Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No Rolled Trousers in this Alphabet

The Granny Alphabet, that is.

The editorial blurb from Amazon goes like this:  Spirited, stylish, sweet—here are granny archetypes of every stripe.

Of every stripe and plaid and check as well, if the sample pix on Amazon are anything to go by.

My namesake with her knitting. 

Call me crankytrousers, but I don't find this double volume set of photos and cartoons very charming at all. In fact, I find it more than a little creepy. I have nothing against "spirited, stylish and sweet"--okay, maybe I have something against sweet.  I don't have anything against old ladies in general, being one myself. If these dames want to dress up and have their pictures taken by some sweet-talking photographer, who am I to grouse?

So, why am I grousing?  Maybe its because the "granny archetypes" seem more like "granny stereotypes." As we all know, stereotypes exist because there is more than a grain of truth in them, but we don't all have canes, dowager humps, or straight from the 60's mink coats, or lie in bed surrounded by hatboxes as we await transport to the closet in the sky.

Or maybe it's the patronizing attitude behind the whole venture.  As though it is just so cute that someone who is old, old, old still wants to dress up and be seen, even if they look like something out of Monty Python. And, yes, by the way this whole enterprise is British and maybe "Granny" is a sub-culture there, like Goth or Surfer and I am just not getting it.

Excuse me while I cover myself in hand knits and take a few nips of the medicinal brandy as I ponder my own sorry position in the world of style.

This book was being flogged on one of my favorite blogs The Sartorialist, a photographer of street style who on occasion takes photos of older folk who catch his eye.