On Being Classy

Disclaimer: Yes, I am judgmental. If previous posts hadn’t established that already, then I think this one will. And no, I don’t care if you think I’m mean.

As I was sitting at a cafe a couple of weeks ago, I observed two tables of girls of around the same age wearing almost the same outfit (short shorts with shirts and sandals). In one table, there were three girls talking, discussing in low voices and looking very cute and adorable. In the other, there were two girls also talking, but very loudly. They were way prettier than the three girls in the other table but they came across as rude and, well, cheap.
It’s not the clothes. As I said, they were all wearing almost the same thing. Actually, these girls can be interchangeable. Same outfit, same age group, all were probably students. But they elicited different responses from me and, judging by their expressions, the people in other tables.

It’s the attitude. It’s class.

I’ve always thought that class is the fine line between sexy and slutty, the distance between spiffy and sloppy, and the difference between beautiful and ugly. Classy men and women are simply wonderful to watch and a joy to interact with. But what does being classy actually mean?

Merriam-Webster gave these definitions of classy:

1. elegant, stylish

2. having or reflecting high standards of personal behavior

3. admirably skillful and graceful

Elegance. Stylish. Grace. High standards of behavior. Being classy is all about the attitude. It is exuding grace and elegance and dignity. When I think of classy women, I think Meryl Streep, Rosamund Pike, Marion Cotillard, and Audrey Tautou. When I think of classy men, I think Luke Evans, Djimon Hounsou, Richard Gere, and Tom Hiddleston.

Also, if you’d notice, there’s also one thing that my examples have in common. They’re all sexy. That’s because being classy is sexy. A sexiness that is not based on the amount of skin you show or how your ass looks.

(For local personalities, I think Charlene Gonzalez, Maricar Reyes, and Daphne Osena are classy. Christopher de Leon, Robin Padilla, and Piolo Pascual also are. No, I don’t think Kris Aquino is classy. Nor is Gerald Anderson. But that’s just me.)

I’m finding it a bit difficult to explain so let me just show you this picture.

 

Photo from fashionfoiegras.com

Photo from fashionfoiegras.com

Dita Von Teese is probably one of the best examples of an elegant and classy woman. She dresses quite fabulously and she knows what works well for her body. In this specific picture, she is elegant, sexy, stylish, and respectable. You look at this picture and probably agree with me when I say that she is one classy lady.

And then you’ll say, “but, Lyra, she’s wearing a below-the-knee-length pencil cut dress with long sleeves. It’s easy to be classy wearing that.” First of all, no, I’ve seen women wear almost the exact same outfit and end up looking sloppy. Second, I just said it’s not about the clothes, so I’m giving you another photo.

 

Photo from weheartit.com

Photo from weheartit.com

Even when more than half-naked she still remains classy. In all my meanness, I just can’t look at this picture and say that she’s crude or cheap. She looks elegant, sophisticated, and very feminine. Beyond these pictures, Dita Von Teese is also all that. In all her appearances and interviews and events, she dresses elegantly, acts appropriately, and is a very feminine and gracious woman.

Oh, and for those of you who don’t know, Dita Von Teese is a model, entrepreneur, and an occasional  actress who gained fame by being a burlesque dancer. She calls herself a stripper but burlesque dancer suits her better since she’s turned stripping into an art with elaborate dance routines and using music from 30’s and 40’s films and musicals.

I chose Dita Von Teese as an example to also show that class is not a product of profession. Dita the stripper has more class in one fingernail than Nicki Minaj the “singer” could ever have in her whole body.

More than the outfits you wear and the profession you chose, class is the way you carry yourself, the way you act and speak, and the way you embody a high standard of good and appropriate behavior.

In short, being classy is having good manners and correct conduct.

In today’s emphasis on “being yourself” and “being honest,” having good manners has been somewhat overlooked. For some reason, people began to think that acting appropriately is tantamount to not being your true self and that always being polite and gracious is not being honest. And that is just sad.

It’s true that you have to be yourself. But be your best self. Know if it’s offensive to bust out that racy joke or if the outfit you’re wearing is appropriate for the occasion. Know that there are ways to be honest without being hurtful or insensitive. Know that your words and actions can be perceived in many different ways by many different people. It is not your job to make other people like you but that is not an excuse to behave badly and be rude.

Being classy keeps you from making a spectacle of yourself. Being classy will almost always help you get your way with the minimum amount of fuss. And being classy is always attractive. So, be and stay classy everyone.

 

Go,

Lyra

 

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