(by Queen Obsidian)
You might be thinking “Why on earth should I join a group of old ladies who wear strange hats?”
Particularly if you’re not yet 50, it may seem like a weird thing to want to do. But you may be surprised.
Everyone needs friends – they enrich our lives. It’s also good to meet new people and forge new friendships. They do say that strangers are friends you haven’t met yet! The Red Hat Society is a social group, that allows you to have great fun with friends.
But it’s also more than that. The focus is on fun, on being a bit over the top, of doing something out of the ordinary. It’s also about celebrating age, particularly as you get older.
I think many women when they get to about 35 start looking at their age more negatively – starting to get closer to the “dreaded 40”, and that means they are starting to get “old”. There’s increasing pressure to still look young. To cover grey hair, buy wrinkle creams and even to have botox. The images you see in magazines etc. have all their wrinkles and imperfections airbrushed away. You’re not often surrounded by things that show aging as a good thing.
I feel that is one of the great things about the Red Hat Society. It celebrates age, particularly for those over 50, and even gives women something to look forward to when they hit that milestone. Women are actually excitedly looking forward to their 50th birthday, because they then get to “REDuate” and wear the red hats.
Even if you’re younger than 50, you may still find that the RHS gives you the opportunity to spend time with women who have similar interests to you.
As a Pink Hatter (“Pinkie”) myself, I was very nervous about my first outing with the Red Hatters, wondering if I’d feel like I was the baby of the group, and wondering if I would have anything in common and if I’d fit in. But I was really surprised – to me the age difference didn’t matter at all and I had a fabulous time! It inspired me to create my own chapter so I could introduce my friends and other “PInkies” to the society.
One of the things I love most about the Red Hatters is that they are such great fun and they seem to be a lot more “free” than the people my age. You can laugh and be silly! You can wear a feather boa with your slippers and that’s considered fantastic! Going out to breakfast in your pajamas, or wearing a heavily decorated bra on the outside of your clothing – is actually a thing to do!!! You don’t need to worry about makeup and politely declining a second helping of cake.
It’s all about having a great time and not caring what other people think!
The dress code is about celebrating age and shunning the normal conventions of dress. Instead of being demure and sensible in your “old age” – we do the opposite! Bling and loud colours is what we wear! It’s the world-wide symbol of the Society and something that allows you to be instantly recognisable as being part of the Red-Hat-Family.
I’ve always loved getting all dressed up! Especially if it’s a costume or something I wouldn’t normally wear (rather than just putting on nice clothes). To step out of the ordinary and mundane for a little while and let your inner flamboyant side out.
So grab your hat and some bling – and give it a go!