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Whatever happened to 'ladylike'?

(81 Posts)
Littleannie Fri 08-Sep-23 11:36:56

Every time I open a newspaper or magazine, there are pictures of models or 'celebrities' sitting with their legs wide open.
It reminds me of the old Ken Dodd joke about the old lady in her directoire knickers sitting like that at the wedding reception - 'for goodness sake tell grandma to close her legs'.
Or is it just me?

Ilovecheese Fri 08-Sep-23 12:06:25

I hadn't noticed those pictures. I must read different publications.

Cadenza123 Fri 08-Sep-23 12:29:23

Funny you should say that. In town recently when whole 6th form were literally swarming through the town, thousands, ignoring the traffic. Couldn't help but notice the short shorts but one girl had a skirt so short she was exposing her rear end. Definitely not lady like!

Calipso Fri 08-Sep-23 12:47:25

Who actually aspires to be 'ladylike' in the 21st century?
Not me!

eazybee Fri 08-Sep-23 13:04:34

'Ladylike' is increasingly used as an expression of derision, sadly.

JenniferEccles Fri 08-Sep-23 13:13:43

What about some young women who seem to insist on posing for a picture with their mouths wide open and often with their tongues sticking out for good measure?
What’s that all about ?

Cabbie21 Fri 08-Sep-23 13:20:35

Even back in the late fifties, I had a maths teacher who often sat cross- legged on a desk, showing her long knickers! Not a pretty sight.

Littleannie Fri 08-Sep-23 13:23:23

I certainly don't sit with my legs apart, thrusting my crotch at everybody.
(I'm not implying that you do of course!)

Mollygo Fri 08-Sep-23 13:24:23

Short skirts come round again. I remember my parents commenting on mine. What makes me laugh is girls in short skirts, constantly hitching them down at the back.
My Nan sent me to the library with a note asking for a book called Shorter Skirts, by Seymour Nicks. it wasn’t till I read it aloud that I got the joke.

nadateturbe Fri 08-Sep-23 13:26:23

What about the tight leggings with thong showing. And shorts with cheeks showing.

Mikkima Fri 08-Sep-23 13:32:24

Only yesterday I saw a girl with a maxi length skirt which had a split up the back which stopped just short of her knicker line(and she wasnt wearing big knickers). I was wondering whether it was a skirt for the undecidedsmile

Esmay Fri 08-Sep-23 13:35:29

I regularly sit on the bus with other pensioners and all of wince everytime we are subjected to a tirade of swear words and lurid descriptions of their sex lives delivered at a deafening volume by slim and pretty school girls showing off .

Ladylike is not the word to describe them .

Dickens Fri 08-Sep-23 14:02:19


Isn't it more a question of both women and men behaving with a little decorum?

Why is it always women who are criticised? The recent 'incident' involving a well-known 'fashionista' in Venice may be an extreme illustration, but why aren't men subject to the same societal 'rules'?

I don't know if the craze / cult of wearing trousers which somehow manage (just about) to stay on the hips exposing the (labelled) underpants is still a 'thing' - or the 'crotch-clutching' beloved of footballers is in its zenith. Either way, men should be held to the same standards.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 08-Sep-23 14:05:18

Dickens 👏👏👏

grandtanteJE65 Fri 08-Sep-23 14:12:04

I remember as a 20 year old, and on many occasions since during the following 50 years, being horribly embarrassed by a man sitting with his knees apart and his trousers caught so tightly under him that, had I been able to draw at all, which I am not, I could have made a clinical drawing of his genitalia!

biglouis Fri 08-Sep-23 14:13:14

Today the term "ladylike" is recognised to have connotations of paternalism and control whereby women (but not men) were expected to conform to strict moral standards. The idea of ladylike went out with crinolines and bustles and was something I never aspired to.

Nanatoone Fri 08-Sep-23 14:18:13

As much as anything it’s about respect for yourself and others and decency. I remember telling my own daughter her skirt was too short because I could see her knickers at the back and she was rude to me. I kept on telling her though as if not your mum then who?

Littleannie Fri 08-Sep-23 14:30:46

Perhaps ladylike wasn't the best word to use in my post biglouis. 'A little decorum' as Dickens suggested would have been a better choice. I had just been looking at a picture in a fashion magazine of a model sitting like that. Her lower half had obviously been Photoshopped to appear larger and more prominent. Yuk!
And I agree about men too Dickens.
I'm not an old fashioned prude. (That's another word you don't hear much nowadays).
I am just rewatching 'Outlander' with Sam Heughan, if that's the correct spelling of his name. Lots of sex scenes!

Lexisgranny Fri 08-Sep-23 14:33:38

I remember my grandmother saying to me when a young Mum , “I don’t care if you have got frills on your knickers, you look disgraceful when you bend over the pram”!

Poppyred Fri 08-Sep-23 14:37:53

On the school run this morning there was an oldish lady (my age) in tiny shorts showing off her big legs covered in cellulite. 🤮

Visgir1 Fri 08-Sep-23 14:46:07

A lot of young women now wear tight shorts under dresses and skirts so you don't see their knickers.
Only yesterday the young woman, in the Salon doing my Pedicure had a lovely summer dress on, sat on the floor to sort my toe nails out, and told me she's wasn't flashing her knickers as she had shorts on under her dress.
Apparently, very common now.

LovesBach Fri 08-Sep-23 15:01:15

I noticed on the M and S website that there were many models sitting with legs wide apart, or with one leg up on a chair; all were wearing dresses - and, let's hope, shorts! And I do find the aggressive, sulky, pouting looks on some model faces a disinclination to buy whatever they are wearing.

Bella23 Fri 08-Sep-23 15:05:41

ladylike went in the 60's when we were encouraged to burn our bras and demand equal rights.
A lot do wear shorts under dresses my GD does and they wear shorts that are more like culottes which don't show any unwanted anatomy.They don't like those "Wonder Bras",that we enhanced things with either, their bras are more like little short tight vests.

Jaxjacky Fri 08-Sep-23 15:44:11

The vast majority of young women don’t sit as the OP mentioned, neither do they wear indiscreet clothing, have false eyelashes or pay for ‘body enhancing’ surgery. They go to college, work, raise their children and are generally part of society.
But, you don’t see them in the tabloids who are always trying to increase their readership by featuring the extremes. They seem to succeed sometimes, hence this thread.

Aldom Fri 08-Sep-23 16:02:23

As a fourteen year old, in the 1950's, I was running past the house of a neighbour. Mrs. West called me over. She told me to walk as running wasn't ladylike. Her advice has stayed with me all my life. smile