From an early age Southern girls are taught a few important things. First, that being gracious is never optional. Second, that we hold our heads high under all circumstances. And third, that yes, beauty does matters—both inner and outer, and always in that order of importance.
We’ll never forget watching our mamas throw dinner parties being sure to make three times as much food than was really needed as to avoid running out, because what could be worse crime for a hostess to commit? We watched as she designed a table scape on a dime, whipped up the menu, and welcomed each of her guests at the door all while looking perfectly put-together in high heels, flawless makeup, and a waist-cinching dress. But a special occasion setting was far from the only time we saw her perfectly primped. When we’d accompany her on trips to the grocery store, the dry cleaners, or the pharmacy, we’d watch her first powder her nose, secure her highlighted locks into place and—of course—swipe her mouth with her favorite shade of pink lipstick before ever stepping foot outside her own front door. Like having an always-tidy home, and inviting anyone who knocked on the door in for a glass of sweet tea, looking put together was just a way of life to the women that raised us. And that taught us well.
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Even if it might seem outdated, we’re holding on to this practice passed down from our mamas and grandmamas and keeping gorgeously groomed no matter where we go. Not just because we’re proud of where we came from, who we are, and how we look, but because—the way we see it—putting effort into looking your best whether you’re doing pilates or lunching with the ladies is just good manners.