I am really lucky to have gifted writer friends and for my first ever guest post here’s the sequel to my previous blog post on How The Modern Day Gentleman Rolls written by the lovely Karabo Geraldine Ramokhoro. Take it away Gee!
Lady: A woman of refinement and gentle manners, well at least that’s how Merriam Webster puts it.(turns out Merriam Webster is not a woman, sad!) I’m going to agree with them on that, only let’s break it down.
Any female latin and ballroom dancer will tell you that the only term they’re ever referred to as at dance practice is “lady”.Why? Because etiquette! Now I know that what normally comes to mind when we hear that word is knowing which hand should hold the fork at a dinner table or how to curtsy, but there’s so much more to etiquette than that, I mean with the pandemic on a high, when do we ever go out for dinners or for some of us who didn’t make Queen Elizabeth’s blood line, when ever will we get the chance to curtsy? So what is etiquette? Etiquette is the manner in which a lady holds herself. The appreciation, the self-respect, the class, that entire package and it doesn’t end there but it also extends to how she treats her fellow ladies and her sphere of influence at large. Here are a few qualities I think at least every lady should possess.
A lady is…
It all starts in the mind. A lady is one who is conscious of her character, feelings, habits,mannerisms and reactions. She takes time to study herself and after having done that, she unapologetically embraces her strengths and seeks to grow in her areas of weakness. She understands her uniqueness and her individuality very well, be it her loud personality or her reserved self(Sometimes even both).The bare minimum makes her uncomfortable.Why pass off a character flaw as “just who I am” when there’s clearly a chance to grow in that area? This also goes to say that she is open for correction. Even Though bitter sometimes, she receives it openly from people who care about her and sees to it that she improves. Slowly, steadily, surely.
The ability to communicate clearly, firmly and fluently is of paramount importance to a modern day lady. As a woman of moral excellence, she takes her time to draw up a set of boundaries for different areas of her life (colleagues ,relationships, friendships, roommates, churchmates, family, sport teammates,…etc) and is sure to go back to review those boundaries as they may change overtime due to factors like age. Even in the case where her voice is naturally high pitched, her No is a clear No and her Yes is a clear Yes! She is careful not to cross others’ boundaries as well since she understands how important boundaries are.
A modern day lady is an exceptional room reader. She is very discerning and is able to understand the most prevalent emotions in the room, thus making it easy to know what to say, when to say it and how to say it. Delivery is so important! She has a sharp eye and knows people around her individually and well enough to know when it’s best to correct who and how to go about it to get a positive response. She is assertive, knows how to firmly take a stand for herself in a heated moment while not disrespecting other parties. She listens attentively during arguments or squabbles, not to attack but to understand others’ point of view.We are still talking about a human being with emotions,not a superhero, so during times when she feels she does not have the bandwidth to handle certain conversations, she steps back to recharge (by crying, venting to friends, journaling, sleeping, seeking advice,…etc) and will come back to handle them diligently.
4.A celebrator and a promoter
What’s a lady without a pack of lionesses around her? Honestly, I feel like we ladies have been wallowing in the muddy pond of “I don’t need female friends” for far too long now. Sis, get up, heal and go pray for good female friends! A modern day lady is surrounded by a few(OR MANY) good women around her who have her best interests at heart. She celebrates her friends’ successes like they are her own. She offers her utmost support to her girls and loves to see the entire circle win. I mean convoys can’t be made with just one car!
Lastly (for this blog because how dare we think a lady can be defined in such few words?), A lady must be clean! I repeat, a lady must be clean! In comparison to our fellow gents, this is where we take it a notch higher. Getting that body properly washed on a daily basis is a REQUIREMENT, adding extra care and attention during “shark week” (I’m cringing if you’re female and you don’t get it). She knows what works for her and what doesn’t, from face and skin products, deodorant, sanitary towel brands, shaving equipment/products, you name it. She makes sure to always dress comfortably, knowing which bra to wear with which blouse or what underwear to wear with which jeans. Short hair, weave, afro, relaxed hair or braids are kept neat and nails, whether mani/pedicured or not are kept clean too. Not forgetting gum/sweets and eau de parfum for that fresh smell.
A lady is one who breathes! Different seasons, different headspaces, different challenges all year round.Let’s keep it a hunnid and agree that sometimes we are just tired and it’s okay. It doesn’t take away from the fact that you are a lady when you decide to shower at 7pm because life is showing you flames. No pressure hun. Breathe then give us a mighty bounce back when things fall into place again.
While being aware that these things vary from person to person,this is a small general outline of what I think a modern day lady should look and behave like.What do you agree with?What don’t you agree with?Go on and share in the comments section.Have a fruitful and productive day.