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Searching for the Elegance of a Woman

I recently spoke to a literary agent about the premise of a book I am writing called “The Elegance of a Woman”.The beginning of the conversation went very well as she heartily agreed with my premise, the target audience and the subject that I would be dealing with throughout my book.It was when she asked me what the proposed title of my book would be and I told her that her positive demeanor changed.The phone went quiet for several moments and for the first time during our conversation her tone went very serious as she stated “I’m sorry but I don’t think elegance will sell.”I was dumbfounded.“What do you mean you don’t think elegance will sell?”She paused for a moment and then launched off telling me that elegance would probably only sell in the south, which is where I am from and that the rest of women in the country don’t really give a d*mn about elegance.I asked her how this could be true when there are so many books out now about women like Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn and Jackie O.She dismissed this by saying that it is just our countries interest in nostalgia.I pushed her further by saying, “What about all the fashion designers that are pulling designs from the closets of these very same women?”She asked me what designers I was talking about.I quickly fired back Isaac Mizrahi, Halston, Channel, Vera Wang, Tommy Hilfiger and others.“Oh, well, they aren’t designing to create elegance…they are recreating classics,” she countered back.I agreed that indeed these designers were bringing back classic designs, but what was the one element that made these women and these designs “classic”…it was their elegance that they represent.I also pointed out to her that nostalgia is the bringing back the best and what was good about a certain era and isn’t the elegance of an era a consistent element that is celebrated? Ignoring my comments she then launched in to a repertoire of her experience in the publishing world, stating that she has her finger on the pulse of what will sell and what will not…”Elegance will NOT sell to the general public at large! You need to change your title and approach with regaining women’s elegance. Women won’t buy it!”I quickly thanked her for her advice telling her I would get in touch when I had made the adjustments as she had suggested.CLICK!

I sat in my office following this phone call completely dumbfounded, defeated and questioning what I thought to be a new and innovative approach to what women are missing or have lost in their lives today.I had spent hours researching and reading every book on the market dealing with second adulthood, baby-boomers, midlife transition/midlife crisis, women’s interests and issues…I could not find anything dealing with this idea.Then I thought….”Hey…wait a minute…this woman assumed that I was raised in the south…she thinks that because of this fact I totally embrace this idea because of the southern elegance that has been ingrained in me…that is taught and encouraged from birth here in south.”Well, little did this woman know, I was born and raised in up-state New York, influenced by a “Yankee” and immigrant history… I am married to a Midwestern man with Midwestern ideals, lived on the west coast, Midwest and Canada.I have lived in many different cultures including Japan and Europe and have friends that are natives of South America and the Middle East.One river that runs deep and silent under each of these cultures is the elegance of their women…it is not their classic nature or nostalgia.At that very moment, I decided that it would be my quest to bring elegance back to the women of America, if not the world….a big task…maybe I am biting off more than I can chew…but I was not going to let this literary agent tell me what all my research and what my own heart and gut was telling me to be true.

So, I ask you, as women who are fabulously forty and beyond, what are the elements of an elegant woman do you embrace or believe you have lost?Are you ready to explore this with me?Let’s do it together…let’s prove to the world that the women of today are as elegant as the women that have preceded us…elegance DOES sell!

Copyright 2007

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Dec 3, 2008
    • I hope by now you have finished writing and the book is also published and it sells.  Personally it is hard for me to describe Elegant.  It seems to be an inspiration from within.  I was told I was elegant with the way I walked, I talked, the way I carried myself, even if I acted funky, I was still elegant to most other.  Now I look at myself, I seem to have lost that elegance, the confidence, the self trust and worth in me.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Dec 3, 2008
    • The definition of Elegance  

      the quality of being elegant; specif.,
      dignified richness and grace, as of design
      polished fastidiousness or refined grace, as in manners
      clever aptness and simplicity

      I read the definition above and I think women are all those things.  And More.  I think that some women may have lost the refined Grace, in manners but you know.. I cant say all as Im astonished every day over how elegantlly women are moving to the forefront in our society, and doing so with out losing the Feme they are.  

      I think according to the definition above, it describes elegance in all forms.

      Maybe your striving toward Grace and Manners in Women or Refinement or dignity ?  

      Not knowing the book content, I am guessing your striving for Old World Elegance or Grace VS new Age Elegance and Grace ?  

      I may be off completely just a few thoughts.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Dec 4, 2008
    • Elegance to me is about a state of mind, your personal style, the way you handle people, problems or issues.
      I think there is a need for a book on this subject. If I wanted to emulate someone who I thought was elegant I would study up. But I am more interested in my own authentic sense of elegance.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Amy L. Harden wrote Dec 4, 2008
    • I totally agree that your elegance should be authentic.  I think many confuse elegance with style...mostly because it is normally a woman’s style that is focused on in the media.  The most stylish of women are not necessarily the most elegant...but when the two are combined, along with grace, humility, kindness, compassion/empathy and strength...what power there is in the elegance of a woman.  They downright radiate it...could this be what the GLOW Project is all about...maybe....I don’t know...still looking at this one.

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