Mother’s Day is Sunday, and I found this great story about a mom’s words of wisdom for my Campbell & Kate blog today. If you own anything like the author’s mother’s “black underwear”, please share in the comments there.
For Hourglassy, however, my Mother’s Day thoughts go in a different direction. It’s a question I’ve been considering for a while: What’s wrong with mom jeans? Or looking mumsy? In a Wall Street Journal article about bob haircuts last month, one hair stylist suggested a longer version for older women because “You don’t want to look like a soccer mom.” Why not??
This post has a connection to being large-breasted because we’re the Women Most Likely to Look Matronly–especially if you’re short like I am, and if you also have a large bum. “Matronly” is my default wardrobe. I struggle against it constantly. All you have to say for me to change my clothes is, “That makes you look matronly.”
Why is “matronly” such a negative? For me, it evokes images of someone
- who moves slowly
- who doesn’t like adventure
- whose look is stuck in the past
The dictionary defines a matron as “a married woman or widow, esp. one who has a mature appearance and manner” (emphasis added). No wonder when we think of “matronly”, we tend to think of “old”. There are positives associated with the term, such as “dignified” and “calm, quiet or composed”, but since no one ever intends “matronly” as a compliment when they use it to describe me, I’ll continue my struggle against it.
There is a certain group of women, however, that I think should be able to wear “matronly” like a badge of honor: mothers. They should be able to wear mom jeans and look mumsy and have a soccer mom bob. Instead of derision, they deserve our respect (although I admit I can’t help laughing at the SNL Mom Jeans skit). When I see a matronly mom, I see someone who is
Not every frumpy mother is a good mother, and moms don’t get a free pass to ignore their looks. None of us do. But I’ve spent more time than I care to admit admiring gorgeously groomed celebrities and sharp-looking professionals whose highest priority is themselves, and I’ve laughed at mothers who look like people who care about others more than themselves. When I look at mom jeans from that perspective, they don’t seem quite as funny.