I’ve used the word “classy” one time in my life… or at least one time publicly, and there’s really no way to prove otherwise. I was in grade ten, and on the high of not only being given permission to open an Instagram account, but also being handed my mother’s credit card to run wild with through the local mall with my friends (honestly, I hope she was drunk when she made both of these parental decisions). Although I could barely master the art of my drugstore lipgloss, I decided that with my new adult responsibilities I needed a look that matched. I dragged my uncultured squad of swine away from the $2 glitter glosses towards the pinnacle of adulthood: the Chanel makeup counter. I was going to half ass it either. The women working there could barely contain their eye rolls as my younger, spoiled brat self told them them I would have no part of anything “sheer,” “glossy” or “natural.” I was going big, and that meant classic Chanel red lipstick. $60 and a matching lip pencil later, I could barely contain my excitement. I doubt I even made it to the mall’s bathroom before I had sloppily completed my clown look. Trust me Kylie – I was horrifically overlining my lips way before you were.
I demanded that one of my friends snap of photo of me to document my first steps into womanhood (unpopular belief: it is a woman’s first red lipstick, not her period, that signifies this change) that I immediately uploaded onto my brand new Instagram account. Naive, apparently not only the fact that I thought Hefe was a cute filter, I thought that the perfect word to describe this whole experience was classy, or rather #classy.
Was any part of this experience, including my mother’s reaction when she saw her preteen daughter with a Chanel Cosmetics bag, classy? Definitely not. However, are any of the situations that girls describe as “classy” truly represent what the word actually means?
Think about it: women like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe embody what the word “classy” actually means; but also think about the bitch who tweets out bullshit Monroe quotes at 2am, just to let Johnny know that he “doesn’t deserve her at her best.” Things like Monroe, red lipstick and skirts that don’t show your ass cheeks used to all be things that should be called classy. However, the word has evolved due to the type of girl who uses it. Now, you can bet that the girl who writes #classy on the Instagram photo of herself at formal, has also posted at least four more pics that standards would not approve of in the past month.
Hats off to the girl who embodies class on a daily basis: she never has a problems with her
standards chair, knows the staff who work at Lilly Pulitzer by name and calls two glasses of wine a “wild night out.” This girl doesn’t need to point out that she has class. When she wears a midi skirt, its just her average Tuesday; there’s no need to point out that she’s wearing something that wouldn’t give your grandparents a heart attack… simply because she doesn’t own anything like that in the first place.
The girl who calls herself classy, frankly, just… isn’t. If she needs to point out that what she’s doing in that moment isn’t trashy, there’s a good chance that he actions generally are the rest of the time. Sure, you can give a girl a blowout and a dress that didn’t that isn’t made of spandex, but that won’t change what’s inside.
Is it a shame that a perfectly harmless word was ruined by those who still wear UGGs on the regular? Yes. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be on any mission to reclaim the word. Sure, you can whine “but I actually did look classy at formal,” or “the date I went on actually was classy… he even splurged for wine!” All I hear from this is: “this is the first formal that ended without me puking on my dress,” or “I can’t believe he’s splurged on a bottle of wine, the only thing he’s ever bought for me are condoms.”
Am I judging you for not being classy? Hell no. I’ll split that box of cheap wine with you and shove a bitch trying to reach for the same skimpy crop top as you at the Forever 21 sale rack. What I am judging you for is using a word that only draws attention to the fact that you’re not exactly Kate Middleton Skip the word, the hashtag, and to be honest, probably the red lipstick… it will just get sloppy when you do your keg stand..