Celebrities, recession fuel interest in etiquette

Fri Aug 7, 2009 6:32pm EDT
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Misbehaving celebrities and the recession have pushed more people to improve their etiquette in a bid to gain an edge over job rivals and inspired lifestyle books such as "How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World."

Author Jordan Christy said she wrote the guide to "the art of living with style, class and grace" after celebrities such as Paris Hilton, actress Lindsay Lohan and singer Britney Spears made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Hilton is infamous-for a lewd sex tape that became and Internet hit, Lohan has long been gossip fodder due to her public drunkenness and Spears was splashed across tabloids partying without underwear.

"For too long this 'stupid girl' behavior has been burning the daily headlines and I really think there's a lot of people out there who wanted to see a return to our feminine values," said the 24-year-old Nashville, Tennessee-based writer.

Christy's book has chapters on "Keep Your Chin Up and Your Skirt Down," "Dress to Impress" and "Let Him Come Calling."

"I hope that the book serves as a call to action to the young women of this generation to stand up and take back our dignity and our values and our self respect," said Christy. "It's great that we have seen this resurgence in etiquette and manners and self respect."

That resurgence has also generated popular reality make-over TV series such as VH1's "Charm School" and Britain's "Ladette to Lady," which see wild young women compete against each other as they are taught how to behave like a lady.

While etiquette schools throughout the United States said the country's worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s had fueled more interest from people wanting to improve their manners either in a bid to keep their job or stand out in a sea of jobseekers.   Continued...