How to Avoid Being an Aunty Without Dressing, Look and Talking Like One

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Avoiding Auntie-ism can be challenging. This happens when women over 40 start dressing, looking, and speaking like aunts without ever actually being one.

Imagine seeing a middle-aged mother, in her dashiki and oversized glasses, conversing on the phone with her children before manually tolling three bells in church. That can be what it looks like for many families today.

What is an Auntie?

An aunt (or auntie, as it is sometimes written) is a female relative related by blood or marriage who serves as a second-degree relative for her nieces and nephews; their male counterpart is known as an uncle. Additionally, some cultures and families refer to half-sisters as aunts or aunties for this exact reason.

Some individuals dislike being addressed as auntie because of its connotation of ageism, suggesting they are older than those being addressed with it. Furthermore, some women perceive auntie status as presenting caretaking or advisory functions on behalf of younger people.

Fictional examples of Aunties include Agatha and Dahlia from P. G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories; Eunice from the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; Petunia Dursley from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, Petunia Dursley as Harry’s wicked aunt as well as Hayao Miyazaki’s Kubo and the Two Strings by Hayao Miyazaki and many others.

Auntie-ism

“Auntie” has become a fashionable designation among affluent, childless women in their 20s and 30s. Typically associated with wealth and beauty–as evidenced by an increasing array of “Cool Aunt” tote bags, sweatshirts, and apparel–this trend may partly be explained by more women opting not to have children altogether – some even opting for permanent abortion as an avoidance mechanism.

Generation Z women often identify with the image of the cool aunt as an ideal role model, especially those aspiring to stylishness, travel-savvyness, career success, and financial security. Many also aspire to an easygoing lifestyle with lots of disposable income for spending on nieces and nephews.

Women in their 20s and 30s have taken to living the “PANK” life with great enthusiasm, both financially and personally. Being an aunt offers both financial freedom and flexibility, as well as providing a sense of community in this role. In an age where fame and wealth seem to be the only ways of making an impression, being an aunt may provide relief from society’s pressures.

Elaine Welteroth, for instance, is unabashedly pro-aunt. Her Instagram feed showcases colorful outfits, impeccable makeup application, clean homes, and luxurious vacations – not to mention she serves as a TV host, fashion critic, and former Teen Vogue Editor in Chief!

Welteroth, though she doesn’t technically fall under that designation, has earned herself the moniker “Auntie E,” becoming an embodiment of an aspirational lifestyle many young women are opting for as they defer motherhood and pursue independence and family ties while enjoying benefits like higher education and professional employment.

As a result, more aunts exist today than ever before. Some are expanding the meaning of adulthood, while others find comfort in it as an aspirational role that allows them to remain close to their nieces and nephews without dealing with the stress associated with parenting.

As more women opt not to have children due to limited financial resources or their desire not to shoulder responsibility for them, adulthood can offer these women a sense of community while giving back. Furthermore, with the PANK lifestyle growing more popular every day and the number of aunts increasing exponentially – becoming one is an excellent way to join in and be an influential force in children’s lives – being an aunt can also raise support networks in general and promote community ties among different members of a chosen family unit.

Auntie Style

Auntie’s lifestyle is something many young women who don’t yet have children aspire to live. This combination of independence and family ties gives women a sense of fulfillment that motherhood alone cannot provide; plus, it offers women another identity they can explore and claim as their own.

And it can even be stylish! Just take a look at the Instagram feeds of “cool aunties,” like author and TikTok personality Elaine Welteroth, who boasts 142.9 million followers under her #AuntieE handle on TikTok. Her feed showcases outfit shots and videos of her living the ideal life – exotic vacations, red carpet appearances, flawless makeup application – while cuddling with nieces and nephews along the way!

TikTok’s #coolaunt hashtag has become increasingly popular. This style embodies auntie life with flowy robes, kaftans, and furs; even men are joining in and sporting skirt suits and oversized kaftans; it has even made its way onto runways! A new sartorial code defies stereotypes while appealing to women of different shapes and sizes who channel their inner aunties.

Rick Owens and Ann Demeulemeester may dominate her wardrobe, but the cool auntie also has her own set of style rules. Critical elements for her look include relaxed fits with loose silhouettes in neutral tones, making pairing statement accessories and heels easy. A wide-brimmed hat or brooch will complete her look – great pieces to help enhance the homecoming season at your HBCU!

If you want to add an edge to your outfit, try wearing a bodycon dress paired with its matching blazer. Add a casual sweatshirt or layer a knit sweater over it for extra warmth and coziness. A statement necklace or bold pair of earrings are the ideal finishing touches; remember to stay true to yourself and never be afraid to be brave!