and whether or not you act in accordance with your values. It is not reserved for those who wear pearls and long skirts (although again, not a bad thing) but rather for those who reflect sincerity, authenticity and strength of character. I think as women we have a tendency to get carried away with the expectations of the world and how Cosmo tells us to be and forget who we are and the deepest desire of our hearts in the process: to be strong, passionate, dignified, loving, beautiful women.
Sometimes we need to take a step back, say no to a few things, put ourselves first and become mindful of the ‘noise’ the world makes so we can tune it out. That’s why the question, ‘where did all the class go’ Is relevant. Not because we need more Audrey Hepburn’s or Kate Middleton’s but because we need YOU. Moving on from that question, now we ask ourselves, what does being a #firstclassact look like for me?
Happy Monday y’all!