This is how I looked most of my forties, before my wakeup moment and reinvention…the reason this blog began. This is a look which I define as frumpy…it was a look that said I don’t care about me or what I wear. In my world, this frumpy is what I strive daily to avoid. However, there are some women who would call how I dress today as frumpy since I wear flats, mostly pants, no earrings (torn ear), and I am a size 16.
And that is why we all must be careful about our labels. We each define them differently. For example, I was really disturbed on Saturday when the mannequin I posted was described as ugly grandmother style. Many of us over fifty fabulous ladies are grandmothers. Today’s grandmother is not the stereotypical boob-sagging woman wearing big shoes and long moo-moos (you know the sketches on the greeting cards of older women)…far from it. There is really no way to look at the clothing on a woman and know if she is a grandmother or not. So, why insult grandmothers everywhere by implying out style is always ugly.
This is actually one of my pet peeves with my favorite television series, Project Runway. When Tim Gunn or a designer doesn’t like a look or feels it ages a woman, they call it too GRANDMA. There has got to be a better way to say this.Actually, some of the most stylish women over 50 I know in San Antonio are grandmothers…and they rock it with their fashion and their lifestyles….they are bold and in the game.
I was so grieved to see the word grandmother pop up in the criticism of the Would You Wear It mannequin last Saturday. In fact, I will confess, Jennifer and I are revisiting our collaboration only because some voice their opinions in unkind ways. I never meant for those posts to become a way to put other women down. I would wear Saturday’s style in a heartbeat if I could afford it….and I am a grandmother…is that really a bad thing…and am I lacking in style because I am a grandmother or because I love that look? Seriously? In the early days of Would You Wear It, the community of readers would word their comments in constructive ways that did not make a woman who felt differently feel attacked. But in recent weeks, that has changed and some of the comments have become a little vicious.
I do not mind saying something is outdated or aging, but when you label with a name like grandmother…well, then it gets personal. I like helping each woman locate her own style with the Five Foundational adjective system because we are all different and have different tastes. Those who noted the top from last Saturday has a lot of volume and would add the appearance of weight were actually helping with that comments…those who attacked with its grandma, or I would not wear a tablecloth…were really crossing a line into personal attacks against those who liked the look. We have to be more empathetic in a thread such as Would You Wear It. In fact, I dress way better as a grandmother than I did as a mother of three so don’t ever imply that all grandmas wear ugly clothing.
I have promoted kindness and optimism on this site for nine years….and plan to continue to do so. If I sense that personal attacks are happening, then changes must happen. Jennifer and I will be talking this week. We have faced this before which makes these talks even more frustrating. And I know there are some of you who really like and look forward to Would You Wear It. When I taught journalism for 16 years, one of my consistent points was for my students to remember CHOOSE WORDS CAREFULLY…THEY CANNOT BE TAKEN BACK. ALL WORDS HAVE MEANING. I am willing to listen to your thoughts. Please chime in with your opinions…am I right about the use of “grandma style” or the way words come off in a Would You Wear It thread?? Please let us know…we want to understand and make this a positive, educational experience for all in the audience. But, I also will not allow it to be a place where others feel put down and attacked.
I am a grandmother and I love fashion……………………..and, as always, I hope you will join me as I move past negativity and choose to
Here are some fun selections ………………for anyone…..grandmothers or not!