Thursday, April 1, 2010

What do You Picture? (defining je ne sais quoi)

By it's very definition, je ne sais quoi is...well...hard to define. It's an elusive quality; difficult to pin down in exact words (hence the reason we use the phrase in the first place).

As such, it often means different things to different people.
And so, before continuing any further along with this series, I thought it appropriate to assign a little homework.

The homework is this: I want you to spend some time over the next day or two thinking about what you envision when you hear "je ne sais quoi." Is it the timeless classic attraction of someone like Audrey Hepburn? Or the allure of the vintage female? (Certainly these are my first thoughts, but I'm a mid-century kinda girl...)

Or maybe instead you see someone like Hilary Clinton or Oprah Winfrey.
Perhaps even your idea of mysterious appeal is in the form of Rhianna or Beyonce.
Whatever it is, I want you to think about why you are drawn to these women and images. What qualities attract you to them? Is it their look? Their lifestyle? Their career? Their talent?

To help you in this quest,
you might consider browsing through a handful of women's magazines to see which people and photos you like most. And then ask yourself why you like them.
And please feel free to share what you find! I'm partial to the bombshell above from Mad Men, but far be it for me to determine what je ne sais quoi means to you! I'd love to know who and what you're picturing during the next several weeks as we dive further into the subject of "the hard to define."

First thoughts? Ideas? Post your comments below!


  1. I've been thinking about how I define "Je Ne Sais Quoi" since you launched this topic. I think first and foremost, women with it know who they are {and aren't trying to be something they aren't}. And even more than that, they love who they are and surround themselves with people that love who they are too. This comfort with herself leads to a radiant confidence.

    I also think of these women as interesting. Whether it's intelligence, humor, or a special talent {or all three!}, they have a trait that draws you in and keeps you interested. They're magnetic.

    I also think that physical appearance plays into it. I don't think that means you have to be the stereotypical "beauty", but your look is engaging - - maybe unique, maybe vintage, maybe modern, maybe classic beauty - - but always well done.

    My thoughts. :)

  2. Catherine--I love that you used the word "magnetic." Wouldn't it be great if that was the way we were described by others?! And I agree that knowing who you are is key. Because trying to be someone else is just striving, and it shows. We don't want to look like we're trying too hard--so the challenge is to be at peace instead!

    Great thoughts as usual!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin