- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 12, 2009

You’ve heard of “mean girls,” thanks to the hit 2004 Lindsay Lohan comedy of the same name. Now, their cousins in bad behavior, the “stupid girls” are gaining in numbers, which inspired first-time author Jordan Christy to encourage the “smart girls” of the world to stand up and be classy.

According to Mrs. Christy, “stupid girls” are easy to identify. You are just as likely to see them in your neighborhood as you are on E! Entertainment News. They are flighty, scantily clad and always end up in bad relationships. You’re aghast when you see them “bend over the cart showing their thongs” at the grocery store and wonder why they aren’t at the office because they “laze around the pool all day with their lap dogs.”

In her new book, “How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World: The Art of Living with Style, Class and Grace,” Mrs. Christy, a 24-year-old music publicist from Nashville, Tenn., advises people in her age group to look to film star and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn, whom she describes as “the epitome of class, intelligence and talent” in a celebrity culture dominated by vacuous “celebutantes.”

“I think of the book as a call to action to this generation. Audrey was a role model and even though she lived in a simpler time, we can be a contemporary version of her. This is really a grass-roots effort to say that smart can still be sexy,” she says.

“It’s all about self-respect. Our speech, our attitudes and our way of dress. If you learn self-respect, you can have solid relationships.”

It all started for Mrs. Christy when she was a junior high student at Sioux Central in Sioux Rapids, Iowa.

“I noticed that all the smart, classy girls were in the minority and getting kicked to the curb,” she says.

She explains that things didn’t change all that much while she was an undergraduate at Belmont University in Nashville, and her vexation with “stupid girls” came to a head with the steady stream of headlines featuring celebrities including Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson engaged in, well, stupid behavior.

“I don’t have a vendetta against these girls. I wish them nothing but happiness,” Mrs. Christy says sweetly, but admits she had had about as much of them as she could take.

One night over dinner, Mrs. Christy was prodded by her husband to turn her anger into action.

“He told me I was always talking about this, and asked me why I was not doing anything about it,” she says.

Not one to let a challenge slip through her fingers, Mrs. Christy hit the ground writing.

“I started from square one. I googled literary agents and the first one I contacted loved the idea of a book,” she says.

“I knew immediately that it would be a really fun book and that Jordan could innately connect with its core audience,” says agent Caren Estesen, who is also in her mid-20s.

She worked closely with Mrs. Christy to fashion a book that would resonate among women in their teens and early 20s who need examples that are a little more Audrey, and a little less Paris.

The book is peppered with quotations from historical figures and role models for women throughout history.

“We never can let it be forgotten where we came from and the women like Abigail Adams and Florence Nightingale. We can’t let the stupid girls trample over what they did with their stilettos,” Mrs. Christy cautions.

In addition to inspiring words of wisdom from “Audreys” through the ages, Mrs. Christy walks the reader through self-help chapters such as like “Keep your Chin Up and your Skirt Down,” and “Words, Words, Words.”

Mrs. Christy details the need to think before you speak, and pick up a good book rather than the remote control.

“If you have a steady diet of ‘The Hills,’ your vocabulary is going to reflect that,” she says.

The chapter “Let Him Come Calling,” is a sort of Generation Y version of “The Rules,” the best-selling dating advice book of the 1990s that taught women to play hard to get and be mysterious.

“The stupid girls make themselves way too available,” she says. “You need to stop the texting, the video messaging and throwing yourself at the guy. Let him be the guy.”

The book doles out career advice, and body image boosts, and even though the tome is targeted to a young audience, Mrs. Christy says the book, which will be released nationwide Thursday, has multigenerational appeal.

Ms. Estesen says that its message, like Miss Hepburn herself, is timeless.

“You don’t have to be a party girl for people to enjoy your company, and there are consequences to your actions. You don’t want to wake up and see your naked picture on Facebook.”

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