"I am who I am. I can't pretend to be someone who makes $25,000 a year" Gwyneth Paltrow
When my parents and living in Tennessee my parents and I were having dinner with my Dad's co-worker and friend who was also from New York. During the evening, I told them I was worried about fitting in and being able to survive socially. My Dad's coworker looked at me and said "You'll be okay, you have an advantage. You're from New York. New Yorkers can tell a fake a million miles away."
My confidence and self-assurance rose because I knew he was right. In New York it's crowded so the focus and name of the game is yourself. Utilizing your people skills or intuition the best way you know how in order to achieve your purpose or goals in the quickest possible way. The personality quality of a true New Yorker is survival and the ability to see through someone who is fake or pretentious.
There is no time to pretend that you are any more important then anyone else. Being pretentious or fake means treating people with a lack of respect and underestimating their intelligence. Most people are intelligent and in the long run being pretentious will cause you to lose rather than gain respect.
"One thing my mother taught me was respect. I treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO" Unknown
A Sophisticate is book smart but she is also street smart. Being street smart is what makes her Sophisticated in the 21st Century. Knowing that she is no better then anyone else is what will allow her to succeed because that is the quality of being leader. It is the knowledge and the ability to treat every equally that will gain her recognition and respect.
The definition of pretentious is "attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, than is actually possessed." A person who appears pretentious fails to attempt to impress by lacking humility. When a Sophisticate is pretentious or is not humble it is a sign of insecurity. A Sophisticate is secure in her knowledge, with her wealth, and in herself that she does not need to attempt to impress.
"A person of value put value into the time working to make themselves better rather utilizing their time attempting to appear better. " Sophisticate in the Suburbs
Someone may have lot's of wealth but no or little education.Someone else may have tons of education but no wealth. No one is perfect and no one has it all therefore, no one should be pretentious.
The concept and idea for Sophisticate in the Suburbs was to communicate my message that 21st Century is about being yourself and not about being fake. Sophistication is about the quality of a person's heart rather then the quality of what a person's clothing.
The difference between a Sophisticate in the 21st Century is in the space in between what she knows and what she does. A Sophisticate may choose to become educated enough to know large words and the meaning of those words but not at the expense of making someone feel as if they are lacking. A Sophisticate does not flaunt her knowledge to make herself appear better then anyone else. A Sophisticate is confident and self assured. She knows she isn't better than anyone else and has no need to "fake" or hide what she may lacking in abilities or knowledge.
In the 21st Century a Sophisticate has earned the right not to have to prove anything to anyone. In the end, a Sophisticate is pretentious only to those are pretentious. ;D