When my personal style idol, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, bagged JFK, Jr., the world of woman’s gossip was awash with advice about how to pull off such a coup.

  • Read and abide be ‘The Rules’, they told us.
  • Withhold sex for [insert recommended number] dates, they speculated.
  • Don’t touch your face or hair, they said. Carolyn, apparently, did not.

And at an early and impressionable age, that’s the one that stuck: stillness is largely the trick (one that I have not mastered, incidentally, but aspire to).

Here’s the story about a fixed object. It forces the things in its sphere to do the approaching — not the other way around. So if your magnetism draws someone to you, you can be assured that the interaction is desired and authentic — and anything can happen from there.

In my post about the Smokey Eye, I spoke about the power of looking, and that holds true here. Sitting quietly and confidently composed allows you to survey a room and make measured choices about the people onto which your eyes lock. It’s that predatory and mysterious power, and the fact that stillness is not seeking or desperate, that makes it sexy in a man or a woman.

But wait, there’s more.

We live in a world increasingly driven by the power of image. With Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other forms of social share, we have all become publishers and controllers of our own depiction. Since no one wants to publish bad images, think about your best ones. Only a winning smile trumps the beauty of repose, wrote the woman who gesticulates so madly that the vast majority of her photos are botched.

Speaking of pictures, the one I chose for this post features a medallion that also advises quiet. From a blogger who has the word ‘Speaks’ in her handle, we can also guess that this is another skill I haven’t totally cracked. What I can say is that a lot of men probably think talking is overrated and should be reserved for commercial breaks. And of course, they want us to listen more. There’s power in listening, too, as it allows you to divine connections and departures from your true priorities and values.

All this to say, stillness and quiet, if taken too literally, are just plain boring. We need animation and clever conversation. We need jokes and clowns. We need to dance.

What I advocate here is a bit of pre-meditation and control of what, how and when we express ourselves. There are times when speaking is the most powerful thing in the world, and there are other times when keeping your counsel will give you the upper hand. Finding your level can make all the difference.


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  1. #1 by Misterchappers on May 27, 2012 - 3:47 pm

    Still, sparkling or smokey, I wanna read a post devoted to Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and her allure. What was her ‘schiz’?

  2. #3 by jennamilly on May 27, 2012 - 8:20 pm

    Love finding a level. That’s a motto for a new generation of internet shouters. You’re spot on, speaky.

    • #4 by sohospeaks on May 30, 2012 - 12:05 pm

      Thank you! Loving the new handle. Signed, Speaky.

  3. #5 by Baberaham Lincoln on May 29, 2012 - 10:51 am

    Your idol is someone whose crowning achievement in life is marrying up? Soho, you’re better than that. So, so much better.

    • #6 by sohospeaks on May 30, 2012 - 12:04 pm

      Still, I’ve dated down so often that marrying up might be a nice change of pace…

      • #7 by Baberaham Lincoln on May 30, 2012 - 9:25 pm

        The thing about dating down is that it obliges your ‘datee’ to bring their A-game, in recompense for which they will be utterly smitten. Because who doesn’t love to be on their A-game?

        (At least, I imagine that’s how it would play out).

  4. #8 by Baberaham Lincoln on May 29, 2012 - 10:57 am

    Oh, right *style* idol. I probably should have read what you wrote.

    But then I find being encumbered with all the facts makes it so much harder to clamber up on my high horse.

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