Regular moms are cool, too
In my humble opinion, nothing beats the Mean Girls scene where Mrs. George (Amy Poehler) very promptly informs Cady (Lindsay Lohan) of her "cool mom" status the first time they meet.
"I'm not like a regular mom. I'm a cool mom!" the matron famously quips, clad in a pink jumpsuit and a polished blonde hairdo.
Although I appreciate the humour of this scene in the context of the film, I can't help but slightly cringe every time I watch it because it also reminds me of our generation's toxic obsession with having a cool mom.
Many of my friends and cousins often publicly rebuke their mothers for not living upto a certain standard of coolness. Sometimes it's the way the mothers dress, sometimes it's their unfamiliarity with English. Sometimes it's the dialect they speak, sometimes it's them needing help with their phones. While their supposed transgressions are clearly harmless and nothing shameful, the children's reactions to these are anything but. From the children wordlessly shoving them out of the room to openly throwing tantrums over these simple matters and then sheepishly apologising to the spectators (never the mothers!) for the scene, I have seen it all.
Needless to say, judging someone for something as personal as their sense of fashion or taste in music and incompetence in certain fields is incredibly reductive, especially if the person in question is a mother or a mother figure. It is important we appreciate the fact that these beautiful, strong women who raised us were born in a very different time and age. Different talents and arts were valued back then and for most of our mothers, being a girl meant they were only exposed to specific skills and hobbies as children. All these environmental factors played a huge role in their development into the adults they are today the same way we are being shaped by the world around us now.
Now of course, not all practices they inherited from their generation are as benign. Casual body shaming, internalised misogyny and blatant xenophobia are only a few examples of the destructive behaviours that were normalised when our mothers were younger and forming their view of the world and sadly, it does show in many of them. This is where respectful discussions should come into the picture instead of flimsy personal attacks on a mother's accent or something else as superficial. In cases where discussions are not an option, alternative decisions should still be made from a mature and graceful mindset.
We always equate confidence with coolness but it's about time we understand that true confidence is not just an aesthetic of coldness or haughtiness. True confidence is the unconditional acceptance of the self and others, obviously exclusive of unhealthy characteristics. It's also about time we realise that our mothers are not accessories meant to forward us in the rat race of social acceptance. They are whole, imperfectly perfect humans and instead of putting our regular mothers down over nothing, let's start holding them up like the champions and cool moms they are instead.
Fabiha is secretly a Lannister noblewoman and a Slytherin alum. Pledge your allegiance and soul to her at [email protected]