We often equate class with being “cultured”.
And yet, there are plenty of smart, well-read, and well-traveled women who are anything but classy.
In this article, I will give you 10 signs you’re a classy woman even if you’re not the most “cultured” person you know.
1) You have good taste
And I don’t mean that you always listen to the classics like Mozart or know how to tell the difference between romantic and gothic art. In fact you might even indulge in things others would call “bad” or “trashy.”
But you are quite good at knowing which is beautiful and which isn’t, which has something genuine in it and which is just pure trash, and even which colors look good together.
You can tell when a painting, a book, or a piece of music has something special in it and know how to appreciate it and dig deeper.
You know the right place for everything—even trashy stuff—and that makes you stand out.
2) You question what it means to be “classy”
You can tell when someone is being pretentious, and you loathe it.
And nothing makes your eyes roll into your head faster than hearing “cultured” people talk about how much they appreciate something that… well, they honestly don’t actually sound genuinely interested in.
You especially despise designer brands and other supposed “luxury” items because you can see through the glitz and see it’s all just marketing.
Here’s a secret: the classiest women are classy because they don’t conform to what society considers “classy.” They would in fact question it all the time and do their own thing.
Classiness is a way of being, after all, and not an act.
3) You’re well-mannered
You might have not traveled the world or seen much culture beyond what you see in your state or county, but you try nonetheless to be as well-mannered as possible.
It doesn’t matter that you might not know the right way to hold a chopstick, or what kind of etiquette you should observe when you go to Yemen.
What matters is that you pay close attention to how people want to be treated and try to ask how you should behave around them when possible.
To you, being cultured means nothing if you simply don’t know how to respect others.
4) You care about the world
You may not have a PhD. In fact, you may not have graduated from University. But you care for the world.
With the internet at your fingertips, there’s nothing stopping you from staying up to date with what’s happening all over the world.
You keep a close eye on the recent crises in Palestine, Turkey, or the Maldives. You’ve been following the latest updates on climate change and technology, as well as progress of rights movements in your neighborhood and beyond.
You try to live a life that’s overall good not just for yourself, but also for the planet and everyone else who lives (and will live) in it.
5) You’re passionate about something
Somehow, there are many people who dabble in hobbies or interests simply to look “cultured”.
You can tell because whatever new hobby or interest they pick up, it’s always the latest fad that people think will make them look interesting. Even more damning is that they don’t actually dig deeper and act genuinely interested.
But you’re not like them—you have passions that you truly pursue with gusto.
6) You’re not a snob
You’ve probably met one of those “cultured” people who think they’re the smartest or classiest people in the room.
They would talk endlessly about themselves and the things they know about just to prove how cultured they are—and how little others know.
And when you say that you don’t know what they’re talking about, instead of explaining, they would gasp dramatically and say something like “What?! You don’t know it? How is it possible?!” as if what they’re talking about is common knowledge.
They’re all instant turn-offs and you know that you’d rather die than act like this around people.
Not only do you hate being the center of attention, you hate making others feel stupid. If this is you, you’re definitely way classier than the most cultured snob.
7) You’re allergic to bullshit
A surprising lot of supposedly cultured people believe and praise everything that’s handed to them by their books, their music, and their cultured friends.
They consider their facts as truth, and their tastes as superior.
But you can tell right away when something is obviously trying to be something it’s not, and you can spot a liar and a fake the first moment they open their mouths.
You may not be “cultured”, and you’re perfectly fine with that, because then you can at least sit back, think, and see things as they are instead of just letting whatever would make you look “classy” influence who you are.
8) You don’t want to be a bother
Not all “cultured” people are classy. Plenty of them are in fact so obnoxious and loud that there’s a reason why they’re disliked by many.
They may be the smartest or most famous person around and yet nobody wants to be near them—most of all you.
Those people lack social awareness. Or actually, they just lack care.
They only focus on knowledge, skills, looks, money, and tastes. And in doing so, they simply lose touch with what it means to be a good, sensible person.
You’re not like this.
You don’t shout and talk in a loud voice even if you have something important to say or are a little bit upset.
You don’t block someone’s view when you’re excited about a “classy” movie or painting, trying to enthuse them about it.
You don’t play “classy” music so loudly everyone in your block can hear it and turn green in envy at your impeccable taste.
You may not be as “great” as these cultured people, but you’re very conscious of how you affect others. And well, this is what makes you classy.
9) You actually love learning
You know that being “cultured” is far from the only way to be classy, and that many people try to learn simply so that they can show off.
But that doesn’t turn you off from learning, or motivate you to smart-shame others for knowing things. You know learning and being open to new information is a very important aspect of living a good and full life.
And knowledge is knowledge, so even if someone’s being insufferable about it, you’ll still admire them for knowing and being interested in arts, culture, and the humanities.
What matters to you is the intent. You learn not to lord your knowledge over others or make yourself look more “cultured”, but to enrich your worldview.
10) You’re independent
While I do admire cultured people on principle, there are quite plenty who I know I won’t ever want to become or be associated with. These are the cultured people who forget how to live and integrate in society.
It’s a pity, really. Even if you’re the smartest, most talented person who knows history and philosophy and everything in between, if you don’t know how to become independent (and by that I mean, financially and everything else), then you can’t be classy.
You’re classy because you try to be a strong woman who can stand on her own even if sometimes you listen to cheesy boy bands.
You’re classy because you get up and go to work even if all you really want to do is finish reading a book.
You’re classy because you know that while being cultured and having class are admirable, nothing beats being able to pay for your “unclassy” food when you’re hungry or your “uncultured” movie tickets.
You don’t really need to become well-traveled or fashionable to be classy by any stretch of the imagination.
Those things don’t matter if you’re superficial and annoying.
Being truly classy is all about being able to see truth and beauty. And of course, more than anything, it’s also about being a genuinely good person.