Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blog Review - Be Exquisite Part II

This is Part 2 of my review of the beautiful and elegant Be Exquisite blog! I started the review from page 26 to page 16. Part 1 can be read HERE. Part 2 will be about the many random thoughts and questions that popped into my head while reading her blog (that are likely to inspire future posts). Really, they are just ramblings that will probably tell you more about me than the actual blog! I will review the rest of the blog in a future post. 

These are the Thoughts that Popped into my Head as I Read this Interesting Blog

Changing Yourself: 
  • As I read through the blog I kept asking myself "is this all fake"?. Is the elegance we see in Michelle Obama her true self? Did she not receive some sort of teaching and coaching? If so, then some or us were taught early but it's still possible for some of us to be taught later. Eventually, practicing what we learn will become habit and our true selves. It isn't a natural way to behave but it can become natural.
  • Are people allowed to change? Should we not improve ourselves? Rude is rude, obnoxious is obnoxious, why accept that your true self is an obnoxious oaf?
  • Is it wrong to improve yourself to get a man? People do it to get a job and a man is more important than a job. It's a give and take. You become a better woman in order to get a better man. If you are a poorly-mannered woman then you will end up with a poorly-mannered man. Being well mannered is being nice and not offending others and I think those are good goals.
  • Is it wrong to change if your man asks you to? On YouTube men have put out mean videos criticizing Black women and of course, when we are attacked we become defensive. But what if they asked in a nice way, or if it was your man who you actually loved. Would you change for him? Some will state that he should accept you exactly the way you are. But let me give you an example, suppose you have a habit of burping at the table and your man asks you to stop doing this. Would you say "no, burping at the table is who I am and you have to accept that or we are through." Yes it is trivial. To some, this whole blog is trivial, but it's this trivial thing that is hurting Black women's reputation around the world! So based on the negative consequences of these trivial actions, why not just fix the problem so that we can move on to more important things! By the way these Black women bashing videos are being pumped out by Black men you would think this is the biggest problem facing the Black community so let's quickly fix this problem so we can focus on the real issues!
Sensuality, Beauty and Dress:
  • I liked her advice about how to keep nails filed and using cuticle cream. Simple things can make a big difference.
  • Jackie made a post about being pleasurable to the senses (i.e., sensuous). This made me think about products for relaxed hair. They don't smell good at all. I wonder if this has had a negative effect on Black women's reputation. Do people think our relaxed hair smells bad? Natural hair products smell much better and are better for the hair. We should all make the switch because smelly hair is unacceptable.
  • I liked her advice about trying to look like a goddess. Strive for that.
  • I never got into aromatherapy. I thought it was bogus, new age, nonsense. Maybe I should give it another look if it is pleasurable to the senses. I do have essential oils that I use for their properties but I don't use anything for aromatherapy purposes.
  • I think those people on "What Not to Wear" need to learn some vocabulary from Jackie because all they talk about is "sophisticated" and "sexy". Aren't there other things women can aim for when they choose an outfit?
  • I wonder what it means to "dress Black" or "dress White?" If I wear feminine, sensuous (not sexy) clothes, that are not revealing, and not hip hop inspired, then would people say that is dressing White?
  • This blog has posts about flowers. Do I like flowers? I think you spend money on them and they just die. I would prefer spending money once on fake flowers that last forever. I guess they look nice...I noticed that most of my dresses have some sort of abstract flower design on them. I guess I do like flowers :) Plus, if a man gave them to me I would feel great...maybe I love flowers!
Dating and Marriage:
  • I am a smart woman and well-mannered. Men are criticizing other women for being loud and having attitudes.  So, if I become even more well-mannered I will have my pick of men! Since there are not enough men to go around, self-improvement sounds like a good idea.
  • Men like women for their differences in mannerisms and appearance. But I think I would get along best if the man has values that are similar to my own.
  • Do we really want androgyny? Do we want women to look and act like men and do we want men to look and act like women? I think women are most beautiful when they look and act like feminine ladies (e.g., on their wedding day in a beautiful gown). I think some men actually need to tone down the aggression and clean themselves up. That rugged, mountain man, thug, angry at the world, ill-fitting clothes look is entirely unattractive to me. Give me a clean-cut man in a three-piece suit and I swoon! I prefer men who are cute an sweet, maybe even a pretty-boy if I'm lucky :)
  • I think a woman has to act like a lady in order to get a chivalrous man. I don't find chivalry demeaning, I love it! Growing up, due to feminism I thought that if something was traditionally feminine then I had to reject it! I didn't let men open doors, I carried my own heavy bags, I refused to learn how to cook, and I refused to wear dresses and skirts. Now I think the exact opposite! So we can change! 
  • There is a great post on chivalry. If a man doesn't act chivalrous towards you, does he really care about you? Never curse and your man should never curse in front of you. I don't like listening to music with cursing and way too many songs have that now.
  • Great quote "Get to know two things about a man--how he earns his money and how he spends it--and you have the clue to his character, for you have a searchlight that shows up the innermost recesses of his soul. You know all you need to know about his standards, his motives, his driving desires, and his real religion." Robert J. McCracken.
  • I think that within the first three dates women should find out if their date believes in marriage. If he doesn't then you should stop seeing him otherwise you will be wasting your time trying to change his mind. If a man can definitively say he will never get married or does not believe in marriage, take him at his word and move on.
  • I looked at her Recipe Challenge #10 and I had the vision of coming home with groceries and smiling at my husband. He asked why I was smiling and I told him I was making a special dessert. He smiled and looked excited. I think I would really like it if that happened. Seriously ladies, if you can get a guy to prefer you over other women but learning how to cook then why wouldn't you? You don't have to do it all the time and he can help you. Really think about all the expensive clothes and trips to the salon you spend money on to look attractive. Maybe you should spend that money on learning how to cook instead.
Posture and Grace: 
  • There was a great post about how to sit with grace. What was amazing to me was that I was already sitting that way! I remember being at meetings where every woman in the room had their legs crossed at the knee and I was the only one sitting with my knees together and my legs crossed at the ankles. I actually worried that was sitting improperly. I don't cross my legs because sometimes my skirt rides up and it really hurts my knees when I do it. 
  • The blog has a post about posture. Luckily my posture is quite good. I spent two years sitting on a balance ball instead of a desk chair. My abs are tight now, and I can stand up straight. I can check that one off my list.
  • The blog has a few posts about ballet. I am not a fan of ballet...but they are graceful though.
Miscellaneous Thoughts:
  • Jackie, the writer of this blog, writes very well and she is definitely well educated. I like the brief lessons and some posts are just images of art and I like those too.
  • Jackie appears to be religious and I think that 100% of the blogs on this topic were by religious women too. What does that mean? In modern times are religious women more well mannered than atheists or agnostics? Are some of these rules of etiquette and deportment based on the Bible? What benefit would an agnostic get out of reading the Bible?
  • I wish comments were allowed on more of the older posts.
  • This blog introduced me to singer Amel Larrieux. I have never heard of her but I liked her song called "For Real. Very nice :) I think listing to all that negative hip hop has probably had a negative effect on the Black community. Hip hop is the opposite of feminine and it definitely is not sensuous or soothing. All of that foul language and derogatory language is the way some people speak all the time now.
  • I really liked the post about How to Be Perfectly Miserable . 
  • I think this would be a nice blog to give to her daughter. I hope she saves it.
  • I admit, I have to work on my discretion. I was really embarrassed two years ago by being too open. In fact, this has been a big problem ever since high school. 
  • I skipped over the recipes because I'm not in the position to deal with that right now (low funds, no oven or stove right now).
So that's the end of Part II of my review of Be Exquisite. Just reading this blog put so many ideas and questions into my head. Things I never really thought about before I decided to become an EBW. Maybe this blog will change you too :)


  1. Hello, Nice post. I like it and bookmarked it.

  2. Hi Elegance!

    Thank you for another great review. I very much appreciate it!

    You ask if it's wrong to improve yourself to get a man? What if you don't get the man? Do you then become less than because you don't get what you want? That is unintelligent and childish.

    It's more effective to improve yourself because (like the Army :) you want to be the best you that you can be regardless of who or what enters or leaves your life.

    You said "since there are not enough men to go around . . ." This statement shows a belief in scarcity. It is a self fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that there isn't enough, there won't be enough . . . for you.

    You also said "find out if their date believes in marriage". It is possible to believe in something and not want to be a part of it.
    Wouldn't it be more honest to ask if he wants to be married, if he sees it in his future, if he desires marriage for himself?

  3. Hi Jackie,

    I'm glad you liked the review. This is a new thing for me so I'm trying my best :)

    For your first point, I do agree, its a good goal to act nice and try to get along with others. I made that statement because of a lot of complaints that I've heard from men who are saying they don't want to date Black women because of their attitudes. I think that some up us need to change our behaviour if we want to get or keep a man (was that what you thought was unintelligent and childish?). But I don't expect it to be just for show to be thrown away if they remain single. Self-improvement is a great thing, and if it makes it easy for others to like you that's a bonus. I don't think there is a right or wrong reason to try to be a better person and people can use whatever motivation works for them.

    Belief in scarcity as a self-fulfilling prophesy? I don't agree with that. It's a fact that there are more women than men, and there are fewer men my age with degrees than women, so the men I am looking for are actually scarce. If I act desperate then that would push men away, but I don't act desperate.

    The last point is hard. I have heard advice from others to not bring up marriage at all for the first few dates, but I think a woman should get that out of the way. Yes, he might believe in marriage but not for him, but I hope that will come out once I bring up the topic. I actually asked a guy the question once and he went into a tirade about marriage being antiquated and that he didn't see himself ever doing it. If I am too direct about it then some guys see that as pushy, like asking if he wants children when we barely know each other. I have to read some of my old dating advice books because discussing marriage or children during the first three dates is taboo in some of them.

  4. I meant exactly what you said - that self improvement is not a show to be tossed away if you remain single. Self improvement is worthwhile and tossing it away would be childish and unintelligent.

    I can agree to disagree regarding scarcity. It's a matter of personal perspective. You are correct. If you adhere to those parameters, your pool is definitely limited. And, it doesn't include for example, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Both are college drop outs and Bill Gates definitely isn't your age :)

    I think the spirit in which you ask marriage questions make the difference. An interrogation isn't ever going to be received well. And, blurting it out out of context is just weird. Maybe it could be brought up in conversation about where you see yourself 5-10 years from now. Or when learning about his family. It all depends on what you're looking for. If you're ready for marriage, why waste your time on someone who isn't?

  5. Hi Jackie,

    I think I have to be flexible with the things I'm looking for in a man. I guess I just want some sort of evidence that he can work hard and has the skills to do so. I would marry Mark Zuckerberg (well as long as he isn't a jerk or has totally different values from me) because he has shown his intelligence and skill, but that is an extreme example.

    If we're talking a regular guy who is good with computers, a guy with a degree who can do all the same things will have better job prospects. Without the degree or great job how would I know this guy isn't going to be struggling for his entire life? I also want someone like me because people who have similar life experiences and values get alone better. We'll see how it goes when I actually start dating because this is all hypothetical. I can't wait to start dating!

    Yes, I will need to use tact and just go with the flow of the conversation instead of sounding like 20 questions. I'm so out of practice with dating though, I need some practice.

    Thanks for your responses though, they gave me something to think about :)

  6. I remember reading this post years ago and thinking about bookmarking it to read the posts on the blog Be Exquisite. I wished I did it, regardless I greatly appreciate the tips you've gahered from the blog.