Chichi — Sheesh!

Do you know a woman who is very stylish? Chick? Always seems to have her act together both in dress and mannerisms? I do. And, when I’m around this type of a woman, I always end up feeling like a huge, lumpy sack of brown Idaho spuds — with a few clods of dirt thrown in for good luck. I know, I know, I shouldn’t allow myself to be intimidated or feel inferior or so . . . so . . . so klutzy! But that is easier said than done . . .

These elegant and stylish women are very chichi (shee-shee). This is a fun word to say. Just try it. I bet you can’t say it five times in a row without getting your tang all toungled up. Oops! (How un-chichi of me . . . )

Chichi is an adjective that means elegant or stylish. Showily or trendy. It also can mean someone who is pretentious, flashy, ostentatious, or flamboyant. So, maybe if you like the woman who is chichi, it can have a good connotation (elegant or stylish) and if you don’t particularly care for her you might think she leans more toward the flashy or ostentatious side of the definition.

Ostentatious. (Don’t you just hate it when you look up a word in the dictionary and the definition uses words that you don’t understand?? Sorry about that!) Ostentatious (os-ten-tey-shuhs) is an another adjective meaning a conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others such as an ostentatious dresser. Someone who tries to dress so that people will be impressed with how expensive their clothes are or with what a good figure they have. It can also mean intended to attract notice such as an ostentatious donation to a charitable fund (money given to impress more than to assist those in need), or as elaborate Christmas decorations in your yard, or in the type of car (or cars) that you drive.

Pretentious (pri-ten-shuhs) is similar to chichi and ostentatious. It’s an adjective that means making an exaggerated outward show, ostentatious, pompous. Being pretentious could be applied to many situations — making an exaggerated outward show of intelligence, kindness, patience, athletic ability, or musical ability. Generallly the person is seriously lacking in the quality that they are being pretentious about.

So, my advice (if anybody is asking for it) is that a woman should lean toward the elegant side of being chichi. Everybody should avoid being ostentatious or pretentious. If you are a genuinely good person, that will come through and you won’t have to impress others with your possessions or actions. They’ll be impressed because of the fine qualities that you possess.

(Whew! Was that a little preachy, or what?)

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