Brand names translate into status, and there are essential icons that reveal who people are, even if we have never spoken to them: the glasses, the clothes, the shoes, the handbag, the watch, the cell phone... It is a series of objects that function as a presentation and allow you to position that person on the social ladder. It is a clear definition of “who has what” because that reveals “who has how much”!
It's hard to escape this pattern of behavior – however much you want or try – and in some social circles, it is almost impossible. It has become a paradigm that allows you to recognize others by their purchasing power, by their social status, quite typical of our materialistic modern world.
But actually, this is a false question, because money, brand names, clothing and objects, are insufficient to reveal who people are. What separates them – really – is discretion, education, generosity and distinction. And these traits divide people into two groups, roughly: the elegant who strive for discretion, and the inelegant who strive to be seen at any price.
The second ones – the inelegant – expose their privacy, invade the public sphere with their exaggerated emotions and feel the need to show the labels of their clothes. They like to tell you what they have and talk about what they have bought or are planning to buy. They cite many brand names and frequently mispronounce them. Givenchy is difficult for them, so is Moschino. And they do not even know what Fendi is... But they assert themselves through brand names.
Their behavior is dictated by exaggerations: they talk too much and too loudly, gesturing too much, showing too much, embracing others too much, wearing clothes too tight or too short and necklines too revealing. Everything about them is excessive. But these are only the visible traces. Worst of all is the habit of mistreating others – the doorman, the manicure, the driver, the shop assistant, the waiter... They are rude, coarse: they do not say thank you, please, good morning or excuse me.
Miguel-Angel García Martí said: “The way you talk says more about you than the clothes you wear.”
On the other hand, the elegant ones are made from another fiber: they do not expose brand names, they do not speak of their goods or jewelry, and they always think less is more. Discretion is their keyword, and everything in them is restrained, serene, without exaggeration.
Being elegant is something that has to do with an attitude, it is far beyond having money, and it is fundamentally to be educated. And best trait of the elegant is the respect for others: they are generous, smiling, soft, and do not insult or abuse anyone.
Someone truly elegant cannot be imitated – because it’s not enough to have, you have to be! You have to be polite, reserved, generous, simple, and distinct. And being is hard to achieve: it is part of a refinement acquired over the years, and it penetrates the skin, making it as natural as breathing.
Currently people define themselves increasingly more by the money they own: there are the haves and the have-nots. It's a simplistic way of classifying the world by the patterns of consumption and wealth: it’s simplistic and paradoxically poor.
What defines us is how we treat others, because it tells all about us. It is what comes out of us that reveals who we are.