How To Be Woman-Smart

Pic from @whatfranwore

There's a big difference between being book-smart and being woman-smart. Being book-smart usually comes by way of flaunting a degree from a fancy university; being woman-smart, on the other hand, comes from experience. Of course, they're not mutually exclusive, but I will say that there are definitely women out there who are book-smart yet possess absolutely zero woman-smarts. (And, if it has to be said, it goes the other way too.)

Being woman-smart, as it pertains to relationships, is a matter of knowing yourself, knowing what you want, and knowing how to get it. What you want to do is thoroughly observe, absorb, and understand what's at-hand to inform an action–not a reaction–which elevates your situation. If you're especially skilled, everyone wins. What you want to avoid is rationalizing the situation, a learned behavior from being book-smart. It's a formulaic approach that lacks presence and clarity, and is, above all else, a turn-off. 

The intention is to wield your womanly powers in such a way that there's always an element of grace involved. There should be little to no trace of aggression or contempt. (Think more of a cat's pounce than a grizzly bear's attack.) She who is woman-smart knows how to employ mental and emotional judo while steadfastly maintaining her own vibe. 

This is obviously easier said than done and I am, by no means, an expert on this. I am plagued with an array of self-esteem issues. I tend to yield too easily to guilt, paranoia, confusion and anxiety (most of which, I hate to admit, is self-generated). I also manage to either get myself trampled on or entangled in emotional snafus. These are clearly not my shining moments, but I'm working on it.

Politics aside, I must confess that I find Melania Trump to be a great exhibitor of woman-smarts. She has an aura of self-assuredness that radiates straight from her core. Her interview on Larry King Live from May 2005, soon after she married Donald Trump, pretty much sums it all up:

Larry King: You worry about women and him–being attracted to him?

Melania Trump: No, I don't worry about that at all. I know who I am. And if a man doesn't want to be with me or I don't want to be with a man...

LK: Goodbye and good luck.

MT: That's right.

Ultimately, it boils down to knowing who you are–knowing that you're worth it to yourself, first and foremost–and knowing when to say "Goodbye and good luck."


Ralph Lauren, On Having a Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"

There is a woman that represents my kind of clothes. She is not the obvious beauty, but a beauty that has a quality of charm and understatement. You look at her and say, ‘She’s beautiful. I love her hair. I like the way she stands.’ She takes something that could have been masculine and makes it exceptionally feminine. She’s not old-world, she’s not today’s world. Her elegance is not defined by time. She has an enduring glamour.
— Ralph Lauren, Fashion Designer

Olivier Zahm, On Women

Ninety percent of the attraction of women is style. Old or young, if she has a good sense of fashion, I am in love with her. If she has bad style and a beautiful body, I run away. I don’t give a shit about beautiful style on a man. Men should keep a distance from fashion to find their own uniform. People see me as a womanizer, but that’s not the case. It’s just hard for me to resist the charm of a woman. I love every aspect of women, even the negative aspects when they get scary or crazy or super-emotional–I think it’s beautiful.
— Olivier Zahm, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Purple Fashion magazine