Glamma?! No. Just…No.

I face palm every time I hear it...'Glamma'

I face palm every time I hear it…’Glamma’

I’ll never forget the first time.

There I was, innocent as can be, when Wolf met up with a coworker and the guy’s wife. I was noticably pregnant, and his wife was just soooo excited, telling me that her daughter was expecting too!

“I’m going to be a Glamma!” She trilled.

I blinked. I couldn’t have heard that right. “A grandma! That’s exciting!”

“Not a grandma,” she corrected me, “A Glamma!”

I frantically tried to come up with a response. A Glamma? What the hell is that? Isn’t that the fuzzy, magical critter off of the old Punky Brewster cartoons? No, that was Glomer. So what the hell is a Glamma?!

She noticed my confusion, and decided to help me out. “Glamma is short for Glamorous Grandma!” she announced, putting her hand on her hip, and flipping her hair over her shoulder.

I’m honestly not sure what was said after that, because my brain broke. Complete vapour lock. I had absolutely no response in my head beyond a quote from The Princess Bride: “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

Thankfully, and not for the first time, my husband stepped in and saved me from making a complete ass out of myself. One of the great benefits in marrying a guy with a background in corporate sales and marketing is that he can pretty much pinch hit any social situation, and spout niceties in the weirdest of situations. He even managed to step in front of me, to distract her. The look on my face, he told me later, ‘Was like she’d just picked her nose and flicked the booger at you.’

Crap like this is why I hate leaving the house.

Anyways, I brushed it off as one woman’s oddity. Whatever. Not my circus, not my monkey. But then, I’ve heard it more, and more and more.


I did some checking. Apparently it’s all Goldie Hawn’s fault. Or rather, her grandson’s, who started calling her that. But Goldie put it in her book, so I’m just going to blame her. (Some claim it’s from a reality TV show, but nope, Goldie did it first.)

And, you know, if you’re Goldie Hawn? Yeah, the, ‘Glamma’ thing works. Cher can also pull of being a Glamma. So too can Sally Field, Susan Sarandon, and Tina Turner. Basically, if you’re a rock legend, or a movie star, have at it, Glamma yourself all you like.

But…Is the average grandma really glamorous? Really?

I’m thinking, ‘Not so much.’

And here’s the thing: There’s nothing wrong with that at all!

Glamma, to me, sounds fake, pretentious, and desperate. It smacks of someone who’s terrified of aging, of being old enough to have grandchildren. A panicked, desperate grab for some semblance of younger. To not be the stereotyped old lady in the rocker, wrapped up in a shawl.

Why are we so age obsessed? If you’re a grandmother, embrace it! Don’t try to cutesy it up with weird nicknames that make folks think that you’ve been nipping at a flask in your purse. Don’t try to pretend to be something you’re not.

Glamorous is all well and good for some, but there’s a dignity, an honour, a self-confidence that comes when someone embraces where they’re at in life, be it a mother or grandmother, rather than trying to deny the passage of time.

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Glamma?! No. Just…No. — 54 Comments

  1. Let’s not forget Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, or Judi Dench. They’re managing to embrace age gracefully and rock it at the same time. Maybe being British gives them an advantage, but I think they could be an example to women on this side of the pond.

  2. I am a grandma and proud of that. When we were expecting out first grandchild I was only 42. Yes they started way to early. So the other “nana” could not bear to be called grandma because she was so young and someone might think she was old, you know. I said I would take the plain old grandma and I have loved it since. I grew up where every grandma what just that, we didn’t have all the nannas and memas and all those cute names so I guess it came natural to me. But Glamma, NO, stop that!

    • Thanks, Paula! I don’t get all the cutesy names. There’s such a wide age range for becoming a grandparent, I don’t get why it’s such an issue. Enjoy the relationship, and don’t worry about the ‘title’.

  3. This is a new one to me and have heard Gigi and even I know Susanne Somers had one back in the day that shocked me, but for the life of me cannot see to remember the name, but still got to love women who are trying to cling to that they aren’t aging, when in fact they are!

  4. My mom was going to be “Grandma Betty.” DH’s mom had already laid claim to Mimi (like Mimmy, rhymes with Jimmy). Whatevs. But Mad Natter had other plans. Rather than calling his grandparents Grandma Betty and Grandpa Fred like he was “supposed” to, he called them Hammie and Buppa. It stuck. o.O I figure if your grandkids dub you “Glamma” then okay, whatever. But otherwise, just go with it. Rock the Grandma title, and if you’re feeling self-conscious about it, we’ll make up “World’s Youngest Grandmother” tee shirts or something. It’ll be fun. ^_^

  5. LOL. Fun post! My mom and my MIL are not glamorous. So I don’t think they fall into the glamma category.

    Now, if I to become a grandma (which will be YEARS from now), I will rock a tiedye shirt, flowery skirt, bright colored flip-flop, and be a hippy grandma instead. Diffusing essential oils and all.

  6. Oh geez! Glamma sounds ridiculous. My mom didn’t want to be called “grandma” so she told the kids she wanted them to call her “nana.” I can live with “nana” but I would slap her if she forced “glamma.” Bleh!

  7. Now I’ve heard it all. But I know I haven’t. Wonder what they’ll be calling healthy women who have had no plastic surgery when I finally (maybe) get to be a grandma? Hope it’s something like “crazy fun lady!”

    • Generally, that only happens when I’m in the company of toddlers. But every now and then, I can’t keep the, “Dear God, how does this person not forget to breathe?” level of stupid recognition off my face.

      I would never make it as an actor. Or sales person. Or politician.

      Which, when I think about it, is all the same thing, anyways.

  8. My step mom REFUSES to let the kids call her Gramma!!! I should bring this up to her..

    I heartily disagree with Susan Sarandon being called a glamma. Not unless I need new glasses!!

  9. My mom wants to be called grandmother. My stepmother is “meemaw”. My cousins kids call my aunt “mimi”…so many choices! I hadn’t heard of glamma till now. But, at 48, I do get the fear of getting older. I am not sure how “glamma” keeps one young but hey, to each her own. Funny post!

  10. My grandkids can pretty much call me anything BUT Glamma. I’m not a glamorous mom, why the hell would I be a glamorous grandma? And I have news for all these ladies…a cute little nickname isn’t going to to change the fact that your grandkids will see you as OLD AS DIRT. It’s just the facts.

  11. This pretty much sums up life in Los Angeles. There are many, many women here who need to hang up the crop tops and put on some granny pants.

  12. I guess to each his own, but I agree it sounds silly. Especially since the child has no idea what they’re saying when they call their mother’s mom “Glamma.” Only in California.

  13. Evidently I’m the opposite of a Glamma, as a Walmart checker once thought I was my daughter’s grandmother. (I was 43 at the time.)

  14. I just heard this for the first time yesterday. Funny how that happens! I completely agree with you that it sounds desperate, like they’re so insecure about seeming relevant that they have to make the kid another accessory to prove their own fabulousness rather than focusing on the kid. I know not everybody who uses it will be that kind of person–probably not even most of them. But that’s what it sounds like.

    The only person whom I think I would ever gladly call a “Glamma”, when the time comes, is Elton John.

  15. This hits home so hard…except my mother in law insists on being called G-ma…because grandma makes her sound too old. And that’s phonetically gee-mah. Every time my son says it I cringe, but carry on.

  16. Well I guess its whatever your grandchildren want to call you. I am a GRANDMA, A GRANNY, (and most recently a GLAMMA.) There are many names that mean the same. Its the same with GRANDPAS or PA PA’s. Im fine with whatever my beautiful, sweet grandchildren want to call me. <3 😉

  17. I’m 52. Two 4 yr old granddaughters. I’ve been called Nana, Gran-Nana, Gee-Gee, Gemma (I ride my own Harley), and Glamma… Glamma has stuck. why? I assure you ladies it has nothing to do with fear of aging. It’s a blessing to grow older. Glamma came about when I took my granddaughters “Glamping” in Other words Camping with with two little divas. They see me sparkle and shine while battling a disease and being a single mother and Glamma. We have sparkle parties where we bake, do our nails, makeup, hair, pamper ourselves. I’m teaching them that no matter what life throws at you, you were hand picked by God to overcome, rise up and sparkle, to walk with your shoulders back your head held high no matter how much pain you are in on the inside or outside. I am beyond honored to be called Glamma.

  18. I can see why someone calling themselves that could be insanely irritating.. but wow.
    I wanted to get my mother in law a glam-MA sweater because she’s so glamorous. & every where we go people think my daughter is hers and not mine. I’m still gonna do it. Im posotive she’s never heard that term, she calls herself grandma and grammy. She’ll get it 🙂

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