July, 2005 - Notice anything different? The Divine Sisterhood's snazzy new Chapter Logo is the brain-child of your very own Queen Sissy La-La (concept and nit-picking) and our talented Pinkie, Princess Picture Perfect, the Mad Catter of the Red Hatters, aka: "Cat" (illustration and design). If you'd like to have your very own unique logo, customized just for you, contact Cat at madcatrhs@puppetmotel.net

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, a glass of wine in one hand
and a Godiva chocolate in the other, loudly
proclaiming... "Woo-Hoo! What a Ride!"

Dedicated to re-shaping the way
"women of a certain age" are viewed by today's culture

The generic term for a Red Hat Society chapter founder is "Queen Mother".  Our founding "Queen Mother" is Cianne McGinnis, aka "Her Royal Heinie, Queen Sissy La-La". The Red Hat Society began as a result of a few women deciding to greet middle age with verve, humor and elan. We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together. Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next. There are no dues, no rules and all we do is gather and have fun together.

The Red Hat Society philosophy is best expressed in a poem called "Warning" by Jenny Joseph.  It speaks of a woman who vows in her old age to "wear purple and a red hat that doesn't go" and to do silly outrageous things that "ladies of a certain age" are just not supposed to do.  Red Hatters are a bunch of fun-loving women who have given themselves permission to be eccentric and outrageous in public.  We love to play dress up and delight in shenanigans and tomfoolery - in our purple outfits and red hats, or course!  We consider ourselves royalty and as such adopt titles for ourselves such as Princess this & Countess that. This adds an element of fun to aging, which we think is invaluable to women in our society who have learned to dread aging and avoid it at all costs. We want to make aging become something anticipated with excitement, not something to dread. Women who are under 50 are encouraged to join us and are considered our little sisters, or "Red-Hats-in -Training" - my chapter calls them "Pinkies". They wear lavender outfits with pink hats until their BIG BIRTHDAY. We have lots of silly traditions (some involve playing kazoos and bubble blowing…), a chapter anthem which we sing and kazoo, Swearing-In Ceremonies where “newbies” are sworn in to the sisterhood and appointed their royal titles by our exalted Queen (from her Royal Throne, of course); De-Pinkification ceremonies where pink hatters graduate to a red hat on their 50th birthday, and our giggle-fits are known to last for hours!

The outfits of the sisterhood run the gamut and usually reflect the personality of the Red or Pink Hatter inside it.  Wearing the designated colors is the only thing set in stone. You will see many women in feather boas, some with birdcages upon their head (red, of course), and hats with cartoon characters on them, but they may be seated right next to another in a plain red baseball cap and a Red Hat sweatshirt.  Another may be wearing a red cowboy hat, while another has a huge over-the-top “Hello Dolly” type hat with flowers and tulle and jewels, oh my! It's that "anything goes" philosophy of the Red Hatters that we like.  It's about joy, being young at heart, and knowing life (and having fun) doesn't end at 50. My personal philosophy is that I had the most girlie-girl fun when I was around 8 playing dress-up in my mommy’s high heels, jewelry, hats and fancy dresses. So now the standard for my Red Hat event outfits is this: would I think I look beautiful in this if I were an 8-year-old girl?  If the answer is "yes" - then that’s what I’m wearing!

On this website, you can read all about my chapter, called The Divine Sisterhood of Dancing Divas. You can learn more about the original (dis)organization by going to www.redhatsociety.com .

Phone: 661-833-6787 or E-mail: Cianne@bak.rr.com