I’m fairly sure that my obsession with Jane Austen is to blame for my ever mounting pursuit of femininity, because I have not always been so girlishly inclined. In fact, I used to fancy myself to be a bit of a tomboy (although this might have been a delusion considering that I was a “tomboy” with long hair and painted fingernails...). And I scorned the notion of being high maintenance or bearing any appearances of prissiness. But beneath my thinly veiled scorn was, in fact, a hidden fondness for ball gowns and french twists and rhinestones. A hidden fondness that started to grow in my twenties, no doubt spurred on by the aforementioned affection for Austen novels and their fantastically feminine (and yet also strong and virtuous) heroines.
And so to ring in the new year, I thought I would just quit all of the pretense and make it official: I want to be a lady. I want pencil skirts and finger curls and thick false eyelashes. I want cocktail hours and tea times and slightly garish costume jewelry. And I want style and grace and all those feminine wiles made famous by Victorian literature and timeless sonnets.
Of course, lady-ness is not all vapid. I’d also like to be, in the words of Darcy, “truly accomplished”--skilled in music and culture, language and thought. And naturally strong in character and charity, too. Lizzy Bennet, after all, was no priss. She had some serious fortitude tucked beneath her corset.
So, for the next several weeks, I invite you to join me in my often frivolous and yet also occasionally substantive pursuit...
...of being a lady.