The 39 steps to being a 'real' lady in 2015. Apparently.

There’s so much to sigh … sorry … say. British Country Life magazine has just released its 39 Steps to being a Lady in 2015. Let’s just say not one of the steps includes reading anything by Caitlin Moran or knowing how to troubleshoot your Mac.

Watch the ‘Little Britain’ men be ladylike in this video below. Post continues after video.

Video via BBC

The preamble from the “girls in pearls” magazine does say the list is “part serious, part tongue-in-cheek” but then adds: “Generosity and graciousness are more important than fine feathers and a lady can come from any walk of life – but there’s one key difference: a capable lady knows when to let her gentleman take charge (or let him think so).”


Do you really want to be a lady?

Here are a few of our favourites:

Can paunch a rabbit, pluck a pheasant and gut a fish, but allows men the privilege.

Firstly, we thought that "paunch" was that part above the belt on Uncle Bob's front. And what's the point of knowing how to do paunching if you're going to give men the "privilege"? They can go paunch themselves.

Can imitate Piglet and Pooh voices for a bedtime story.

Oh, how cutey-wutey. Or maybe just weird.

Excels at making love, lasagne and long gin and tonics.

What if you just excel at Excel?


Might not understand the rules of rugby and cricket, but enjoys the game anyway.

Really? Truly? It is impossible to enjoy something you are ignorant of. It's like you can't enjoy quantum mechanics if you don't know anything about it.

Knows that ‘brevity is the soul of lingerie'.

That's a bit obvious for a lady isn't it? Crotchless knickers over a silky teddy? We thought a lady had more class than that.

Doesn’t over-pluck her eyebrows.

Now we are really confused. So we can pluck pheasants (see above), but we can't use our God-given talents on our own furry caterpillars so we can entice gentlemen with a few come-hither eyebrow raises while he wears his mother's underwear and asks us to say "who's been a naughty boy"?


For those who enjoy a) highly-prescriptive directives straight from the 1950s, or b) a laugh, here's the full list of Country Life's 39 Steps to being a Lady.

A lady . . .

1 Finds laughter is the best medicine

2 Can say ‘thank you’ no matter where she is in the world

3 Cooks perfect, crispy roast potatoes

4 Offers to split the bill

5 Knows that everyone, including herself, improves with age

6 Offers the builder a cup of tea

7 Excels at making love, lasagne and long gin and tonics

8 Can silence a man with a stare and make a dog lie down with a hand signal - and vice versa

9 Can imitate Piglet and Pooh voices for a bedtime story

10 Prefers Mr Knightley to Mr Wickham, but is secretly in love with Rupert Campbell-Black

11 Never downs a drink in one, unless it’s a shot of tequila

12 Is aware that the school run and dog walking do not require full make-up

13 Never wears shoes she can’t walk in

14 Knows when a man is spoken for

15 Can paunch a rabbit, pluck a pheasant and gut a fish, but allows men the privilege

16 Remembers her godchildren’s birthdays

17 Knows songs for a long car journey

18 Is neither early for a dinner party nor late for church

19 Doesn’t over-pluck her eyebrows

20 Knows how to deflect a lecher with grace, and a proposal with kindness

Watch Sandra Bullock be 'very unlady-like' in Miss Congeniality below. Post continues after video.

21 Comforts nervous flyers

22 Would never have Botox

23 Knows when to let a man think it’s his idea

24 Would never own a handbag dog

25 Can tie—and untie—a bow tie

26 Might not understand the rules of rugby and cricket, but enjoys the game anyway

27 Knows when to take control in the bedroom and the boardroom

28 Knows the difference between Bentley & Skinner and Baddiel and Skinner

29 Instills manners in her children, but lets their characters flourish

30 Knows when to deadhead a rose

31 Is never afraid to overdress

32 Can handle a sports car, a sit-on mower and a ski lift

33 Knows when to stop dyeing her hair

34 Teaches her son to iron his shirts and her daughter to change a fuse

35 Owns a little black dress

36 Always has a hanky

37 Knows that ‘brevity is the soul of lingerie’

38 Has kissed several frogs and made them feel like princes

39 However lucky in life, she doesn’t boast on Facebook

It's as easy as that.

Alternatively, you could try these two step. They're all it really takes to be an amazing modern woman.

  1. Be a woman (by birth or by choice).
  2. Don't be a "lady".
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