AS EXTRACTED FROM CITY PEOPLE MAGAZINE
…here is an interesting article(slightly amended by us) used in Mason College,Festac to focus attention of students on what they were taught on etiquette…we hope tutors can similarly use it for their students too…it has been divided into two parts because of its length but each part brings up different vistas of what Nigerian students’ need to understand about etiquette …as Nigerians!
Etiquette of Beauty (By Femi Segun)
Recently, I read with much amusement, a report by some Beauty pageant contestants about their experience at a beauty show that took place in South Africa. They lamented that prior to the actual day of the show they had scored high in all the segments. Based on their performance, the three of them had been short-listed to be among the last ten finalists.The Nigerian contestants said words that it was after a cocktail dinner party that the three of them were dropped. They could not fathom why, except that they were all Black, implying Racism. Well, I can fathom why, and the reason is not far-fetched. It is not Racism. The girls must have displayed such an appalling lack of table etiquette at the dinner, that no one in their right minds would have chosen them as housemaids speak less of their ‘Beauty Queen’.
A beautiful woman is incomplete without good manners and proper table etiquette. As a trainer in Protocol and Etiquette, this writer would like to give some tips to Pageant organizers and Modeling Agencies, which could be of help to our beauties, so that they do not lose by default in future.
Comportment is a total thing-Dressing, Carriage, Composure, Walk and Etiquette!
I have observed with increasing consternation that the falling standard of manners and table etiquette is inversely proportional to the rising awareness of Beauty, Fashion and Catwalk culture. I recommend a visit to any of the “world standard” fast-food joints in Lagos to see patrons for an hour. You will see world-class beauties walk into the world-class joints with world-class catwalk ala Oluchi. But that is where it ends! While waiting in line, these paragons of beauty indulge in all manner of crass behavior. Talking and laughing loudly, they snap chewing gum, clean wax from their ears, scratch their armpits, twang the guitar, and dig deep(while their men in comparison hold their genitals!….(added by edupedia). They order their food in the most impolite, and condescending manner, exchanging insults where necessary with harassed service persons. Finally, they sashay elegantly to their seats and this is where the real show begins.
Attacking the food, knife in fist like a murder weapon and fork held like a gardening tool, the war begins, amidst sounds of gulping, chomping and teeth sucking, the young women devour their food voraciously. Suspended over the plate on one elbow, the other waving in the horizontal plane, they belabor huge plates of rice or pounded yam into flat submission in a matter of seconds all the while chattering and spattering. The food dribbles from the cutlery as they shovel the overloaded items into gaping mouths pursing their lips primly after the astonishing magician’s disappearing act, they have just performed! Chewed food is displayed amidst yellowing molars in animated conversation. God forbid that hot tea should be part of the repast! For them, the elegant way to drink hot tea without scalding their lips is to pose the lips on the edge of the teacup and vacuum the slightly cooler surface of the tea into the throat. The accompanying loud, long slurping sounds are capable of bringing pin drop silence to a cheering stadium of English football fans.
Meals over, the ‘Queen of all Queens’ rises elegantly to her feet, lipstick in place because she made sure she removed the rice from the fork with her teeth, and waltzes elegantly away. In her wake is a table that looks like the aftermath of a mini atomic explosion. Food particles on the table and around the edge of the plate, splintered chicken bones spattered all over and cutlery askew. I can imagine this is the kind of ‘Ground Zone’ that confronted the selectors of the Beauty pageant in South Africa. No wonder the girls were dropped from the ‘last ten’ lineup! The tragicomic aspect of this scene is that it is a common one and thousands of “Queens” or “Models” flounce away from the scene of the crime blithely unaware of the disgust and consternation they have left. What really happened. How did our society come to this pass? What happened to the teaching of Moral and Etiquette at home in the early years?…
(please read on in part 2…..)