Do you wish on occasion that you could transport yourself back to a time of impeccable manners and stylish, tasteful fashion? I know I do, and so I’m delighted that the lovely Marie-Anne Lecoeur has agreed to give us the benefit of her wisdom on the subject …
In today’s society, the word ‘elegant’ may soon become an anachronism if we let it. In a world where instant gratification and misbehaviour is the norm, is there still a place for those who refuse to let go of their high standards?
Keeping high standards at all times is to be applauded, if we we are to call ourselves an enlightened society. To be elegant is to be graceful, grateful and considerate. The gentle way you deal with people demonstrates your genuine love for your fellow man. You never miss an opportunity to be kind to others and selfishness is not in your nature. To be elegant means to show restraint and shun instant gratification. Being grateful for what you have in your life is one your best qualities.
Your elegance shows in everything that you wear, which is always good quality, well cut pieces that are timeless. You have less clothes than many people because you prefer classics that are worn more times than trendy pieces that get discarded after one season. You are faithful to the styles that suit you, your body shape and lifestyle. You always know what to wear for the occasion, whether it be a job interview, wedding or a simple lunch with friends.
Elegance is not just about the clothes on your back though. It is also an attitude, a way of being. You display perfect manners and good etiquette in all social situations. Please and thank you’s are second nature to you.
You never display vulgarity in what you say, preferring instead to use the appropriate words to convey your message. Resorting to swear words and profanities shows a lack of suitable vocabulary and inadequacies in a social environment. Showing restraint shows your elegance.
Elegance and inelegance are like oil and water, completely set apart. Inelegance, displayed by vulgarity, selfishness and ungratefulness, are to be found daily on our screens, social networks and on the street. How can you retain an elegant attitude when bombarded with the exact opposite from so many sources? The media’s celebration of misbehaviour gives carte blanche to the rest of society to misbehave. The young wish to emulate famous people. If these same famous people act in an undignified manner, does it not glamourise vulgarity? How can ordinary people in the street not feel seduced by inelegance, as shown by celebrities, who, for fear of being forgotten, thirst for publicity, any publicity? Every time a person in the public eye displays their low standards of behaviour, they are rewarded with headlines in the media and gain more fans who want to act like them too. These fans conclude that if they want to be be ‘followed’, ‘liked’, ‘pinned’, or even become a celebrity themselves, they have to act outrageously. Their idol’s behaviour is after all, validated by the media every minute of every day.
With words such as ‘selfie’ and ‘twerk’ added to the Oxford dictionary, you can conclude that their usage has become mainstream. One can only guess at the amount of times these two inelegant words get mentioned every day, either verbally or via social networks. Aren’t they a reflexion of what millions of people think and do on a daily basis? Do these two words show elegance or inelegance in their meaning?
Nowadays, it is a challenge to lead an elegant life, when we are surrounded by inelegance at every turn. When the message we receive, loud and clear, from the media is that inelegance is the norm amongst celebrities, to be applauded, who can be surprised if this kind of behaviour spreads to the general public? If some people wish to break out from this norm, might they not be treated as if they don’t fit in? They, like the very word ‘elegance’, are in danger of becoming anachronisms.
People who show restraint, etiquette, good manners, selflessness and keep their standards high at all times, now tend to be overlooked and set apart from the rest of society. They are said to be boring, staid, stuffy and belong to a different age. But why would you wish to lower your standards to appeal to the masses who prefer crassness? By choosing to remain true to yourself and your values, you will display your genuine character. So, if acting inelegantly is becoming mainstream, then ironically, by being elegant and therefore different from the norm, you will be the one standing out from the crowd.
You can read about Marie-Anne’s books by clicking the title links below: