Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Living the dream?

"What happened to the dreams of a girl president
She's dancing in the video next to 50 Cent
They travel in packs of two or three
With their itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees..."
Stupid Girl, by P!nk

Call it the Paris Effect. Apparently, tired of seeing pictures of Britney, Lindsay, Paris et al falling out of limousines and their dresses, the public is turning its back on the 'stupid girls' who clog up the pages of celebrity magazines. Instead, we're facing a new dawn of good, old-fashioned etiquette.

According to an article by Reuters journalist Michelle Nichols, the combination of public bad behaviour and a tough economy are encouraging women to improve their morals and manners, in the process giving them a better chance in their chosen careers.

The proof of this dramatic shift in conduct is summed up in a new lifestyle book called "How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World." Written by 24-year old Jordan Christy from Nashville, Tennessee, the book has rather archaic-sounding chapters like 'Keep Your Chin Up and Your Skirt Down', 'Dress to Impress' and 'Let Him Come Calling'. Christy maintains that "there are a lot of people out there who want to see a return to our feminine values" and so she's waging a war on those with an absence of morals, class and functioning underwear.

Given the popularity of shows such as VH1's "Charm School" and Britain's "Ladette to Lady," this latest development shouldn't really come as any surprise. Although I suspect that audiences choose to watch these shows because they relish the element of culture clash, rather than because they secretly dream of walking with half a bookcase balancing on their heads.

So what does this mean in an era of tit-tape and Brazilian waxes? The world of celebrity is full of young women who think finishing school is where you go to learn how to end a massage. And there are still millions who devour their every misdeed and misadventure.

We may aspire to their wealth and lifestyle, but deep down we have the self-respect to conduct ourselves with a little more deportment. We see their nude photos, sex videos and nightclub rampages, and feel a little better about ourselves. The self-respect that Christy is concerned with, is actually hardwired into most ordinary people. People who'd actually know if one of their breasts was hanging out the side of their dress in a crowded room. Rather than wishing we were them, I think deep down, we're rather glad that we're not.

1 comment:

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