Class: –adjective. of high quality, integrity, status, or style

As many of you know (at least those of you who know me in person,) I’m not a huge movie buff. I would much rather spend those one and a half to two hours of my life doing something like reading, playing my guitar, drawing, or even just browsing the Internet. I have a pretty short attention span, so being fed stimulation while I’m sedentary is pretty unappealing to me.

But I do admit my vice when it comes to movies– I love old musicals. Few things fill my heart with such joy as Gene Kelly’s weird choreography and lovely singing, or the stunning tap and ballroom moves of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. One of the best things, though, about old musicals, is that the female protagonists were so freaking classy.

Since the fifties, there has been a marked shift in female protagonists in film. I understand rebellion and sexual revolution and all that jazz, but female protagonists now are almost always the bitchy/sassy one, whereas the “wholesome good girl” is usually secretly backstabbing or whatever, and worse than the bitchy one, and therefore the antagonist.

Wait, what?

Last time I checked, anyone could be bitchy. This shift in feminine leads is indeed a reflection of our ideals, and just a mirror for a shift in attitudes.

What happened to the class, America?

Whether the lack of class is leaking down from Hollywood or being sent there from the masses remains in limbo– that’s a matter for sociologists. But it’s not just in the media where the class is gone. Frequently I see little girls my sister’s age cursing, dressing sluttier and sluttier, and bad-talking people when their backs are turned, even when they’re still in the same room.

Whatever happened to the age of really classy dames?

Actually, I think that the answer is pretty simple. Allow me to bloviate some more.

The reason our society lacks class is because we are:

  1. Lazy as CRAP
  2. Image-obsessed
  3. Unrealistic and deluded about Real Life

Which are three ingredients for a perfect cocktail of the bitchiest generation since our forefathers landed in the East.

I’ll expand, starting with Lazy.

We are, without a doubt, the most pampered generation. As I mentioned inentry, no-one younger than me (read: under 18) remembers a time without Internet. Admittedly, my memories of that time are pretty fuzzy, but I do remember phonebooks, before cell phones, getting directions via addresses and landmarks instead of your GPS, and my mom making dates with her friends (and mine) in person or over the phone instead of email.

Those days took effort, people! Even though it was less effort than ever before, we are still the laziest generation to date. We have always had the luxury of the Information age, creating these selfish, lazy monsters.

Even the least privileged of us has had our lives handed to us on a veritable golden platter with a flower posy by a butler asking us if we’d like anything else sir or ma’am.

Which brings me to my second point– we’re so freaking image-obsessed.

Because of our unrealistic and deluded views about Real Life, we don’t have anything to focus our energy on but ourselves, resulting in our original conundrum– we’re the bitchiest generation.

The people with class these days aren’t the rich or famous, and indeed don’t have any time to focus their energy inward. Classy people don’t stress about being classy. It’s people who’ve spent their lives putting others first.

True class isn’t something even Old Hollywood can channel– true class is rising above petty people and difficult situations with grace and poise.

Any girl can be a bitch, but it takes a real woman to have class.

  1. You say much to agree with here.

    In my multiple decades on the earth I’ve seen it repeatedly that nice girls are often maligned in the movies. I think that’s because many of the people making movies have truly never ever met a nice classy girl.

    They’ve met pretenders and manipulators who know how to look sweet and innocent.

    Wish there was an easy answer.

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