Thanks to New Jersey -- a state of high class and sophistication (yeah, I said it) -- we've been reintroduced to a word that had all but disappeared from dictionaries across the nation ... "ladylike."
Ah, what does this olden days word mean, you ask? Well, people used to use it to describe women like Jacqueline Onassis, Grace Kelly and anyone who thought crossing her legs at the knees was a gateway to teenage pregnancy. Now it's the name of a magazine for trannies and crossdressers.
The word began losing popularity around the time I was in fourth grade, when I thought it would be a neat idea to see what would happen if I kicked one of my classmates in his golf balls ... (as I was later informed by Sister Maria, this was not ladylike behavior ... at all). Since then, I hadn't heard the word used again until yesterday when Miss New Jersey released her "shocking" photos and admitted they showed her doing things that are "not in a ladylike manner." The photos, it turns out, are only slightly more racy than a Debbie Gibson video. If you want to see them, click here.
So much has changed since the days when you had to go to the extra step of finishing out a roll of film and then getting it developed before you could even make that crucial decision of whether to tear up or just hide your regrettable memories under the mattress. Today, the "delete" button seems so final, and our threshhold for blushing has been completely altered, which is why Miss New Jersey's photos are at first laughably innocent (I mean, J. Edgar Hoover probably had more scandalous photos taken back in the day ... actually, I think he did). But when you apply the standard of "ladylike"? It all falls apart.
Modern gals such as Britney Spears (obviously), Lindsay Lohan and the Girls Next Door have helped redefine what some people might consider acceptable behavior. It's because of them we're exposed to things like car-exit flashing, coke snorting in club bathrooms, and nonmonogamous grandfather dating. While most of us can sit back and judge, there's a legion of girls and young women out there who feel an unsatiable need to be as outrageous as the "ladies" in the limelight... and not just be outrageous, but to be absolutely sure the camera is on and that others will later see the photos and think "She's so cool." And, believe me, with Web sites like Facebook and MySpace, very little is sacred anymore.
But watching someone learn her lesson with embarrassing, yet PG-rated photos shows me that not all hope is lost. Instead of rolling our eyes about how much ado about nothing the Miss New Jersey "scandal" is, maybe we should judge her just a little more harshly ... if only for the sake of propriety.
"... And she did that with pumpkins!"
"Heavens, what a disgraceful young woman!"