Tatler Editor Kate Reardon defends speech to school girls on politeness and good grades

The magazine editor claims that her quotes were taken out of context

Kate Reardon has defended a speech she gave at a school on Saturday (5 July), during which she told female pupils that “being chaotic isn't cute” and that “if you have good manners, people will like you”.

The editor of society magazine Tatler was speaking to students at  £30,000-a-year boarding school Westonbirt School for Girls in Gloucestershire.

"It doesn’t matter how many A-levels you have, what kind of a degree you have, if you have good manners people will like you," the Gloucestershire Citizen quoted her as saying.

"I’m not talking about manners about using the right spoon for soup or eating asparagus with your left hand. I’m talking about being polite and respectful and making people you interact with feel valued."

Her comments were criticised by several publications, who interpreted her message to be anti-feminist.

 

"Forget working hard for your A-levels and getting further qualifications, and instead just be polite, the editor of high-end lifestyle magazine Tatler has told schoolgirls," the Huffington Post UK wrote.

However, Reardon has since claimed that while she was quoted accurately, her comments had been taken out of context.

"While Kate did indeed extol the virtue of good manners, this was set against the context of advice to work hard at whatever it is you choose to do, commenting about her early career," a spokesperson for Tatler told The Independent.

Reardon, who attended Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Stowe School, rejected a place at university in order pursue a career in journalism. She travelled to New York at the age of 19 to become a fashion assistant at US Vogue. She became the youngest ever fashion editor of Tatler at 21.

"So what I learned was the American work ethic - I learned how to work, and hard," she said elsewhere during her speech. "If you develop just one muscle, one skill, make it the ability to focus and just get on with it. It will not only make you desirably employable, but it will make you happy."

The representative went on to add that her views were not "gender specific" but that she had made the speech to female students because it was an all-girls school.

Read More: Prince George Lands First Vanity Fair Cover
Voices - 'Being Polite Has Its Place, But This Isn't It'
Tatler Publishes Guide To The UK's Best State Schools
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before