Belonging to a group and feeling a sense of belonging is healing. Shared stories, shared memories and shared ideas bring us together and allow us to bond. Maybe that’s the magic behind the overwhelming popularity of The Red Hat Society®!
After reading the poem “Warning”, Sue Ellen gave her friend, Linda, a gift of a glorious red hat and a copy of the poem by Jenny Joseph. Linda loved the gift so much that Sue Ellen knew that it would be a hit with several other of her friends too, and she gave them red hats and prints of the poem as well. Soon, they realized they were becoming a bit of a “society”, and should go out to tea in their red hats and clashing purple ensembles. Their outing was a smashing success, and the rest is history.
If you’re not a member of The Red Hat Society, chances are you’ve at least seen evidence of the organization. Red hat pins, purple scarves, and red hat selections at department stores have been commonplace for years now. Still, it’s interesting to note that in April of 2011 the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History placed a red hat and purple boa on display to pay homage to the place that The Red Hat Society has in American culture. Museum director Brent D. Glass states, “The Red Hat Society is a wonderful, one-of-a-kind example of American culture and tradition. It is an organization that encourages strong bonds and living life to the fullest – ideas that are cherished by our society.”
Don’t know much about the The Red Hat Society® (RHS)? Here are a few quick facts:
- Today, The RHS is an international society made up of women of all ages.
- RHS is dedicated to reshaping the way women approaching 50 and beyond are viewed in today’s culture.
- RHS supports women and encourages them to pursue fun, friendship, freedom, fulfillment of lifelong dreams, and fitness.
- Women who have reached age 50 are known as “Red Hatters” and wear purple clothing, while those under 50 are called “Pink Hatters” and wear lavender.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me…
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth…
–from “Warning” by Jenny Joseph
Joining The Red Hat Society is easy. Contact the site at www.redhatsociety.com and click on the link at the top of the page marked “Join.” Membership is currently $20 annually. The fun that follows is priceless.