Being a Socialite...

…Is a hard knock life.

There is a subtlety behind this attribute that has been unveiled to me just recently: men are never called socialites, only women are.
If a man is called a socialite is because he is thought to be gay.

The word “socialite” is a euphemism for futility, shallowness, smugness, otiosity, spoilage and incongruousness.
It could be said that this is unfair; however socialites are the ones to blame for since they often offer that impression. For example, when giving away clothes to the poor many socialites display incongruence (bordering mockery): why give a Dior dress or Gucci shoes to a poor (in what occasion is this person going to wear them)? What does it mean to give Jean Paul Gaultier’s leather trousers to poor gypsies (when gypsy women do not wear trousers)? Whenever socialites do this type of “charity” they tell us that they don’t think.

The conversation of socialites is quite limited as well (fooling us into thinking that they lack intelligence). But there’s an explanation for it: we must not forget that these people are party professionals, meaning that the topics of conversation are very narrow – the weather, the latest fashion show, the flowers grown in their garden, the holidays taken recently, the previous & next party, the food being served and who got married or gave birth recently.

Another interesting subtlety: socialites always enjoy their husband’s money. Even if they spend their own trust fund, the husband always gets the credit for it (unless the poor chap comes from a “less appreciated family”).

What is beautiful about these charming creatures is their charity work. They help orphans and old people; they contribute for cancer research; they support honourable causes; they feed the poor...checks to the right and left; as long as their photo comes up in every magazine and newspaper. I guess that the following teaching means nothing to these people “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret (…)” - one doesn’t need to be Christian to learn valuable lessons.

Being a socialite is wearing a constant mask. A mask that not only hides what a regular mask hides, but also conceals what is often an ugly life: alcohol and drug addiction, deep depression, insomnia, promiscuity, character deviation, abuse and child neglect.

“It’s a hard knock life for us, it’s a hard knock life for us, instead of treated we get tricks; instead of kisses we get kicks…it’s a hard knock life.”

Image: Mary, Countess of Howe by Thomas Gainsborough


  1. Thanks for that explanation. I have seen bits of what you describe, but not put it all together.

    In the US, all the major buildings of a university campus are named after major donors, but I have never seen an Anonymous Hall. Does this relate to the socialite syndrome?

  2. Hey Looney :D,

    "Thanks for that explanation. I have seen bits of what you describe, but not put it all together."

    lol you are welcome ;). The world of socialites is very interesting to observe. Plus, they do generate a lot of money, don't they? The amount of magazines these people sell, my Lord...*nodding*.

    "In the US, all the major buildings of a university campus are named after major donors, but I have never seen an Anonymous Hall. Does this relate to the socialite syndrome?"

    It does in most cases. It makes us wonder about the real purpose of donating money to universities (hint: power, control, show off). People have money and they want the world to know it *nodding*.

    Looney, thank you ever so much for this comment so "a propos" :D.


  3. My dear Max, you chose the perfect painting for this exploration! As always, an incisive and interesting read.

    I feel sorry though, for those who can give ONLY to receive (they are weak and spiritually impoverished), instead of operating from a position of strength, self-esteem, and empathy.

  4. Interesting post, Max...and what I LOVE the most is this part: "But when you give to the poor...." Touche!!!

  5. Hi Max,

    Isn't a socialite a person who is simultaneously affluent and impoverished? They have all of the outing trappings of money and success, yet lack social graces and compassion to be charitable. They may also be described as rich and unemployed and in contact with other rich and unemployed people. They have managers, agents and publicists now. They tip off the paparazzi to capture the shots that keep them in the limelight.

    "The socialite as a distinct cultural category in American cities arose in the late 19th century Gilded Age. Newspapers expanded greatly and reported the balls, parties and other entertainments among the expanding class of rich people and social climbers. Many newspapers published these reports in a regular Society page or section, and the persons who were regularly reported there came to be called socialites."

    I guess today's socialites are called socialites because they are "social-lite." It's not about the charity fund-raisers or events they attend, it is about them. If they really want to be charitable, why do they need cameras, entourages and press releases? Of course I'm talking about a small percentage that we see constantly in the press. There are plenty of anonymous donors who support many charities without the fanfare or photo-ops.

    "Being a socialite is wearing a constant mask. A mask that not only hides what a regular mask hides, but also conceals what is often an ugly life..."

    They are masking themselves from themselves.

    Excellent piece my dear friend.

    Sociable Not Socialite Cheers!

  6. Very interesting, never really thought about this too much. I don't travel too much in circles of society where one would find a socialite.

  7. Max:

    I agree with you on point. But I can't help thinking it's an irony that if we believe that all socialites are even half as bad as you say they are, why do so many of us aspire to be one of them?

    We all think that we will be better snobs than those who have come before us. Being rich wouldn't affect us, or change who we are down deep, most common people say. For example, consider the guy/gal who wins 200-million dollars at the state lottery and then shows up at work the very next day. What's with that? Is he/she resisting snobbery? Or they just resisting change? Evidently, it takes a little time and training to become a true socialite. Can an uneducated person be a socialite? Now come back a year later to visit that same person who won the lottery. We find one of two outcomes: They are either snobs, just like the rest of the rich, or they are dirt poor, having squandered their wealth on foolishness. So it makes me wonder, is there a difference between the commonly poor and impoverished nobility?

    A very intersting topic Max. Well done.

    Happy trails.

  8. WOW…

    You have increased the size of your images…you picked this paining because of the dreadful pinkishness…thus to simply put socialite is a bad light! LOL

    It seems to me that socialites have been superseded by celebrities these days…How would you say does the English royal family fit in all this?

    Well I have to rush now dear to the party…well alright I am no socialite…but I do like parties…particularly after Germany defeats England in the World Cup…AGAIN!

  9. Hi! I'm no Paris and I haven't met any socialites face to face. Poor me!

    The life of the rich and famous socialites must be very straining, with having to look “absolutely marvelous” all the time.

    Do they look the same asleep as they do when they're awake? Botox and a new husband or wife every now and then must help.

    Not to look down on them completely their charity work is their saving grace?

    Take Care,

  10. In reading this I found myself thinking of a rather old book 'A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life'. I think it was written in around the 17th century, and the author talked about two broad categories of rich women - the woman who realises she is in a position to help her community and pours her life and resources into it; and the woman who spends her money on dresses and food and self indulgence. It's a pretty compelling book and definitely makes the former sound more appealing than the latter!

  11. My commiserations on Portugal's loss. They fought to the end!

    Take Care,


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