“Being female is a matter of birth, being a woman is a matter of age, but being a lady is a matter of choice.”
Being female does not guarantee a girl will grow up to be a lady and the current self-absorbed culture is not likely to model or promote the qualities of a lady. It is a process for a girl to become a woman and develop into a lady. Parents invest a great deal of time and resources to develop their daughter’s academic, athletic, or artistic talent, with little or no thought as to what is required for her to mature into a lady.
A lady understands that her appearance, behavior, and way of communicating provide others with valuable insight into her character. She knows that her true beauty is not acquired at a make-up counter, with a new outfit, or by following the latest Hollywood trend. Rather, she understands true beauty is first inward. A lady understands that her real strength is not found in trying to be like a man, but rather, in being gracious, thoughtful, kind, intelligent, self-assured, and poised.
The traits of a lady include:
- A lady is generous with her time, wisdom, and resources. She is a woman of her word and follows through with her commitments, whatever the cost. She willingly serves others and extends a hand to those in need. She manages her priorities and time well – understanding that she can only serve others after she has taken care of herself.
- A lady possesses a positive outlook on life. Her humor, wisdom, and consistent encouragement attract others to her.
- A lady is a lifelong learner. She maintains a teachable posture and embraces change for the better. She does not compare herself to others, but embraces her strengths and accepts her weaknesses.
- A lady models civility in how she treats others. She demonstrates respect, restraint, and personal responsibility in her appearance, behavior, and communication. She is honorable, and values and respects others.
- A lady is well-mannered and knows what is appropriate. She is able to navigate various social and professional settings with ease and proficiency. She embraces all people – those from other cultures, as well as individuals from various social and economic backgrounds.
- A lady possesses a strong work ethic. She takes pride in her labor at home and in the community, and strives to give her very best. She is trustworthy, loyal, and people speak well of her.
- A lady is poised, graceful, and confident. Her posture and body language communicate a strong personal presence.
- A lady is well-dressed. She knows how to select clothing that is modest, age appropriate, within her budget, and perfect for the occasion. She is well-groomed, practices good hygiene, and maintains her health. She understands that her personal appearance – the way she chooses to dress, groom, and carry herself – communicates instantly to others who she is.
- A lady is well-spoken and a generous listener. She knows how to effectively connect with others and communicate her message. Her words are kind, tactful, and free from gossip. She is gracious and inclusive.
- A lady manages her home and the needs of her family. She creates a welcome, peaceful, loving, and nourishing environment – a safe shelter from the storms of life. Her actions reflect whom she has chosen to be rather than base them upon the opinions of others.
Our society is a case in point for the need to embrace the understandable and, ultimately, achievable principles of being a lady.
The art of being a lady is relevant for today and it is accessible to every woman – young and old.
©2013 What Would Mrs King Do? If you would like to use this article in your newsletter or blog, you may do so. Please include our credit information: Written by Deborah King, What Would Mrs King Do? © Copyright 2013. I would also appreciate it if you would send us a copy for our files to [email protected].
We would really like to talk to you about a training programme (on the lines of what you are doing) we wish to have in Bangalore India.Is it possible for you to come to Bangalore,and if so what are your charges?Is it possible to give us your phone no so that we can talk or hav a skype meetin at a time convenient to you.
Anthea and Marina Ledlie
I would love to speak with you regarding this. I do travel and would be interested in learning what your goals would be and how I may best support you. I will follow with an email.
Dear Ms. Deborah,
Hi! how are you? I am really interested in this article 🙂 Would you mind if I’d repost this?
One thing, I am really in a torn now, because some people who knew me, said they would like to TRANSFORM me into a lady. Some points they wanted me to give emphasis on are:
1)Should wear make-up or lipstick/ foundation/eyebrow as an everyday look.
2)Should always be FASHIONABLE, to tell you honestly ma’am, I am into jeans and collared shirts, I do not wear expensive clothes, I always go to thrift stores. My everyday work just require me to be on jeans and shoes because I’m always on field.
3)I talk to a lot of guys. It’s not my fault I’d say, they just come up to me and confide even their darkest secrets ..that made me close to them. And they make me feel special, they boost my self-esteem when I’m insecured.
4)I do not talk ill of others, I do not do gossiping. I tried to hold my opinions and think first if my opinions would or would not hurt someone. But when I do give my opinions, I have already thought them through.
5)There are times that I do act like boyish, laugh out loud, and sometimes, no inhibitions.
6)I am still a virgin. I did not sleep with anyone else. I did not have a boyfriend yet although I had suitors. I never been drunk since I never tried any alcohol. I do not smoke.
The number 5 makes these people/women think that I am not a lady, does this make me less of a lady? Please help me.
Thank you and Godbless.
You are definitely a lady in my book. You are maintaining your standards of morality and decency, and some people are jealous of this action.
Good day, Deborah!
This was such a beautiful and helpful article. I can imagine myself reading it to a daughter of mine years from now. Thank you for being generous in giving out these tips. ♥
Bravo mon frere!
Hi Mrs. King,
Thank you for this excellent post.
It helped my wife and me to find the right words for her mother’s obituary. The woman was a true lady, indeed.
A̶̲̥̅̊♏ really bless by this, but as a lady if a decide I don’t want to keep female friend. Is it a big deal.
Hi Mrs King I have a community outreach group called Young Ladies of Integrity YLI. The ages are 13-18. I was inspired to start this group in Dec. 2008 because of my own daughter Jessica. Jess passed away in her sleep on Nov1,2013 she was 17 years old. Although Very devastating I have managed by the Grace and through the strength of God to continued with the group in her honor. I was looking for something that I could go over with my Young Ladies in more detail about being a Lady and I found your article. It is just what I needed and it is so simple but on point that my Young Ladies can understand. Thank You so Much!!
Hi Deborah! I absolutely love this article. So very well written, and what a wonderful list.
I just started this journey on becoming a Lady, and this article is so very helpful:)
Great things to remember! 🙂
Hello Deborah Believe me your article is so amazing and can I please use it in my blog. Seriously being a lady acquires more efforts daily all I have is a big heart that swallows every tough situation I have does this make me a lady Because when I talk to to many Guys they say am different
When I was a little girl I was nicknamed lady. As a young girl and even as an adult woman I found this an insult. Because the word lady always seemed to be used sarcastically by men in my community. When in fact the essence of a true lady can only be justified by the character of a true woman who knows how to handle her own in such a way that shows a virtuous woman.
hi Deborah, that is amazing. i have liked your article and would like to use it to enrich other young ladies like me. i am eighteen years old, a second year student at kenyatta university. the article has really changed my view on ladies.gotten the differences to being a girl, a female, a woman and a lady.that was so wittious of u Deborah, may God bless u
Hey sweet Deborah
Do you have a book written about being a lady?
Not specifically. What information would be of interest to you?