Wednesday, March 12, 2008

NOLA radfem's "RealBeauty"* campaign

This, to me, is what a beautiful woman looks like.

Born in New Orleans and has lived there all her life. Five children, nine grandchildren, thirty-seven great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. Single mom back when that was unheard of (the 1940s - wouldn't tolerate a good-ol-boy's philandering). Once talked her way into an accounting job, then came home and asked her accountant father, "So, what does an accountant do anyway?" As a divorced mom in the 1940s, she used to sometimes go out on more than one date in the same evening. Took care of her elderly mother, even when that mother's much-favored sons were nowhere to be found. Buried a forty-two year old son and has survived despite resulting permanent hole in her heart. Another son was taken away from her by an abusive ex-husband when that son was a little boy. Has outlived both asshole ex-husbands. Was a ballerina and tap dancer in her youth, remembered for her brown skin, jet black hair, and her lovely legs. Can scale and gut a fish and make it look sooo easy. Loves baseball. Adored by everyone. Absolutely hilarious. Gets hair done on Fridays, plays poker on Mondays. Was always destined to become the "old woman who wears purple" she now is.


  • age: 89
  • gender: oh, definitely a woman!
  • race: half Creole and half Irish
  • body type: 4'10" and rounded like a goddess


  • cooking and crocheting (although she's physically unable to do either anymore; used to cook the kind of New Orleans food tourists pay big bucks to eat, like etoufee and shrimp stew and merliton casserole and hot spinach)
  • music (big band and opera)
  • clothes/fashion; jewelry (the bigger the better)
  • reading (mysteries)
  • movies (especially westerns and musicals)
  • "Southern Living" magazine
  • her rain lamp
  • peaches
  • dirty jokes
  • friends

ultimate turnon - Vegas, baby.

known to say

  • "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" (that was fifty years ago, before it could be found on posters and refrigerator magnets)
  • "I love you with my heart, I love you with my liver, but if you were in my mouth, I would spit you in the river."
  • (to a granddaughter) "I didn't ask you if it's expensive. I asked if you want me to buy it for you. Are we spending my money or yours?"
  • "No, you aren't going to get drawn into an argument. You are going to show up there and act like the lady you are."
  • (on cheating husbands) "Makes you feel lower than dirt, doesn't it?"
  • (to grandchildren running like hell to get inside because they had just discovered that the door to the alligator pen was left open) "I don't care what all the hollerin' is about, you kids wipe your feet before you come onto this porch."
  • (handing over cash) "Don't tell Grandpa. This will be our little secret."
  • (to an Italian waiter at Mandina's) "You are very handsome, young man. I'm just trying to figure out who I could fix you up with. I just realized all of my granddaughters are married."
  • "Well, I'll tell you one thing to live by. Never outlive any of your children."

famous for

  • sense of humor (laughing until tears flow)
  • cooking
  • kicking ass at poker
  • hiding cash in her bra
  • being the little old lady driving the big tank of a car
  • scandalizing her grown grandchildren with lusty remarks


  • handsome men
  • big jewelry

Hollywood knows nothing about real beauty.

* a play on Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign


Leigh C. said...

Woohoo!!!! L'chaim!

NOLA radfem said...

Thanks!. She is so cool.

LisaPal said...

Real beauty, indeed! She sounds a little --no, a lot like my late grandmother. I think south Louisiana has a disproportionate share of spunky great (great) grannies like her, and for that, I'm grateful.

NOLA radfem said...