I have a bone to pick with the world. Particularly the women we are surrounded with in popular culture and it is this… we are sorely lacking inspiring, confident, considerate personalities and genuinely compassionate female role models.
Most ladies with an ounce of intelligence and standards care not for the Kardashians and even less so for washed up soap opera "stars". Do you ever wonder where the real ladies are? It sometimes feels that we are so focused on fame, wardrobe, Instagram influence, bank balances and the game of “getting ahead of the female competition” that we often forget to look for ladies to inspire us to be better, not just prettier.
Instead of just drifting about in a daze, can we (a humble, very real and non-A list you and I) not begin to make a change to this culture ourselves? Can we not rise up as a new generation of women who wish to be something more than what culture expects of us? It's not all about corporate ladder climbing, criticising clothes and cat-fights. Are you not more than your outer shell?
Who is the person underneath once your grades, job title and bank balance are stripped away?
I wholeheartedly believe that our true purpose is relationship with one another, to lift one another up and inspire better behaviour in others. Sadly, we don't see much evidence of this. We are encouraged to compare ourselves instead of celebrating the beauty we see in one another. The culprits to this "dumbing down" of feminine culture and camaraderie isn't just the fault of cheap media today, some schools and dysfunctional families are somewhat to blame too. Society is simply failing at the task of churning out people with high emotional intelligence - by far, the greatest indicator of success in a person than a grade on a piece of paper. It has become a lottery as to whether you are raised to be socially and emotionally intelligent or just good at making the grade.
We can be more.
How to be a lady in modern society.
Everywhere I look there are young women (and men) entering "the real world" with not an ounce of confidence in who they are, but instead placing that confidence in their ability to be high-earners. Or worse, not giving a damn about other people and thinking that you have to be tough to get ahead. Why does money have greater value now than virtue? Are we raising a generation of people or corporate machines?
While some ladies may be adept at handling multiple mathematical equations, or writing wonderful prose what use are they if they don’t know how to engage with people, resolve conflict or simply have a pleasant manner on the telephone? Millions of young women in particular are walking out of schools, colleges and universities with confidence in their grades and physical beauty but not in themselves.
So what makes a woman a success? Her career, her grades or the person she is? You only need to read the biographies of some of the most successful women in the world to find that their ability to work with and understand people got them there. Their levels of success weren’t based on the merit of their CV’s, but instead their high levels of emotional and social intelligence. It has rested on their grace, inner beauty and the quality of their hearts above all else. Ladies Like Us explores these long forgotten finishing school subjects. Would you like to add the beautiful facets of a confident, grace-filled and peaceful self-identity to your life?
The real value of a woman will never reside in her bank balance or Jimmy Choo collection but instead lies in her drive and ambition to do good. To make the world a nicer place - regardless of her faith or her politics. Simply sitting back watching Netflix and trawling Net-a-porter isn't enough to develop you as a woman. This is why I feel this modern finishing school is so desperately needed.
We need more ladies in this generation, not numbers. Not corporate machines or voiceless, aggressive antagonists. We need good people. Good women. Reliable, confident, well put together, caring, emotionally intelligent women. People will always buy from people, and people fall in love with the very essence of what makes you human, vulnerable and loving - not a corporate, genderless information gathering, money grabbing consumer.
Don’t fall back on just your grades or Gucci if underneath it all you don’t know how to handle yourself around other people, or how to make other people feel at ease around you (the very essence of etiquette). Etiquette is often viewed as stuffy nonsense for posh people - when the true definition of it is a set of skills and a customary code of personal conduct that helps us all to know where we stand, what is expected of us, what is polite and a way to make people immediately feel at ease.
Find out what makes you tick, what you are comfortable about in your own skin and what you are not. What things about your personality and changes to your demeanour may help you have a smoother ride on this bumpy road we call life? Who wouldn’t want to be proud of the person they are, and who wouldn’t want to love themselves and know that they are the best person they could possibly be?
Our sole purpose on this Earth is to learn how to truly love, and to love others we must first learn to love and understand ourselves. What will you be remembered for, by the people you just met, and after you are long gone? The achievements you made and the position you held, or the woman that you were?
You have the ability and the choice to become the woman you wish to be, regardless of what your exam results may be or what your occupation is listed as on the census.