• Wed, Oct 10 2012

Eff The MILFs, I’m Bringing Frumpy Back

I’m so sick of the whole stupid yummy mummy thing. I’m tired of the MILFs and their never-ending pilates regimes and celebrities who still look like celebrities after pushing an 8 pound baby out of their Brazilian-waxed vaginas. I’m sick of “experts” telling us how we can get our post-baby bodies back and advertisements that tell us how to look younger. I’m sorry Rebecca, but I have decided to bring frumpy back.

Remember moms? Like mom moms? You may have had one or known one when you were growing up. Moms who got their hair permed or who had it cut in sensible bobs. Moms who wore sneakers, and not for going to a Zumba class. Moms who wore cardigans and flats and mom jeans! Mom jeans! Comfy, high-waisted, loose-fitting mom jeans that you could wear without worrying the zipper would bust open while you were eating a cookie at your kid’s school bake sale that you baked yourself while wearing your mom jeans! Holiday sweaters. Sweatshirts with kittens on them, sometimes with rhinestones and/or sequins. That shit was made for moms! I’m sick of having to be hot. I’m sick of getting my hair highlighted and buying face creams that cost more than my cable bill and wearing heels and reading those bullshit articles with headlines like “How To Look Fabulous After Forty!”  No, don’t you dare click on that! I’m sick of lingerie. What normal woman who has given birth has to shove her fat ass into a tight-fitting corset? I want a pair of flannel pajamas. Hopefully with kittens on them.

We need to stop the madness you guys. When do we get to finally look old? Why is looking old such a bad thing? When did we, as a culture, decide that women have to look forever hot and f-able? Can’t we leave that to the twenty-one-year-olds? Why can’t we wear clogs? Why can’t I buy a jar of Pond’s face cream and a tracksuit and throw away my eyeliner and fill my makeup bag with lasagna recipes cut out from old copies of Family Circle I find in my dentist’s office? You guys, I don’t even have a recipe folder. I have spent too much time worrying about accessorizing to minimize my laugh lines and not enough time reading about casseroles.

The most popular daytime talk show segments always involve some poor, unsuspecting mom who gets an “ambush” makeover where some asshole host throws out her sweatsuits and forces her to cut her hair and wear lip liner. Maybe this mom didn’t want a makeover. Maybe she was busy raising children or working on a cure for cancer when you interrupted her with your flat irons and your Spanx. As women, do we always have to walk around giving men erections? Why is this our job? Can’t we just decide to be comfortable and not worry about our magical erection causing abilities and be as frumpy as we wanna?

When I was growing up my mom looked “attractive” but she looked like a mom. She had a lap. A lap that I could snuggle on. When did laps get to be over?  For the love of mom jeans, we need to bring back laps. I’m bringing frumpy back. You all are welcome to join me. We can start an entire revolution of moms who look like moms look in catalogues that sell us kitten sweatshirts and coupon binders. We can spend all the money we blow on makeup and skinny jeans and blow-outs on expensive cheese and things we actually need, like booze.

I know there isn’t some weird law that says I can’t look how I want and that if I did decide to give up any semblance of attractiveness that the hot MILF mom police will arrest me and take away my birthday. I just don’t want to do this alone. You know you want to join my frumpy revolution. You know you are sick and tired of things like looking hot and watching what you eat and not using a hair scrunchie. We can totally revolt together.  It will involve flannel shirts and sensible shoes and mom jeans! Just don’t tell my husband, I want to surprise him with my new kitten sweatshirt.

(photo:  Tubol Evgeniya/Shutterstock)

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  • C.J.

    Lol, love this article! I’m the mom in the flannel pj pants and the sweatshirt dropping the kids off to school. I don’t have to get out of the van so who care! I shower and dress in comfy pants or jeans and a clean sweatshirt before I go pick them up, I do have to get out of the van then. Sneakers are my best friend and make-up, what’s that. The dishes and laundry don’t care what I look like. My kids don’t care what I look like, just that I am there. My husband loves me just the way I am, I was the same way before kids. I don’t really care what anyone else thinks, I’m just me and I like to be comfy!

  • LiteBrite

    Last week I spent a lunch hour searching for a new pair of jeans because I was convinced every pair I own are “mom jeans.” I tried explaining this concept to DH, but he didn’t get it. (“But they’re jeans, and you’re a mom, so aren’t they mom jeans by default?”)

    Sorry, Eve, I can’t join this revolution with you. As much as I love kittens, I just can’t bring myself to wear them on my shirt. :)

    • NotThumper

      LOL! I agree! I too love kittens but their place is anywhere but on my clothing!
      I am 28 years old and was convinced that I fell into the frumpy mom category but now after reading this article I’m convinced to the contrary. :)
      Eve, I think you just need to relax. Where what you want (even if that means kittens), style your hair how you want, wear whatever make-up you want, and don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone else thinks. :)

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Oh I’m relaxed, I’d just be more relaxed in a sweatshirt with puppies or kittens or a sparkly horse on it.

    • MommyK

      Can the horse have rainbow-coloured hair and/or a horn?

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      It must!!!

  • Lori B.

    Please, please, please!!! Someone do a parody of JT’s Sexy Back to “I’m bringing frumpy baack. Yeah!”

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      ha! I was totally singing that in my head while writing this.

  • Lastango

    “We can totally revolt together.”
    ==========
    Well, if you’re giving up the world is losing one smokin’ hot MILF! But you’re freeing yourself to go for a New Hotness if you want to. Ferinstance, you can start using tools. I remember one woman writing that when she was in the boatyard removing bottom paint from her sailboat — a tough, dirty job — a never-ending parade of men came by to chat. She said she wishes she had known this magic secret years ago. Gotta be an auto mechanics course somewhere near you!
    == You could also take up shooting.
    == Motorcycling is good too. (If you can wrench your own bike, you’re a goddess!) Since the whole bike thing is useless without links:
    ===

    http://poppygall.com/blog/2011/07/20/2-wheeled-inspiration-elspeth-beard/
    ===

    http://www.loisontheloose.com/my-adventures/
    ===

    http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/8/13636/Motorcycle-Article/2012-Womens-Street-Bike-Shootout.aspx
    (Scroll down on the first page and read about the testers.)===
    ===

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      I love how you included links, you are totally going to be the revolution vice pres!

    • kathleen

      Yes, yes to the motorcycle option. I myself (and thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my moto because it is the best one EVER) have a 2001 Aprilia Falco. Red. It also feeds into the frumpiness issue, because no one looks good when you take your helmet off. Flat hair that also manages to stick out, plus weird pressure spots on your face/head from your cheek pads. Frumpy!

      This picture is not of me…..

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      This is so awesome. You should email Koa about writing about being a biker mommy. I’m a total biker mom, meaning I watch Sons of Anarchy.

    • kathleen

      I am totally cool, it’s true. And I used to live in Texas and now I live in another unnamed southern state, so I still feel like a rarity with mah sport bike. Plenty of women on hogs, of course, but usually just riding pillion.

    • Lastango

      Best of all, everyone can have it their own way! Eve Vawter can be frumpy in her Aerostich 2-piece:
      http://www.aerostich.com/media/images/catalog_covers/coverphotos/255.jpg
      ===
      ProudMILFmommie (below) can go hot, like Australian mystery writer Tara Moss:

      http://standanddeliver.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/moss1.jpg
      http://www.wireimage.com/celebrity-pictures/Tara-Moss-and-husband-Mark-Pennell-during-2005-Fosters-Australian/117912664
      ===
      …and everyone who likes bunny slippers and cat sweaters can still be themselves!

      http://www.aerostich.com/media/images/catalog_covers/coverphotos/232.jpg

      ===No matter which way you go, when you ride you have to carry a chair to back off all the men who find you fascinating!

      ===
      No matter which way you go, when you ride you have to carry a chair to back off all the men who find you fascinating!

    • kathleen

      Also what’s really amusing is the degree of anxiety that my eldest daughter has about the whole motorcycle thing. She used to make me text when I got on the bike and text when I got to my destination…she was acting like my mother. She assumed I was dead whenever she couldn’t get hold of me.

      When she got her license I told her that the tables were turned….

  • Tinyfaeri

    Personally, I don’t want my style to change just because I’m a mother. Any shred of my former self I can keep or get back is OK with me – my wallet, my feet, my back and I all want me to be able to fit in my old jeans and other clothing some day. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable – if you want to be “frumpy,” rock on with your bad self.

    • kate

      Im with you tinyfaeri, i really really want to wear my size 4 black leggings again…if leggings are in style when and if i ever get there… maybe i’ll wear them anyway. maybe that will end up being frumpy! lol (ps – lost my disquss password, but its still me. lol)

  • Katie

    Hilarious! I laughed so hard and could not agree more! Amen, sister :)

  • Daisy

    I actually love dressing up–if I could wear a ballgown and tiara every day, I so would. But if you want to be frumpy with aplomb, then I say go for it! Picturing the kitten sweaters and mom jeans with a giant grin on your face, put a grin on my face :)

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      waitaminnit, we can wear ball gowns and tiaras? OK, if I can’t bring frumpy back I am voting for this ball gown and tiara thingy. we can all act like total royalty and demand red carpets etc

  • Meah

    Oh! Oh! Can we wear “granny panties” and nude colored bras that come in a box?

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      OH YES WE CAN!

    • Monz

      I wanna wear shapeless housecoats and terrycoth slippers, like my grandma always did!

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      I love you

  • Jess

    I might love flannel pajamas more than life itself… and I’m totally okay with kittens. That’s it. I’m IN!

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      YESSSSS!

  • Persistent Cat

    I think what’s being described here are two ends of the spectrum; either look smoking hot or just flat out give up.

    But there’s a very happy medium. It doesn’t take more effort to put on decent jeans and a sweater than it does to put on ill-fitting track pants and a stained hooded sweatshirt. And there’s a difference between looking, and I quote, “fuckable” and grooming.

    Please don’t make the rest of us who groom and care about our appearance feel bad about that. Just because I put on make-up everyday (takes minutes) and care about what I’m wearing doesn’t mean I love my husband or family any less and it doesn’t make me a bad person. I want my husband to like what he’s looking at.

    Moms are not a person, they are what a woman can become. Just as she can become a doctor or lawyer or athlete, etc. There’s no one look, there’s no way a mom is supposed to look or act.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Well said.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      You don’t want a hair scrunchie? :(

    • Persistent Cat

      Oh goodness no, but thank you :) And I love cats more than anything but they don’t go on my sweaters!!!! But I will compliment a strangers sweater/tote bag/ umbrella/nurse’s scrubs if I see someone wearing it :)

    • Justme

      “Moms are not a person, they are what a woman can become.”

      This might be the best sentence I’ve ever read on a parenting site. Ever.

      Love it.

    • Frammitz

      I’m with you, Cat! I loved this article, I did. But, um, I’m not going full frumpy.

      I’m not the most sartorial person in the world, but let’s embrace the self-care and sexy-as-we-wanna-be at every age and not try to look 18 all our lives!

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  • Ann

    I want to admit here that my favorite thing to wear are my landsend elastic waist trousers…I do work out and recently fit back into my post 3rd pregnancy jeans but you know what?nothing feels as good as those freakin elastic pants and a chunky cardigan! I am in sista…does this mean we can wear holiday sweatshirts with elves and snowflakes??

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Oh of course we can! We can also play bridge and eat coffee cake and yell ” get the hell off my lawn !” at the neighbor kids

  • Rae Hodo

    I’m neither a mom jean or holiday/kitten/sequined sweater kind of person, but I never have been, it’s just not my style. But give me comfy straight-legged jeans designed to actually fit my curvy womanly shape without having to suck it in (i.e., a more modern cut, but that’s my style and it has been since the 90′s when the skinny jeans went out the last time). Give me soft t-shirts and flannels and hoodies and comfy shoes that properly fit my wide feet. My hair is short and funky – I’m all about the hair :) – because it just doesn’t work long unless it’s permed and scrunched 80′s style and while I miss being able to throw it up into a scrunchy or clip, I have plenty of hats to throw over it when I can get away with it. I’m 39 and haven’t worn makeup on a regular basis since I was in my early 20′s. And these days when I do wear it for special occasions I’m pretty much an eyeliner, mascara, and lip balm girl. Anything more looks like clown makeup to me.

    Do I look like a mom. I don’t know and I don’t care. I don’t define myself by my motherhood or my marital status and it irritates the hell out of me to see women who describe themselves as “a wife and mother” when asked. So you made a fucking person – or some fucking people – big fucking deal.

    Personally, I’m a bipolar crazy-cat-lady-in-training tax accountant working on my masters degree and CPA. I’m a sci-fi fan. I happen to have a fabulous husband but marrying doesn’t define me. I have a pretty cool son that I love dearly, but he is an individual who, at 19, is learning how to take care of himself in the world as he should be (emphasis on learning…). I raised my son but prioritized my marriage because I want my marriage and kick ass man to be there when my son has long since moved on. After C-ing out of his scholarship and non-resident tuition waiver and university he’s back at our house where we allow him to live rent-free as long as he’s a student working his ass of to pay for his classes at the local community college. I long for the day that he moves his ass back on out so I can run around nekkid in my own damn house again And it is not his house any more, we just let him stay there for now.

    I don’t care if I’m a yummy mummy or a milf or whatever, the only erection I care about is my hubby’s – and that nekkid thing is the best way to get one of those.

  • ProudMILFmommy

    Ummm… no. Not acceptable. Women like you make me sad. I pride myself on waking up getting dolled up and drop off my daughters to school. I go to PTA meetings in skinny jeans, a blouse, and high heels. I never leave the house looking frumpy. I am a proud MILF mommy. Sexy moms rock!
    I can do anything a frumpy mom can but look sexy doing it.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Sure, a sexy mom can do anything a frumpy mom can… but she can’t wear a sweater with sequins and kittens and mayhaps a rainbow on it. I can’t make you “sad” because I’m not doing it yet. I still have to order all of my clothing from the mail and go visit the comfy shoe store!

    • LiteBrite

      I think you missed the humor in this article. It wasn’t meant to be taken literally.

      It used to be that once you became a mom, you were expected to turn in all of your cute jeans, sexy heels, and instead opt for saggy pants and sweaters with teddy bears on them. Now it’s the opposite. You may be a mom but God help you if you look like it else Stacy and Clinton sweep in and decimate your closet full of sweatshirts and yoga pants. And that’s what Eve is making fun of, this whole mindset of what a mom is supposed to look like nowadays. Why can’t we just look like ourselves?

      Hey, if you want to rock the PTA meeting in skinny jeans and heels, go for it. But your comment really illustrates this judgmental attitude towards women who don’t follow the same path, and I find that part the most sad.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      The sexy moms don’t like our frumpy mom fun :(

    • LiteBrite

      On second thought, I might be able to get into your revolution. I spend all week in heels and dress clothes, so come Saturday I’m ready for more casual attire.

      I’m still not wearing shirts with kittens on them, though. A girl’s gotta draw the line somewhere. :)

  • koolchicken

    I’ll be 28 next month and my due date is six weeks after that. So while I’m all for being comfortable, I’m not interested in giving up. Ever since I stopped fitting into my real clothes several months ago I’ve been staring at Kate Spade dresses and crying. I don’t want to be frumpy, I want to be a girl- a girl n a pretty dress. Why can’t comfy be what makes you happy? And if what makes you happy is a dress, pretty hair, and accessories why is that wrong. Becoming a mother shouldn’t leave you resigned to a life of ugly clothes and boring hair. Mum jeans actually sound a lot more uncomfortable to me than a pair of skinny jeans, ballet flats, and a swing top. Why? Because looking like a slob is embarrassing, and being perpetually embarrassed is uncomfortable.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      “And if what makes you happy is a dress, pretty hair, and accessories why is that wrong.”

      It’s not wrong at all, it’s just been said a gazillion times everywhere. The entire conversation about how moms SHOULD look is all about being cute and pretty and f-able. There are self-help books, makeover shows, tons of magazine and newspaper articles and it’s all that’s being talked about.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=592188905 Bran Chesterton

    Wait a minute… I’m 28, not a mother, but I wear flannel nightgowns and granny-panties while I clip coupons for my coupon binder.

    ….am I… am I an old-school mom?

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      I am not totally sure, but I am sitting next to you!

  • radicalhw

    In 2009 I wrote an essay for the Minnesota Women’s Press on this very subject, inspired by the nearly 50-year-old Valerie Bertinelli posing for the cover of People mag in a bikini. Permit me to quote myself: “Her flat tummy even sports a perky little belly ring, driving home the message that to be the mother of an 18-year-old, you need to look like one.”

    • Ellie

      I disagree. Why do you have to give that stuff up just because you gave birth? I got my belly ring (and nose piercing) in 1988, well before it became a thing, and well before I became a mom. I still have them, and I still love them. I could say the same thing about a lot of things I have and wear.

  • Angela

    Kitten sweatshirts UNITE!

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      We so need these. I’m sure we would get a discount if we bought them in bulk.

  • Cat

    “We can spend all the money we blow on makeup and skinny jeans and blow-outs on expensive cheese and things we actually need, like booze.”
    I love this!

  • http://twitter.com/MamaHasSnacks Carinn Jade

    I will NOT wear kitten sweaters and mom jeans for many reasons. Can’t I just wear normal (not skinny) jeans, uggs and a non-descript long-sleeve tee? If yes, I am SO in.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Of course!!

  • Simone

    Yay! The other day I felt there was something wrong with me when I noticed that I was quite happy with my body despite having my baby four weeks ago. According to every piece of media and text in existence, I should be lunging at fat-blasting post-pregnancy body boot camp products – or I could tell the media to STFU and go on quietly being happy the way I am.

    Eve, I love how you’re challenging a dominant social discourse – that women exist largely to be looked at and that as well as all the actual work women do, they must also go to a huge effort to ensure that they are following cultural rules about maintaining, at great expense, a ‘suitable’ visual appearance. There is more than one ‘right’ way to look; there is more than one way to be a woman, and I’m very tired of the relentless pressure on women to fit a very narrow and unrealistic stereotype.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      There is NOTHING wrong with you. At all.

  • Coralee

    This article is brilliant! I totally remember the way my mom dressed, it wasn’t anything like the moms today. For the record I don’t think wearing comfy shoes and kitten sweatshirts is giving up, it’s simply embracing the mommy style..if my kids snots, vomits,or wipe their dirty hands on my kitten sweater, it’s not such a big deal, but if they did it to my new designer shirt…flip out!!! I’m not afraid to get down and dirty with my kids and I dress accordingly. I’m with you all the way Eve!

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  • Jessica

    ponds: got it on right now. time spent googling “easy casserole recipes”: embarrassing. holiday sweaters: i’m the crazy broad that wears them to the office. items i buy with my disposable income: booze and cheese. i shit you not, i probably have a cache of scrunchies up in my attic in a box labeled “college stuff”.

    i didn’t know “bringing frumpy back” was a thing but, i’m with ya, girlfriend.

    in fact, i’ll raise you a “do-it-yourself haircut”. not because i can’t afford a cut at a salon. it’s just . . . i have scissors.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      You are hereby named the official hairstylist of the frumpy revolution!

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  • muffalish

    I HAVE a kitten sweatshirt! I’m so IN!
    But tell me, how about those of us single ladies who aren’t getting some on the regular? What if I want to see a penis again at some point in my life that I don’t have to wipe the seat up after? (scratch that, this phenomena is not limited to the 5 year old set is it? )
    Maybe cut the kitten sweatshirt up all flashdance like?

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  • lyzl

    Can I wear my pajama jeans?

  • Ladyrobinson

    I love this. I am not even a Mummy, but have had a key role as a WTLTOF (Woman they like to occasionally…). I love pyjama pants. Plus I think I have had my fair share of storming sex

  • Michelle Smiles

    I rock the sweat pants and yoga pants and non-skinny Levis. I love cardigans (although i draw the line at kitten sweatshirts, I have been known to wear my beach sweatshirts all winter). I stopped wearing heels when I started chasing children. I get my hair done once or twice a year. When I put on makeup, the kids ask wear we are going because they know I don’t do it just because. I’m totally with you.

  • Fifi

    Good heavens, I spent most of my 20′s and 30′s fat and frumpy. I am no longer fat nor frumpy, so I’m going to just keep on trying to rock it for a couple more years. I doubt I’m causing any erections, but if I did, I think that’d be awesome. ;oP Still, I say, more power to your frump! I WILL be joining you at some point!!! Oh, and to be honest, I don’t highlight or otherwise color my hair and the most I’ve ever spent on face cream is about $17. FRUMP ON!

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