Ah Lottie, I want to obliterate this phrase in to extinction.
When I was a child, whether I was sitting with my legs splayed and knickers on display, blowing bubbles in my chocolate milkshake or eating with my mouth open, the response from surrounding adults would always come the same ‘Oh Amie, don’t do that. It’s not very ladylike.’ I lived my childhood with it ringing in my ears.
Here’s the thing. I am, was, will always be a lady. So therefore, presumably whatever I do will be ladylike, as I am a lady carrying out the action.
Sitting with my knickers on display was a habit I needed to get out of; showing underwear in public is not the done thing in our society. And there are also child protection issues implicated in this.
Blowing bubbles in my milkshake was merely appetite-killing for other customers that were having lunch in the same cafe as us.
Eating with my mouth open was gross for the person sitting opposite me, that’s all, gender didn’t come in to it.
If my brother did these things, he’d be asked to stop doing them too, without of course the reminder that he wasn’t being very ‘ladylike’.
Lottie, if anyone ever tells you you are not being very ladylike, please just take a moment to ask them the real reason that they don’t want you to do the thing you’re doing. There will probably be a good reasoning behind it, one that may better assist you in understanding why you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing, rather than the thin explanation of ‘it’s not very ladylike’. Don’t settle for this as a reason, because, well, what is a lady like? I’d say there are as many different ways to be a lady as there are ladies, and men, and a million more on top of that. You be whatever kind you’d like to be.
And please, make sure you experience the joy of blowing ferocious bubbles in to a really thick chocolate milkshake. There is no joy on earth quite like it.