Guest Author - April Alisa Marquette
What is style, and what is substance?
Style is chic, a mode or fashion, especially in dress.
Substance is solid, in character or quality.
Style makes the most of what we put on ourselves, outside.
Substance makes the most of what we happen to be, inside.
Style is a more than a passing affair with fashion. She is not of the moment, she is classic. She's been there, done that, and realized she is not a follower but more an individual.
Substance is generous and gracious. She is giving, and compassionate. Although she is wise, yet she is aware, there is always more to learn.
Style is poise, sometimes acquired.
Substance is authentic, from within.
Style showcases polish, elegance, and charm. She makes one long for luxury. She is cool, calm and collected.
Substance is grace under fire. She is spiritual, an energy that radiates from within. When faced with a looming situation she possesses calm, keeps her head.
Style is bolder; she takes charge, gets things done. Yet she too is born of something spiritual, something knowing, from within.
Substance remembers honor, she never forgets that some things are, and must remain sacred.
So we see -- there is a marked difference between the two. However, what would happen if we merged them? --If we didn't see them as separate, but as a pair? We would partner them; allow their union to cause us to become our best selves. We would no longer miss the point, we would get it. We would realize, and remember, ever after, that to achieve things is not our only goal, but to create something, lasting, something loving is our commission. We would begin to find our purpose for being alive, or we would further walk in it.
We would realize that those who were, and are, really great, are people who realized that Style and Substance should never be opponents. A lovely example of this was, and yet is to this day, Diana, Princess of Wales. She was radiant, in her couture gowns and priceless jewels. However, hers was a heart of gold. She had compassion, she lived on purpose. She wasn't haughty, but easily entreated, involved with numerous charities. So too was Coretta Scott King, first lady of the American civil rights movement. She knew that to be powerful, sometimes one had to know when to soothe. She knew that to shine, one does not always need the spotlight. She was aware that life with its exhilarating flow, often, in quieter moments offers one the power to transcend.
Therefore, today, ethnic beauties, let's not make ourselves over. Let us simply take the best of ourselves and put that on display. In this age of frivolity and fighting, in this time of tell all and hold nothing back, let us slow things down. Let us allow our life experiences to lead us, to aid us -- to teach others; to share. Let us merge substance and style, and thereby not become embittered, but empowered, to showcase our most beautiful, honorable selves.