Elegant women are kind online
This post is about elegance…specifically… elegant character and how elegant women are kind online.
One of my favorite traits of truly elegant women are their grace and kindness inside. They know there is strength and power in kindness.
In my Cultivating Everyday Elegance series, we have discussed many things, and I cannot overlook this topic in today’s world.
I must use my computer, phone, and social media for my profession…so I see constantly how all three have become weapons.
It breaks my heart to see women… who look elegant on the outside….attacking others for the sake of humor or to be “cool” in order to gain acceptance by a like-minded group.
The pandemic and the political atmosphere have caused many to quickly pull the trigger of unkindness behind the screen.
As a journalism educator for 16 years, I taught my young reporters to practice empathy with each assignment. “Always put yourself in the shoes of the one being interviewed…no matter what you think of them or their situation.”
But, so many don’t think of others. Especially if “others” believe opposite politically…then it seems to be OK to ridicule them for what they say, wear, read, and believe.
The current “cancel culture” is so dangerous for America, and the fact that we easily ridicule others and do not consider their feelings is just as dangerous.
Women have been known for our kindness throughout history….and especially hospitality and kindness from woman to woman.
You can show this same kindness online. I try to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (sound familiar?) in all situations. Quick to listen means we listen to what others have to say before we pounce.
I am not encouraging you to be a person who never expresses your opinion. In fact, I am a very opinionated individual…with strong beliefs.
However, I actually turned down a high-powered job in Washington D.C. years ago because I knew how to vocalize my beliefs with compassion, intelligence, grace, and strength. The non-profit organization had heard me and needed a media spokesperson who could do just that.
Why did I turn it down? The offer came at the moment I learned of my first pregnancy. The job was going to require more of me than I was willing to give as a new mom.
I want to leave a legacy with my grandchildren of kindness and they must see that reflected in my online persona as well. I must walk the walk, and talk the talk if I want to have influence where it matters most…with them.
Do I occasionally falter and let my anger get the best of me? We all do, but may I never intentionally be unkind to someone who believes differently from me.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you….
This brings me to our segments here called Would You Wear It? Many of you may have read Jennifer’s post on Monday.
It seems like every week I have written a reminder of how to express your opinion on these mannequins without leveling personal attacks.
I still believe there is value in discussing current clothing on displays. I think it helps the consumer and the retailers.
I know some minds have been changed and eyes opened through the comments.
A constructive comment example is: “I would not wear this boxy jacket on my curvy figure because it would make me look larger.”
However, an unkind comment example is: “How could anyone wear this outfit! It looks like what my grandmother wore…and I hate looking like a grandmother!”
Please, please do not give the displays labels that might make someone who believes opposite of you feel bad or attacked.
Actually, I have a super power…I am grandmother to six! Let’s not label bad fashion as grandmother style…but turn that around and show how today’s grandmother rocks her personal style with confidence!
Jennifer and I have noticed lately that there are more comments which place those labels on clothing that might offend others who like the styles.
CONSTRUCTIVE EVALUATION, please. Of course if you don’t like something we believe you should absolutely comment and tell us why…but with constructive thought.
It is better to say something like….“I personally do not wear polka dots because I believe they age me.”
Saying styles are matronly on you is different from the granny-labels.
So many have asked us to continue Would You Wear It? that we want to keep it going…but let’s all practice true elegance and be kind with our comments. Stop and think before you post…would the way I am saying this offend?
I do not think anyone in this audience is being purposefully mean. I think all of us are a bit de-sensitized in today’s volatile world. Let’s put elegance back into social media!
I give this yellow rose from Texas to all the elegant women who believe in kindness whether in person or online. Think before you share something unkind that someone else has posted.
Be your true elegant, kind self….and let’s be part of the solutions to unify people. And reach out helping hands around the world.
Elegant women build up…not tear down.
I will have a mid-week Would You Wear It Pop-Up? tomorrow!
KEEP SMILING, LADIES!
By Pamela Lutrell
Now…here is a little fun…SNEAKERS for spring!
Well said. Personally I like to read the comments from the other ladies for ideas that they have come up with that I may not have thought of. However, I do get very upset at the mean comments leveled at the clothes and the blogger. What is wrong with just not leaving a comment if you really don’t like an item. One blogger I follow here in Canada was subject to a really nasty person who mentioned that she did not like the content and thought it was shallow. Well, don’t follow that person, but no need to be so nasty. I know that you put in a lot of hours and research into this blog and are truely appreciated for your work and if I ever found my opinions differing, I would move on for that post.Thanks for your efforts.
I always enjoy your daily blog and find myself smiling when I see it has come into my emails. I agree that in these times, people seem to lash out without thinking. Maybe we should go back to the old adage of counting to ten before we speak (or post online).
I do hope things in the environment are getting better for you all in Texas. When we have hurricanes, if the power goes out, it might last as long as week. But since my husband had a generator installed we have not (thankfully) had the necessity to check it out! However, it the bad times come, we are ready! But as a child, I do remember my mother scrubbing out the tub and filling it with water,etc. for preparedness. Food items that could be grilled or cooked over a sterno(you are too young to know what this is) unit were always on hand Anyway thing will get better and it will be come the stuff of legends to tell you grandchildren-Do you remember? Stay safe! I am finally beginning to get kitchen reno together. Yeah.
I too read Jennifer’s comments Monday about readers who were not very kind, and thought how common unkind, ugly comments seem to have become. So many people feel it is their “right” to say, to do whatever they choose with no concern for who is hurt in the process. As Jennifer said…mean girls grow up to be mean women. When someone is mean, my first thought is that they are already dealing with some difficulty in their lives which then becomes a way to cope. They then take on this personality because it makes them feel more in control. We are dealing with such abnormalities in our lives now….let’s hope and pray that as we return to more normal situations, some of the stresses we are all living daily will be replaced with more kindness, and loving spirits.
This is a topic that needs to be addressed, sad to say. It seems that our current culture incites anger and division, and that is unfortunate. I like that you steer clear of the trigger topics because some don’t. I have had to leave social media because even though I basically used it to catch up on family things and decorating ideas, I found it to be a black hole of discord and didn’t like how I felt after scrolling through for a few minutes. I’m much happier this way, but certainly appreciate those who, like you, have to use it for a career reason. It’s knowing what to read and when to stop I guess! I do enjoy “Would You Wear It” and think your occasional reminders about comments do help. To me, angry comments and shrill speech fly in the face of elegant behavior, and I try to be mindful of this in my conversations with others, especially with those whose opinions are the opposite of mine. Great topic and I’m glad you mentioned it!
I learn so much from ‘would you wear it’. There are astute observations that I never considered–please continue it. I also appreciate both you and Jennifer for calling attention to the spite and anger that has become perversive in our culture. Can you imagine what the same women who go off the rails at a photo of a mannequin do when they are exposed to something of importance? It was once considered rude, and a person’s reputation would suffer if they were impolite or intentionally hurtful. Today, I am embarrassed for the woman who believes there are no ramifications for their actions. One never knows what another is thinking about you or what you say. Therefore, I never assume someone believes as I do politically or make generalizations because of one’s associations or appearance. The pendulum will swing back to basic decency with more discussion like and Jennifer are doing. There are consequences for poor behavior. The ones that are vehemenently critical and caustic must learn to realize it.
What a wonderful, well spoken and positive blog. There is so much negativity in the world at this time. You really confirm for me how we must focus on ourselves and the example we set. We cannot control what others are saying, only how we react. I have found recently that in social media I had to remove myself from seeing comments and opinions of very angry individuals. This included blocking a family member from my face book.
A favorite quote – from Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing is so gentle as real strength.”
Thank you all for sharing your comments. Wishing you all a wonderful day!!
So true, which makes it so sad. I do believe that the anonymity of the internet gives people a false sense of what they consider courage. I consider it cowardice. I don’t think it’s brave to say online what you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Stating your opinion does not have to be insulting. While the internet has given us so much to try to maintain our “normal” lives this past year, it has in some cases taken away the civility of in-person interactions. Just taking a moment to pause and really think about how your response will be perceived is not a difficult thing to do. We all need a little kindness and grace these days!
What a wonderful and positive comment this morning. This really confirms for me how important it is that we are conveying a positive and uplifting presence and that we are at peace with ourselves. There is so much hatred in the country I was becoming overwhelmed with the news, social media and hate speech. I had to look at how how I could remove the negativity. I actually had to remove an immediate family member from my social media accounts and withdraw my membership with some groups when I realized I could not have a positive impact.
A favorite quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson “Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing is so gentle as real strength.”
Wishing all of you a wonderful day.
Thank you so much for being a shining example of civility and kindness! I have avoided most social media as well as the newspaper and televised news this past year because of the vicious remarks. Maybe I’m naive but I would like to think that most people are thoughtful and considerate. We just keep to ourselves. You give me hope that gracefulness has not disappeared!
Thank you for reminding all women that there is NOTHING cool or powerful in demeaning another person or a line of clothing It shows weakness and immaturity. To not like a style is a personal choice, but you can say that in kindness.
The outfits you display today are definitely my retirement style. I live in the Northeast and still wearing sweaters pretty much every day. I like the red sweater and the trendy jacket tossed casually over the shoulder is very nice. I’ll still be in my winter coat for needed , heavier weight. Still cold.
The vee neck tee is something I’d gravitate toward too. Love the necklace!
Kindness matters in all things, and always. Social politeness should extend to all situations. Personally, I sign up and sign in using my full name whenever I access any on-line format – this blog, Pinterest, Trip Advisor reviews, etc. That is my measure of accountability in the broader world, and perhaps if more people did so they would pause before ‘publishing’ and find a gentler way to express disagreement.
Kindness is always beautiful! Well written and needed!
So Sorry Ladies – I posted twice this – I did not realize the first posted due to an error on my part. Please ignore one of the posts
Civility and kindness do seem to be forgotten more now than ever with social media but also with our so called newscasters . Like others I’m off FB and never watch mainstream television anymore. I have noticed on Talbots write a review section that there seem to be trollers who write a nasty, incomprehensible review of a garment. I like that Talbots has a report button so they can remove the comment. As women we need to support and uplift one another. In my golfing community we have a no negativity rule and try our best to encourage one another.
Such a good post, Pam. I too was disappointed by the comments on Jennifer’s blog. Thank you for addressing it.
It’s always a good idea to remind everyone about using appropriate wording. I read the comments on Jennifer’s blog and I can see that the granny comments are hurtful to many. However, I think the fashion industry is partly to blame as those are words they put into our fashion vocabulary. Pam, giving an example of how to appropriately comment is very helpful. One of the ladies who used the granny word posted a very heartfelt apology on Jennifer’s blog Monday. I applaud her for having the courage to admit she was wrong. We’ve all said things we wish we could take back.
Maybe part of the problem is the nature of online “conversations”. A commenter’s opinion may be misunderstood by the reader and there is no opportunity for the commenter to clarify what was meant. I appreciate the examples you gave for constructive disagreement. It is difficult to criticize constructively. Do your reader’s feel “matronly” is a kinder descriptor than “granny”? Jennifer’s column sparked a dinner table discussion with my family last night and that’s what I want to get from online blogs.
My daughter (who is a Customer Service manager at our local power company) and I just had this conversation at lunch! She said that people who call into their customer service department have gotten nastier and meaner as the months have gone by this last year. We agreed that the constant wearing of masks may be helping to protect us health-wise, but manners and civility are suffering greatly! Where we used to nod and smile meeting someone in the aisle at the grocery store or at the post office was automatic, it seems to be no longer possible. Since we cannot see each other’s face, we just look down or straight ahead and don’t even acknowledge people. My daddy – who was 87 when he died – loved to speak to every person he met every where he went! We are truly losing something precious and it saddens me to think it’s only going to get worse. When people feel anonymous (such as online making snarky or rude comments) or covered in a mask, the manners we were taught and taught our own children, for heaven’s sake! – are forgotten. I pray that the Lord uses all this craziness for good (Genesis 50:20 and Romans 8:28) and we come out of this stronger, better, and kinder!!! Of course, there are always going to be rude, disgruntled folks who are unhappy at the world and feel the need to share that with the rest of us. Bless their hearts, we’ll pray for them, too. I’ve backed way off social media – only looking at Facebook once or twice a day to catch up with love ones (grandbabies!). I hope you continue with “Would You Wear It”, but I totally understand if you decide to take a break from it! Be Blessed Today, Pam!
This is an important topic of discussion. The past year has been a difficult one for all of us. Some have reacted by becoming meaner and more critical while others have become touchier or more sensitive to criticism. We all need to be aware of this and be careful how we word our comments. At the same time, perhaps we need to cut the harsher sounding ones a bit of slack and realize that they are likely reacting out of the stress that they’re experiencing. I guess I’m advocating for a gentle approach that responds with kindness even to those who may seem unkind.
I know that this isn’t a Would You Wear It post, but I must say that I love the outfits on the mannequins that you shown today (I think that photo is part of your post and not an ad). Those are things that this grandmother of seven would definitely wear!
I’m sorry this all needs to be said. I think people are more thoughtless than evil, and I try to give others “space” and “slack” for using shorthand that can come off as nasty and petty. Truly, I often think it is not meant that way. That said, bullying through any means is wrong and needs to be called out every.single.time. I hate the negativity the most when it calls attention to some personal feature of the blogger, often one that is not that big of a deal. I’ve seen bloggers criticized for their eyebrows! Or told to straighten their teeth. That’s crossing the line into cruelty. Sometimes this is promoted by jealousy. Bloggers can appear to have a lot, get things for free that the reader can’t afford, etc. Pam, I’m -not- talking about you, and I -know- this is a myth, but just saying what I think prompts some people into knee jerk responses. Not excusing, just tying to offer some understanding and kindness back.
One of the draw backs to social media is that tone of voice & facial expressions are not present in the written word, & we must always be cognizant of that fact. It is so easy to write a scathing reply to something that you disagree with, but a pause is always in order before you hit that reply button. Kindness never goes out of style.
Well, I love the red sweater and the necklace and would definitely wear both (I love red!). The pants I am not so sure of, I feel they might make my legs look shorter but I do like the color. Now for the No Go, I cannot wear olive green. I like utility jackets but not in olive drab, maybe a different color. I do not always like the Would You Wear It outfits, but that is because I am a Winter on the color charts. The outfits would not work with my coloring, and while I would like to accessorize with leopard my husband hates it😪
As always, I’m late to the party but wanted to thank you for this post, Pam. I don’t think reminders to be kind are ever out of line in this day & age of fleeting on-line encounters & anonymous conversations. There seem to be some people who criticize as though they get paid for it, but I know we all have our “off” moments, too, when we write something that sounds perfectly fine in our heads but when we re-read it we realize it comes across harshly or even rude. I promise to personally do better!
You may be right, Janet. There could be people who get paid to criticize on competitive retailers. Good point!
Should share this with our media!