“Addie, that is not a very ladylike thing to do.” “Remember, always cross your legs.” “Look up when you walk.” “Outward appearance matters.” These are some of the statements my mom repeatedly said to help me grow into a young lady.
She had the perfect strategy to raising ladylike women — good morals and high standards.
As a child and even into my teen years, it was not hard to uphold high standards for myself because I was constantly reminded that high standards are the root of an attractive, classy woman.
However, those sophistication rules taught to us as young girls seem to be left at home when we come to college and the word “classy” loses all true meaning.
“Classy not trashy” is a quote commonly said by many in the college world, especially among girls.
According to definition.com, “classy” is defined as high class, rank or grade; stylish; admirably smart; elegant.
Though that is the real definition, our college definition of the classy lady is often defined as a sorority girl.
For some reason, Greeks are held to a higher standard than all of the other students when we are supposed to all be equal.
The Greek system is an association of campus organizations that includes fraternities and soroities as well as religious, innternational student and academic clubs.
As Tech students, we should automatically hold ourselves to higher standards than those who attend other universities to represent our institution well; this stands true of both moral and physical standards.
Classy is the goal in reach, but like the word “love,” “classy” has become misused in the 21st century.
Today, we use this word loosely when we commonly just call everyone classy.
This word, though, has strong meaning and much substance, so it should not be used lightly or in general statements.
Yes, people outside of the Greek system have standards for themselves just like, if not stricter, than the Greeks.
A classy lady can be the quiet nerdy girl in the front of your engineering class or the blonde boldly wearing her “letters.”
This is a woman who does not use slander but examines every word before it is spoken.
This is a woman who does not dress in minimum clothing but dresses modestly.
This is a woman who is not stuck up but carries her head high.
A woman who does not drink or smoke excessively, crosses her legs when wearing a dress and always washes her hair is a classy lady.
Although outward appearance does matter because that is the first thing judged on by others, it is not all about what is on the outside; the inside counts, too.
Ultimately, classiness depends on standards and how we value ourselves. It is not about the amount of makeup we wear or who made our purse; we have to feel confident and beautiful, work hard to succeed and love life as we live it to the fullest.
When lovely women have sent all morals out the window yet still describe themselves as classy walk across campus, it seems such a shame.
It demeans the word, stereotypes certain groups and, frankly, just lies to women.
So, ladies, let your words have meaning and live up to and beyond the standards your mothers set for you the day you were born.
Let’s just keep it classy, not trashy. Literally.
Addie Martin is a sophomore English and journalism double major from West Monroe who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to alm...@latech.edu.