A tai tai means “Mrs.”. It also infers to a woman with a rich husband who doesn’t have to work and lives a luxurious lifestyle.
She was the youngest of six, her parents were poor farmers and her two sisters and three brothers helped out until they got married and tended to their own families.
Hong Kong, where they had moved to, was so different than southern China. She admired the lifestyle some of the ladies had. She wanted to have money, pretty clothes and all sorts of luxurious things; to marry a rich, adoring, handsome, charming gentleman of a husband who spoiled her.
She wanted to be a tai tai, not just as a reference to a married woman as a “Mrs.”.
Ladies who lunch, socialites, these were the tai tai's out and about on their way to dim sum or brunch ...or tea... (will it be English style or Chinese?)
As everyone who was anyone knew Cheongsam off the rack won't quite do Have more than one made; The best qipao are custom-tailored.
Tell me, ladies, what words
will you use to impress
upon your daughters, nieces
and young women from rural provinces
what it means to be a 20th century lady?
Is it the way they walk (especially in high heels) the way they talk? manners, poise and etiquette? Fashionably dressed with sleek chignons? Pearls or jade? A brooch or earrings? ...polished makeup and modesty...?
East and west met and the shapeless Chinese ladies' dress became so much more form fitted ...the high side slits are so they can move.
But be careful, Miss, as charm is empty beyond it's initial, blinding gleam. And a Confucius patriarchy raised girl-child is meant to be submissive and obedient to her father, then to her husband.
But the young girl wanted the dream.
So she sought to emulate them, at least, in the wardrobe and mannerisms sense.