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