On Google, "classy" is defined as stylish and sophisticated. On Merriam Webster, it's having or reflecting high standards of personal behavior, or being admirably skillful and graceful. And many of us seem to aspire being classy, because that is important and it does please many people and even gain their admiration. And let's be honest: How many of us insult other people by calling them cheap, and how many of us are insulted by being called cheap?
But before we swear to be a classy lady for the rest of our lives, here are some things you need to know about the word.
1. It's not the most important thing in the world.
There's so much going on in the world right now, and there are so many things that are expected of you being who you are and doing what you do. Should being or looking sophisticated be a top priority over being kind, loving, understanding, well-mannered, and wise? Come to think of it, true class is just the effect of all those. Meaning you need those down pat.
2. You don't always have to be classy.
In other words you don't always have to be prim. Some characteristics and behaviors have to dominate depending on various situations. If someone's harassing you physically, your instinct will make you fight back to defend yourself. Nothing wrong here!
3. Calling yourself or your behavior classy doesn't really make you classy.
It somehow makes you tacky, honestly. Not to mention proud. The real classy people aren't so self-absorbed. If you do this, we'll say "Eh 'di wow!" or "Congrats?"
4. You can curse and still be classy.
It's pretty natural to curse, especially if you're surrounded with potty mouths. It just grows on you, and it does show your "human" side, so to speak; you're not stiff as a robot by expressing yourself in this way. Just make sure that you're not cursing people and you're light-hearted as you say a curse word.
5. Speaking in English with correct grammar doesn't make you classy.
Hear that, friends? Your mastery of the English language won't take you anywhere if the way you speak, the words you say, your attitude, and your personality are shitty. It just makes people know you went to a certain kind of school. (Yes, we're not even saying "educated.")
6. Being rich or enjoying expensive things doesn't make you classy either.
Sipping wine in your huge garden with a book in hand? Yes, you must be rich (or your family, not you, is rich). That's as far as we can say, really. That glass of wine or flute of champagne doesn't say much about how pleasing your personhood is.
7. You don't have to be demure and be like a statue to be classy.
Which is to say that at a gathering you don't have to just stand or sit and look pretty and stay silent to come off as classy. If anything, being like a statue will either make people think you're boring or hardly notice you at all (or just notice you for your looks).
As people, we're complex and dynamic. We're naturally flexible so we can adapt to what situations ask of us to be. You're choking yourself if you restrain yourself from LOL-ing at a joke or a blooper. Gone are the days (read: high school) when we thought our identities were tied to one adjective so we had to embody it all the time. That's really not the case with people at all. We have a number of "real selves."
8. There is a "classy" look.
Unfortunately/fortunately, "classy" has an image, as much as we've been emphasizing that class has much to do with your personality and character. But it's not about wearing designer clothes and toting a designer bag, as others would have you believe. It's possible that someone who's in head-to-toe designer looks really baduy, unkept, trashy, vulgar, or tacky. Think of being wasted all the time and stepping out of someone else's place in last night's clothes. Or just having a confusion of big labels across your body.
To look classy, you must be clean and pretty modest.
9. You need to be confident.
We're not talking about the confidence that we usually see translated to one's posture and body language. That already goes without saying. We're talking about being secure and comfortable with oneself. Do you like where you are now? If not, do you like how you're dealing with your circumstances? A classy person needs to be secure with herself so she doesn't feel the need to prove herself to other people or to crazily compete with them over many things. (Who knows what one can do in heat, right?
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.