“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].