Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smiling More Often Can Improve Your Life

Have you ever heard that Black women don't smile enough? It's a common complaint that I have heard online along with the other criticisms about us (I don't think Black men smile enough either). I admit, I don't think I smile enough. In the past I didn't smile often because I was just unhappy most of the time. I also avoided smiling out of fear that men I passed would think I was interested in them when I was not.

As part of my journey to become an Elegant Black Woman (EBW) I am going to smile more! I have been doing it for the past week, not a full toothy grin, but just a slight raise of the corners of my mouth. This looks much better than my relaxed face. In fact, I feel less tension around my eyes and forehead when I smile this way. My whole face feels somehow lighter. Plus, when I see people and they smile it is easier for me to smile back because my face is not locked in a frown. When I'm by myself and smiling I find myself laughing more and my mood is actually more positive. You get a warm, satisfied feeling when you have a slight grin. It really does have an effect on others because my coworkers have all asked me if something good happened or if I met a guy because I look so content!

Here are the main benefits of smiling that have been supported by research:
  • Smiling will improve your physical attractiveness. You will look more attractive, your face will be lifted, and you will look younger. You will look like a happy, confident, successful person.
  • Smiling will improve your social life. Other people will smile back at you. People are attracted to happy people and the smile on your face will tell them that you are happy.
  • Smiling improves your mood. Smiling is incompatible with negative thoughts and positive thoughts tend to pop into your head when you smile. Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin that help your body and brain to feel happy. These natural chemicals will also help you to feel less stressed.
  • Smiling is good for your health. Smiling boosts your immune system that protects you against illnesses. Smiling has been shown to reduce blood pressure and induce relaxation. Studies have shown that optimistic people (who tend to smile) live longer. 
This list was based on following articles that you can read for more details: Health Benefits of Smiling, The Remarkable Benefits of Smiling (cites research), 20 Benefits of Smiling, The Benefits of Smiling (psychological and social benefits), Little Known Reasons and Benefits of Smiling (interesting!), and Benefits of Smiling.

For a while I was reading jokes online so that I could tell them to my friends. I haven't done that in a while but I want to start again. I will have a laugh and I can lighten the mood in social settings. I suppose it's not ladylike to tell sex jokes, so I will just enjoy them and keep them to myself ;) Really, I need to take myself and life less seriously, it hasn't helped me at all to do otherwise!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why are Black Women Frustrated with Men?

Over the past two years some successful Black women have complained that they are unable to find a "Good Black Man". Some of you may have seen the Nightline special about this topic hosted by Sherry Sheppard, Steve Harvey, and other authors and celebrities. This has angered some Black men who complained that so many Black women are single because their standards are too high, they are too picky, and (groan) they are loud and have attitudes. Some have even argued that getting an education is not important and doesn't make a woman a better catch. This has resulted in some Black men and women vowing to never date Black again. Well guess what...this isn't just a Black issue.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, author Kay S. Hymowitz argues that this is the case for most men in the U.S. and Europe! The article explains that for the first time in history, people are going through a "pre-adulthood" period where they are not focused on marriage or children after high school. This has delayed marriage in many Western countries. Women in these countries complain that men their age still act like adolescents and do not appear ready for marriage (e.g., not going to college, playing video games all day, casual relationships with women, little ambition etc.).

A couple of things stood out for me in the article that make me feel more secure in my decision to not lower my standards. Since the 1980s' there has been a "college premium" meaning that individuals with an education do better in this "knowledge economy" where educated people get better jobs that pay well. This is why I want someone with an education and I don't know why some men don't understand this? Good education with transferable skills = good, secure job = middle income to support family. So if you don't have any of these things, you are less attractive to women, especially women who have achieved those things.

If I meet a man my age who doesn't have a degree or a good career I wonder what he has been doing since he graduated high school. If I don't know the man I would guess he was going from job to job, finding himself, playing around, maybe going to jail, but I would not assume he was doing something constructive or else he would have financial stability by now.

I know a lot of guys have had hard lives, but your suffering does not entitle you to have any any woman you want! Someone might date you because they feel sorry for you, but would you really want that? Why not look for someone who had a similar life to yours? I'm not looking for royalty or a billionaire (some women are), but I think those men are out of my league and some men need to accept that some women are out of their league too. Let me put it this way, if you are a man and you met a below-average looking woman who you were not attracted to at all, would you date her because she was nice and had a hard life? Well it's the same thing for a successful women when faced with a man who does not have the same level of success. You think to yourself that you can do better, everyone you know will be shocked and say you can do better, and when your date acts like a jerk you will start looking for someone better.

So I think I will end this post with a list of the things I'm looking for in a man and why in no particular order:
  • Treats me well and respects me: I want someone who is nice to me and cares about me. This will eventually become love. I don't want someone who is "just not that into" me. So this is a NICE GUY but he doesn't have to be perfect. This man is not overly controlling and does not insist that he makes all the decisions and that I "submit because he is a man". Definitely no Thugs!
  • Physically attractive (average, not overweight): I want a guy that I find cute who I want to make babies with. I don't want to feel gross if he touches me, I want to feel hot! I think we should have the same level of attractiveness and I don't expect someone way better looking than myself. I would find it hard to trust a man who was too good looking :)
  • My height (5'7") or taller (maybe an inch shorter): If the guy is shorter than me I will feel big and fat beside him. I will feel like the man. I could get over this if he meets most other things on my list.
  • College or university degree: As I said above good education = good secure job = middle income. If someone with a degree loses their job it is much easier for them to find another one because of their transferable skills.
  • Middle income job (he can be in-between jobs ONLY if he has a degree): Finances are important and anyone who says otherwise is being naive. A middle income buys a home in a safe neighborhood; safe, middle income neighborhoods have better schools for your kids; middle income areas have grocery stores where you can buy healthy food for your family; a middle income will pay for your children's education so that they can finish school without a huge debt burden; middle income allows you to fulfill basic needs; during tough times if one partner can not work (illness, loss of employment) the family will not be forced into poverty. I came from a middle income home and if I do not provide that for my children then I have failed.
  • No criminal background or history of violence: I want someone who has made good choices in life. A criminal record also interferes with getting a good job. He can NEVER hit me and if I find out he has abused other women it is over. No Thugs!
  • No substance abuse: Nothing good comes of it. I would prefer someone with no past abuse either because it is common to relapse. There is no such thing as casual substance abuse to me.
  • Non-religious. I am agnostic and I think it would be difficult raising children with an avid believer. It's hard enough getting along with friends who are religious because we see things so differently sometimes.
  • Common values and life goals: This one is very important and ties into being non-religious. This will help us to get along and make sure that we are on the same path.  My goals are finish degree, meet Mr. Right, get a job in my field,  get married, have kids, raise kids, send kids to university or college, live the rest of our lives.
  • Actually likes Black women: If the man is not Black then I don't want to be his "little experiment" to see what it's like to be with a Black woman. He has to have social experience with Black people and know how to act around them. I can not be with someone who complains about reverse racism, being "too PC", pulling the race card, Black people are too sensitive etc. This person has to have some experience and knowledge of what it's like to be a racial minority. If the man is Black and he is conflicted about race...I can work with that because we have all gone through this but I'll have to keep an eye on it.
That's it. I don't think it's to picky. He doesn't have to be six feet tall or a millionaire. He can be average looking. I'm open to dating other races because I want to get married and have kids more than anything in the world.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blog Review: Be Exquisite - Part 1

This is Part 1 of my review of the beautiful and elegant Be Exquisite blog! I started the review from page 26 to page 16. Part 1 of this review will be about the best advice and must read posts. Part 2 will be about the many thoughts and questions that popped into my head while reading her blog (that are likely to inspire future posts). I will review the rest of the blog in a future post.

I really like this blog! I think it's quite unique because I was only able to find four other blogs that discuss femininity and elegance in a similar way and this is the only one by an Elegant Black Woman (EBW). I love that the blog is a mix of quotes, advice, and examples of feminine elegance. Be Exquisite is filled with quotes, proverbs, and dictionary definitions and I enjoyed all of them. I think that people who use such quotes sound more credible because how can you really argue with a quote or ancient proverb? This is one to remember: "You define yourself with your deeds, words, and actions. Others define you with their perception of your deeds, words, and actions." I have learned a lot so far from reading and had to look up the definitions of orisha, deportment, and carriage. She also mentioned some elegant Black women like The Supremes, Diana Ross, Ertha Kitt, Naiomi Sims. Dorothy Dandridge, and Dianne Carrol. It's truly amazing that her family spent the time to teach her these things because that was a lot of quality time well spent! I hope she saves her blog posts to give to her own daughter or a female relative. I think that any woman who wants to improve her femininity, grace, manners, and deportment will benefit greatly from reading Be Exquisite!

Best Advice:
  • Learn about the world because it makes you interesting and gives you something to talk about.
  • Think about who you keep company with because they may actually be making your life worse and making you look bad.
  • I liked the idea of venerating your ancestors because I don't think people do this anymore.
  • Wear clothing styles and accessories that men do not. That will emphasize your femininity.
  • Be sensual! Sensuality is about being pleasurable to the senses. You can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar and negativity is not pleasing to the ears. I think that some men complain about loud women because they are not pleasurable to the ear. We need to speak in a more sensual manner to get what we want.
  • I love the explanation that "attractive outfits which accentuate the female form are feminine...Attractive outfits which reveal the female form are sexy". The next time I buy clothing it will all be feminine!
  • Seamless boyshorts are the best underwear because they hold everything in and they don't show.
  • "By your own words, deeds, and actions you are continuously teaching others how to treat you."
  • Respect yourself. "Let your words, deeds, and actions, place you in the best light. Refuse anything that is not advantageous to you".
  • Try to listen to your intuition. I'm not even sure how to use this because many women like me have been taught that thinking with our heads through reason is the only way to do things.
  •  "There are times when silence has the loudest voice", Leroy Brownlow. "Just because something is true doesn't mean you have to say it," Katherine Triandafilou.
  • If someone compliments you say "Thank you" smile and maybe tell them "It was nice of you to say that" brilliant!
Must Read Posts:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Instantly Improve your Posture and Appearance

One way to improve your feminine appearance is to improve your posture. Feminine women like Zoe Saldana were trained in dance and have excellent posture. When you stand up straight with your shoulders back you appear thinner, healthier, and more attractive. You will also experience less back pain and you will walk more gracefully.

The Feminine Woman has an excellent article with video demonstrations of stretches you can use to improve your posture! I have been doing the stretches for the past 3 days and they work! I had thought that I had great posture, but after doing the stretches I realized that my shoulders were rounded forward and when I stood normally my palms faced the front of my thighs. After I do the stretches my shoulders are pulled back, my back is flat, and my palms face the sides of my thighs so there is a major difference. Elegant also has several articles about improving your posture. I'm going to do these exercises daily until my posture is permanently corrected.

I also read on another blog, possibly The Art of Being Feminine, that if you are having difficulty walking in a feminine manner, practice walking on your toes. I have done this several times over the past few days. I notice that when I walk on my toes I'm actually more graceful! I can only take smaller steps, I somehow carry and turn my head differently, and I move and pick things up in a more delicate manner. Perhaps due to my precarious body position I am unable to do things with as much force so every movement is delicate and graceful. This may be why women who wear heels appear more feminine and graceful as well. There are several videos on YouTube about how to walk in heels so please take a look at them. Once the weather clears up I am going to try wearing heels again and I will definitely wear them when I start dating again. Later on I will invest in 2 pairs of high quality heels so that I can be comfortable, but I won't become a Carrie Bradshaw!

On Elegant there is an article called Ballet for Elegance. I admit that ballet dancers look elegant and graceful but I have negative feelings about the art because of the demand that the dancers are underweight and the foot pain (if I had a daughter I would not enroll her in ballet or gymnastics).  However, the author did make a good point that most ballet exercises involve stretching which improves flexibility. I rarely stretch but I think I will start!

I can't believe I'm saying this but...I just walked around the room with a book on my head! The truth is, it works! When you walk with a book on your head you have to walk slower and keep your head straight. If you pick anything up or turn your head you have to do it slowly and carefully. When you can walk with a book on your head you will be walking and moving gracefully! I imagine that after a while your body will remember the movements and you will always move gracefully. I'm going to practice this, some may laugh, but looking graceful is no different from wearing trendy clothes, make-up, and getting your hair done--they all make you look beautiful!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Modern Femininity: Sade - By Your Side

Watch the Video...simply lovely!

Lessons We Can Learn from Secretaries

I was thinking last night about examples of really feminine women aside from celebrities. I started to think about jobs that are traditionally feminine and had a great idea! I think it will be easier for me to let my feminine side show if I think about women in traditional feminine jobs and what about those jobs exemplify feminine characteristics! I have a whole list in mind. I also realized that women with these jobs tend to be in men's erotic fantasies, That just shows how much men love feminine women!

The first example of a traditionally feminine role model is The Secretary/ Receptionist.
I'll use an idealized version of a secretary as an example because we know that all secretaries don't look like this ----------->
  1. Appearance: Secretaries/receptionists are always neatly dressed, often in feminine attire like blouses and skirts. Their appearance is always neat, they wear make-up, and have nicely groomed hair. A secretary/receptionist is the first person someone meets when they visit a workplace, therefore, their appearance always makes a good impression. Does your appearance make a good impression for yourself, your man, your family, or your boss?
  2. Manners: Secretaries/receptionists must have good manners and social skills in order to get along with everyone in a company and anyone who visits the workplace. I have always admired their ability to greet everyone with a smile, be cheery on the phone, and never let their negative emotions show (I personally could not be cheery having so many demands and being required to smile while dealing with annoying people. This is a TRUE SKILL). They use proper telephone etiquette, current writing conventions, and have good speaking skills. How do you appear to others? Can you control your emotions in public? How are your manners?
  3. Special Skills: Secretaries/Receptionists also have excellent time-management and scheduling skills because they know everything that is going on in the company (especially with their bosses) and make sure everyone keeps to their schedule. Are you often late or do you miss appointments? Do you keep track of you man's and your kids' schedules so that they are always on time and don't miss appointments? (they should also do this themselves but you can be the back-up)
  4.  Discretion: People love to stand around the secretary/receptionist's desk and talk. They hear EVERYTHING! A secretary is privy to all of a company's secrets and if she is a true lady, she keeps those secrets and does not spread them around. She also refrains from revealing too much personal information about herself that could quickly spread around the office. Do you talk too loudly so that everyone can hear your business? Do you gossip about your friends or coworkers? Do you keep the secrets of people who trust you?
  5. Caring and Giving: Secretaries/receptionists are essential for offices to run because they know everything including where everything is and how the office operates. When secretaries go on strike the productivity of the office loses steam. Are you indispensable to your man, your friends, or your family because of the things you do for them? Do you bring anything positive to those relationships or do you just take?
As you can see, there are many things we can learn from the ideal secretary that can make us better women and they truly exemplify femininity!

Where I Need to Improve

I have been reading the five blogs I posted about here and a few of them, like The Art of Being Feminine reminded me that I need to start this journey by taking inventory of my current ladylike qualities and areas where I need improvement. So let's start with the positive.

My Positive Qualities
  • I routinely say please, thank-you, and you're welcome. I graciously thank people who have helped me or complimented me
  • I have fairly good (average) manners
  • I am not loud when speaking or laughing and I do not yell
  • I never chew with my mouth open. If I have to answer a question with my mouth full I try to finish chewing and then hold my hand over my mouth when I speak. (I think I can avoid this by just taking smaller bites and eating more slowly)
  • I never burp in public
  • I keep up my appearance
  • I exercise regularly, eat healthy, and have a healthy body weight
  • I rarely swear (and I don't think I will have a problem stopping completely)
  • I have discussions but I don't argue
  • I dress nicely and like to wear dresses and feminine clothing (but it's hard to do in the winter)
  • I wear make-up and jewlery
  • I have good posture, sit nicely, and walk upright
  • I have natural hair that I have learned to take care of and style nicely
  • I am educated
  • I speak well using proper grammar (from now on I will severely limit my use of slang)
  • I am a great listener 
  • I don't brag or boast
  • I do not bully or insult people (I may have a few times to unpleasant people on YouTube though)
  • I do not hope bad things happen to other people
  • I care about others and want to help people
  • I am not aggressive and would never even think of hitting someone
  • I have goals and a plan for my life
  • I am not a golddigger
My Negative Qualities 
  • I don't smile enough and find it hard to hide my anger or sadness
  • I complain (e.g., about the weather, not having money, being busy etc.)
  • I disclose too much personal information (this has caused embarrassment recently)
  • Sometimes I say bad things about my parents
  • I don't socialize as much as I could out of fear of being a burden or being rejected
  • I need more hobbies (hard to do on a budget though)
  • I think negatively a lot more than is necessary. I let things bother me when I really don't have to and pay too much attention to negative things (e.g., YouTube videos)
  • I don't think positively about some people
  • Sometimes I interrupt someone I'm talking too because I really want to say something  
  • I stopped wearing high heels
  • I am sometimes too passive and fearful of rejection
Things I Need to Learn More About
  • Party etiquette
  • How to improve my walk
  • How to be more attractive
  • How to attract, get along with, and have a relationship with men
  • How to be more graceful, poised, and elegant
  • Rules of etiquette
  • How to act more like a traditional feminine woman
  • How to dress more modestly
As you can see, I have positive and negative traits and there are some things I can learn to improve my attractiveness :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why Become an Elegant Black Woman?

This is a question I know I will be asked when people hear about this blog. People who know me will wonder why I suddenly decided to do this (I explained why here). People who don't know me will wonder why ANYONE would want to do this. In fact, I had a discussion with some work colleagues about this and one of them said acting more feminine was fake, no one should change in this way to get a man, and a man should love you just the way you are ;) I found it difficult to explain my reasoning and as you remember from this post, I did have some thoughts about whether this was trying to emulate someone else.

Fortunately I found two articles on The Feminine Woman that can help clarify that this is not about being someone fake and that there are actual benefits of becoming more elegant. You must read What is Fake Feminine? The article explains that becoming more feminine is actually allowing your natural femininity show instead of repressing it. I began repressing my femininity during childhood. Based on teachings about equality and feminism I automatically rejected certain things because they were expected of girls or boys were not encouraged to do those things. For instance, I rarely wore skirts or dresses, I scoffed at the idea of dance lessons, I looked disapprovingly at "girly girls", and I refused to learn how to cook because that's what women traditionally did! In my mind I thought that the way to succeed and be taken seriously was to avoid learning anything that was traditionally feminine and to have androgynous pursuits. I even thought that if I liked things guys did then they would like me more because I would be like one of their guy friends!

I was not intentionally "trying to be a man". I did wear women's clothes and make-up, most of the time I had long hair, and I chose a career field that is now predominated by women. I just had a negative attitude about "feminine pursuits" and thought people would use them against me somehow. What the article explains is that being more feminine is about changing my attitude about femininity and letting my innate feminine qualities show, instead of repressing them out of fear they will harm me or make me appear weak in front of others. We all act differently depending on the situation and that does not mean we are being fake. We just let some things show more or less depending on the company we are with but they are all aspects of the real you. For example we act differently with our parents, friends, boyfriends, employers, and when no one is watching.

The second article I read was Why Be Feminine? This article lists some benefits of being more feminine. Please also read Develop Poise for Beauty and Grace at Elegant to learn about the history of poise. Although there are benefits that does not mean it's insincere manipulation to get some kind of reward. It's just a fact of life that your life may go better if you have certain characteristics (e.g., if you are not a Black women you don't have to worry about being stereotyped as angry and loud). Is it wrong to become more feminine because men prefer it? I don't think so. We learn and do so many things to be appealing to men (e.g., wearing make-up, dressing well, etc.) and as I said, this is letting your feminine side show instead of repressing it because men prefer that.

I think women like me thought men preferred someone who was more like them. I always remember learning in school that people get along with people who are similar to them, but apparently this is not the case with femininity. I believed that men thought girly things were stupid and ridiculous but they might not even realize they love it! (Side Note: Have you ever pretended to like sports, cars, or action films to get along with a guy? No need to pretend anymore!) This article really hit home for me and made me think about my aversion to cooking because it was "woman's work". Most men LOVE a woman who can cook so why not learn this skill to attract the man of your dreams? Women get plastic surgery, give their bodies away, give up their dreams, and have open relationships sometimes for men. If I can get the same results with cooking then I choose that because we all have to eat!

Here is the list of benefits:
  1. You will be successful in your romantic relationship.
  2. People are nicer to attractive people so you can get what you need or want (but not in a manipulative way).
  3. Other people will want to protect you.
  4. Femininity is rare nowadays so you will become more attractive than other women. (With the competition for good men this is so important!!!)
  5. You will be expressing more of your true self.
  6. You will understand and appreciate men more.
After reading these articles I am a peace with my decision to become an Elegant Black Woman (EBW). I'm letting my natural femininity show through and it's just lucky that people (especially men) like this!

Modern Femininity: Rihanna - Only Girl (In The World)

Watch this video by Rihanna. She is definitely showing her feminine and girly side in this one :)

Watch the Video I won't embed videos on the site because they are playing automatically for some reason and I find that annoying (especially if I'm at work)!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Now that this blog is off to a good start it's time for the learning to begin! I have found five blogs that I think I will read from top to bottom. Each week I will read parts of these blogs, write about what was interesting to me, what I thought was great, and what I thought was ridiculous. The five chosen blogs are...

Be Exquisite
The Feminine Woman
Grace and Poise

The Art of Being Feminine 
Elegant Woman

I chose Be Exquisite because it was the only blog I found that was by a Black woman being elegant, it has so many tips, and it was exactly what I was looking for. This blog is written by a Black woman who was taught how to be a lady by her family. She was raised to be elegant! I just wish the archives were listed on the blog because it took a while to get back to her very first post.

The Feminine Woman is a great site and I am so excited to read it! It is full of information about being feminine. I spent some time on the site yesterday and there are two articles that I must write about ASAP! I also appreciate that they use multicultural images on the site.

Grace & Poise is the site to learn about how to be a lady. It has lessons about everything you need to know about becoming a lady and actually uses photos of the Danish royal family for examples which is pretty cool!

The Art of Being Feminine is an ideal choice because it is about how to accept your femininity and be the remarkable elegant creature you were meant to be. There are MANY articles on this site so I'm sure I will learn a lot.

I chose Elegant Woman because it is just FILLED with information about how to be an elegant woman. I have read a lot of it already, but I'm going to go back and write down my thoughts about the things I read. This blog is by an Asian woman.

I think that these are good places to start.

I also had a great idea for another feature! Each week I will watch and review a movie that provides a great example of elegance in action! While I watch the movie (probably while I'm on the treadmill) I will pay close attention to the tips and to the behaviours of the chosen "elegant actress". Then I will do a review. I'm so glad I can work my love of movies into this endeavor. Plus, since I am a starving student I will watch the movie online for free! I challenge everyone to not spend a dime on learning how to be elegant because I don't plan to! I will also make sure to include many films of Elegant Black Women (EBWs). Here are some of the movies I plan to review: Dreamgirls, Centre Stage, The Black Swan, Miss Congeniality, and that Marylin Monroe movie that Madonna did an homage to in Material Girl. I plan to include some Classic films like Gone With The Wind (I'm trying not to gag), Casablanca, Bollywood films like Kama Sutra and the like, and Asian films like Memoirs of a Geisha. I might even try to tolerate some musicals (women are supposed to like them...gag).

The first movie to be reviewed will be....


So stay tuned for that!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Coming Soon!

I gave up blogging a few years ago but it feels really great that I have started again! I just had to find something I cared about and I care about how Black women are perceived. I will also be looking for Mr. Right in the near future and I have standards so I want to meet Mr. Right's standards too. So, these are some topics that I plan to write about and do YouTube videos about:

  •  Areas where I need to improve in order to be a good Elegant Black Woman (EBW)
  • The negative effect hip hop has had on the femininity of Black women and the behaviour of Black men;
  • Creating a lady-like appearance on a budget;
  • The Books "The Rules" and "He's Just Not That Into You" and how they helped me change my ideas about dating and what men want;
  • Features about EBW celebrities 
  • Why natural hair may be an important part of being an EBW;
  • Why Black women need to exercise and cook healthier meals;
  • What I think would change if all Black women became EBWs;
  • Why I think Black women need to date interracially more often.

Is Trying to be Elegant Also Trying to be White?

Searching for websites about elegance, manners, and being a lady brought up some conflicting thoughts. For one, none of the websites I found were owned by Black women (maybe I just have to search better though). Furthermore, 95% of the elegant women posted on the blogs were White besides Michelle Obama! I tried to think of some elegant Black women and it was hard because I've never done that before, but I would put Michelle Obama, Iman, Zoe Saldana, Thandie Newton, Angela Bassett, Nia Long, and Saana Lathan on my list. The websites I visited tended to have black and white photos of actresses who died long ago like Audrey Hepburn (I have never even seen one of her movies), Grace Kelly, Eva Gabor and others that you can see in this article where there isn't a single Black actress.

Just look at this photo! When I look at it (just the photo not the real actress who I heard was very nice) I think snobby, upper-class woman, born into wealth, who never had to do anything for herself, who would never give a Black person the time of day unless they were serving her. Many of the photos on the websites had women dressed in 1920s, 30s, and 40s clothing or even Renaissance style paintings with no dark faces in sight. So if I go on this endeavor of becoming an Elegant Black Woman (EBW), then doesn't that mean I'm trying to be a White woman?

I took some time to think about it. I think that what would help me more is if I put up photos of elegant Black women so that I can remind myself and others that having manners, poise, grace, and elegance does not have to be linked to race. I will not entertain the notion that Black women must act badly in order to avoid being called White. Why would anyone choose and defend being rude, uncultured, obnoxious, loud, and un-feminine? I certainly will not. I think that women have these traits to varying degrees.

One positive thing that came out of reading websites made by White, Asian, and Indian women was that supressing our femininity and being lax with manners is not simply a "Black thing". Its something women of other ethnicities and countries are also concerned about! So, women losing their ladylike mannerisms is a problem for MANY women in industrialized countries where Feminism has been accepted and women work.

How Will I learn to Be an Elegant Black Woman?

I started my research into becoming an Elegant Black Woman (EBW) last night. I found a bunch of articles and websites that provided hours of reading. I'll post them below and later on move them to the sidebars for future reference. I learned a lot in a short period of time and of course some of it is review and I haven't finished everything, but I will. I'll be looking for more articles and blogs related to this topic. There are even YouTube videos that I'll make a post about.

I found it really interesting that I don't recall reading the word "submission" anywhere in these articles. They talked about being demure, not saying everything that comes to your mind, letting the man lead sometimes (e.g., letting him drive), letting men feel needed, complimenting him on being masculine, and listening to people, but no where did it talk about letting men rule your life. In fact, one article actually said the modern lady is INDEPENDENT and she does not let her man, parents, or in-laws rule her life. She is in control! I think the men who are demanding submission are just controlling and want to rule their women. Don't listen to them unless you want to be a doormat to a sexist person who does not think you are capable of making any good decisions.

How to be Feminine
How to be Feminine 101
Tips on How to Be More Femine
How to Be Feminine (
Self-Help for how to be More Feminine
How to be a Lady
A Guide to Elegance

How to be Classy:
How to be Classy
How to be Classy and Elegant Without Money
How to be Classy
How to be Classy
25 Ways to be Classy
What Does it Mean Being a "Classy Woman"
Let's Bring Back Some Class
How to Be Classy Without Being Rich

Websites: This site has so much information!
A to Z Guide to Manners and Etiquette

Good Manners:
How to Have Good Manners
What are Good Manners?
What are Good Manners? (Wisegeek)
Good Manners (kids health) yes it's for kids but it's still useful

How to Develop Poise
Poise, Posture, and Performance
How to Improve Poise
How to Cultivate Poise
How to Improve your Poise and Posture
Self-Help Guide How to Develop Poise and Act with Grace and Style
Walking with Grace and Poise
poise: Have you Lose the Art of Natural Movement?

How to be Graceful:
How to Be Graceful
Advice and Resources on Being and Raising a Lady
How to be Graceful
How to be Graceful
How to be More Graceful
How to Look Graceful in Heels

How to be Girly:
How to Be a Girly Girl
How to be a Girly Girl
How to be Girly
How to be a Girly Girl
top 10 Ways to be Girly

It is Time for the New Elegant Black Woman

If you are a Black person in North America then you know that things are not as good as they could be. Many Black women are becoming educated and obtaining multiple degrees so that they can provide for themselves and their families. These are good women. Those women without much education education are trying their best to find happiness and fulfillment in their relationships and motherhood roles. These are good women too. But sometimes it seems that all the world can see are those women in the minority of black women who make us all look bad. You know who I'm talking about and I'm going to be a lady and not disparage them out here. I'm tired of the negative stereotypes about us!

For the past few years I have been an avid consumer of blogs, websites, and YouTube videos related to Black issues. You may have noticed that recently that YouTube has exploded with hatred against Black women! Black men who have somehow been wronged by us have gone on that site spreading hate propaganda against Black women which hurts their own mothers, sisters, and daughters! These men have taken it upon themselves to spread racism against their own women for the world to see! They post videos criticizing Black women so harshly that no one is willing to listen to them. They quote the Bible and rant that "Black women need to be submissive". Then there are the other Black men who say becoming educated and independent women hurts the Black community and that we need to lower our standards when selecting a mate. So our own men are saying that we are not good enough for them, no one wants us, and we are a lost cause (seriously, some of them are calling for a boycott of Black women...can you believe it?).

 Now the last straw came when an Ethiopian woman (Akat042001 on YouTube) decided to go on a racist rant against Black women. Her video is all over the web and garnered countless comments and response videos. Some Black gentlemen came to the defense of Black women and I love them for that. However, some Black men actually commended her racism and supported her future videos lambasting Black women! I have no idea why her YouTube account has not been deleted.

I did not start this blog to please those Black men who have rejected Black women because what would be the point of trying to please someone who doesn't want you. I definitely did not start this video because I think Akat042001 was right. I started this because I think that it's time that Black women change their image so that we able to achieve the things that we want and deserve. I am educated and I have good manners that I learned from my parents and school. Some women were not as fortunate and therefore, they do not know how to carry themselves as ladies and that seems to be the reason for the negative impression the world has of ALL Black women.

It seemed to me that something like loudness and attitude could be easily remedied by education on how to act differently instead of constant nagging and ridicule. So, instead of listening to the racists I decided to Google, etiquette, manners, elegance, and how to be a lady. I was pleasantly surprised by numerous interesting websites dedicated to these topics! I spent hours reading and learning. Yes, learning! I am not perfect either and I think we can all stand to 'up our game' because we have to compete with all other women for husbands of all ethnicities (we need to date out ladies).

If we want to attract good men (educated, employed, gentlemen) then we need to be sophisticated, elegant, ladies. If we learn how accept and exude our femininity the way we did before the Feminist movement, then we will become the desire of all men (and still have careers).  These things can be learned! Ladies, if we do these things then the reward will be the companionship of gentlemen who will adore us, protect us, marry us, and take care of their families. So follow me on this blog as I learn how to become more poised, elegant, and lady like and report back on how this has helped my dating life.