Column, Southern Thing Column

Life is too short to wear bad bras and other things you learn in middle age

The excerpt below is from a column originally published on To read the full column, click here or click the link at the end of the excerpt.

Mamas are full of great advice – how would we make it through childhood without it? We grew up knowing things like how to act in public because if we didn’t, our mamas would have cut a switch.

The problem is, times change and sometimes the advice needs to change with it. The things my mama taught me are not the same things I pass along to Baby Girl – especially that one about the Clean Plate Club. I have been a card-carrying member since childhood and I can tell you, for all our sakes and my dress size, that thing needs to have its charter revoked.

Some changes become more evident in our 50s … not that I’m speaking from experience. Middle-aged women no longer feel the need to “put some color on” our faces or wear pantyhose whenever we leave the house. That’s because as we age and as our roles change so do our priorities. These days, comfort and expediency win every time. (Sorry, Mom).

I started thinking about this when I read a recent post on called “10 things women in their 40s won’t put up with.” I agree with some of the lessons listed there, but I don’t think we need to throw all the Southern mom-isms out with the bathwater.

Here are a few pieces of updated advice women learn by the time we reach middle age:

Life is too short to wear bad bras. Y’all. I have a bra with plastic “underwire” that actually squeaks when I move my arms. Not even kidding. I would say “Life is too short to wear any bra ever” but a middle-aged woman knows the importance of supporting the Pointer Sisters.

We still believe “God don’t like ugly” and “ugly” applies to those mean-spirited people with perfectly arched brows who lie in wait for their neighbor to come outside with bare-nekkid eyebrows just so they can act superior. To read the full column on, click here. Trust me, it is well worth lifting your finger.

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