PopCulturalist

No More “Grown and Sexy” Cougars, Please!

There are some slang terms I’d like to murder. Like “playa hater,” which won’t die no matter how old the phrase is or “shawty” (*shudder*), but two terms that have caused me to spit up my Maxwell House are “grown and sexy” and “cougar.”

One term is ludicrous, used to describe those tacky over 21 night club soirees that are always filled with decidedly “not grown” old people who dress like teenagers and think adulthood is about Stacey Adams and wearing a Jersey over your wife beater and that “sexy” is about illicit fornication with strangers who smell like Sean John and menthols.

More after the jump.

The Root’s Rashod D. Ollison called it the gateway to “bourgie materialism“:

(T)he “grown and sexy” night was a bust. It was like walking into an overgrown fifth-grade dance: Women in low-cut clothes and ultra high heels congregated on one side of the bar, while guys in flashy, pointed-toe loafers and French-cuffed shirts stood around on the other. The DJ was predictable; the mingling was tentative, to say the least. Folks stood around watching each other, sipping on overpriced cocktails and posing for cameras that weren’t there …

I have also noticed that those who frequently drop the phrase (“grown and sexy”) in everyday conversation are neither grown nor sexy. They may be over 25, but they possess the interpersonal skills of a restless college freshman. Being grown for these folks usually means putting on button-down shirts over wife beaters, but their pants still hang off their waists. For women, it means squeezing themselves into painted-on jeans, teetering on four-inch heels and tossing their weaves in an effort to look like America’s Next Top Model. For these folks, “the look” is everything, and conversation reveals next to nothing.

I swear, there is not enough Purell and Valtrex in the world.

As for “cougar,” that is beyond the most condescending term ever as it implies that there is something aberrant and animalistic about a sexually viable and attractive woman over 40.

Would you use such a denigrating term towards someone like Halle Berry (age 42) as if she would ever be unattractive to any man of any age? Or Angela Bassett (age 50)? As if it’s abnormal for someone to want them simply because they aren’t in their early 20s. It makes no sense, but the term feeds into the belief that a woman’s worth is tied to her looks and that age, no matter who you are or how you look, is an impediment to those looks.

It’s clichéd, it’s lame, it’s undignified. It smacks of predatory desperation. As Salon’s Rebecca Traister wrote in April, “How sad and backward that we have to give it a nickname, animalize it as if it’s outside the boundaries of civilized human behavior, make it a trend, pretend that Demi Moore invented it. That’s not progress, and it’s not a step forward for women.” ‘Nuff said. (Jezebel)

I just hate it. I hate how it compares female sexuality to an animal. I hate the show “The Cougar,” because it makes middle age women look pathetic and desperate. I hate Courtney Cox’s new show “Cougar Town” even though it hasn’t aired yet, just because of the stupidity of the name.

On the other hand, I sometimes find SNL’s Cougar Den funny. But that’s satire, not an endorsement.

It also features Cameron Diaz magically transforming into an insane Latina when by trade she’s just a generic white blonde. Very Martin Sheen of her.

But I digress. Hate the term cougar. Hate “grown and sexy.” Hate them because they essentially imply the same thing — that sex and beauty are tied inexplicably to youth, everyone over 30 is some kind of sad, horny weirdo who needs a gimmick to get it up. That one must cling to youth at all costs and transform adulthood into some extended, hormone-injected adolescence.

Fuck that. I spent my entire teen years waiting to be an adult because of the immaturity of my peers was my pain. I REFUSE to spend the rest of my “grown and snobby” life putting up with people chasing Ponce de Leon’s shawty snappin’ fountain of Forever 21.

I wish it all would die a thousand “grown and sexy” deaths so everyone could finally grow up. Perhaps by drowning it in a vat Cool Water cologne and Alize. Beating it senseless with a Jimmy Choo. Or strangled to death with the tape from a Babyface “Whip Appeal” cassette single.

Die, mother effer. Die!

What over used slang term is vexing you lately? Is it “swagga?” I hate “swagga,” too. And did I mention “shawty?” And everything T-Pain says.

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27 thoughts on “No More “Grown and Sexy” Cougars, Please!

  1. dukedraven says:

    I like cougars. I just wish they didn’t go for the younger dudes. It goes against nature and creates for more sexual imbalance between the sexes. Guys are horny creatures and will lay with anything that moves, so now they’re entering the terrority of mature men and must be stopped! Hee, hee.

  2. Great post. I agree. I hate both terms. I also hate the word "sexy" on its own. The word has been so commodified. More than anything, I hate the phrases "post racial" and "color blind" because they’re both so far off the mark.

  3. Great post, this is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs. I hate the term "bling bling" and have since the first time I heard it. The materialism and the repetition just drives me nuts.

  4. Monie says:

    I would love to se the phrase "it is what it is" retired. Oh my God I hate that term. Basically it means I have no idea what I’m talking about so I’ll just say ‘it is what it is’. Lmao@smelling like Sean John and menthols

  5. d says:

    Great post! Hate the term "grown and sexy". If you have to say it, then you probably aren’t, so there. What has happened to the sexiness found in a bit of mystery? Why do you have to show ALL of your best bits to be considered sexy?

  6. miss kate says:

    @ Tara: a "stan" is a crazy obsessed fan. It comes from the Eminem song of the same name. Stans are those irritating people who cannot deal with anyone saying anything slightly less than glowing about their favorite star. I loved the description of the "grown and sexy" party–I’ve been to sooo many of those lame joints! If you are "grown and sexy" why do you need to remind anyone of that? "Postracial" also makes my teeth itch. Being a southerner, "shawty" doesn’t bother me, but anyone using the term "bling bling" (or even just "bling") gets an instant eyeroll and is moved to the "hopelessly lame" list.

  7. Mama G (at 65) gets hit on all the time by guys in the mid-late 20’s range. It annoys the crap out of her that she can’t find an interesting, single, straight man over 50 who enjoys going out. In the meantime she gets called a ‘cougar’ all the time because these ‘younguns’ ,as she calls them, are hitting on her. This all makes no sense to me – but then again, all of the dating and mating rituals never really have.

  8. JannyD says:

    I loathe any phrase that makes its way from a rap song into language…Stunting like my daddy etc….ABSOLUTELY HATE IT….

  9. Christina says:

    As far as "grown and sexy," what everyone has said here goes along with my experience. I guess I should put the disclosure here that I’m between 21-25. A friend of a friend (30+) was hosting a party for 25+ crowd and she told us it was a grown and sexy party…. Well, my friend and I are thinking how great this will be with people not running around looking a terrible mess and acting like 15 year olds. We were wrong. We were two of only five or so people not wearing jeans and XXXS size shirts. In addition to that, a fight broke out over a man who was dating two of the women at the party. Another fight started at the door for reasons we did not (care to) find out about.I wish this post had come in time for me to avoid getting my hopes up for that party.

  10. Babymama/daddy, ’cause white folk (ie mainstream media) have taken it and run with it. Or should I say have run it into the ground. Let’s retire it along with all of the other suggestions posted.

  11. Oh yeah, bling for me as well. I was through with that one a few years ago when I overheard a couple of women in their 60’s speaking Dutch to each other then suddenly using the phrase "bling bling". It was dead and buried for me at that point

  12. Jaddadalos says:

    Yea… grown and sexy. When you have to advertise either of those things, you just aren’t…And I was pleasantly surprised by Cameron Diaz (She’s part Cuban, me thinks).

  13. steph T says:

    hate to be picky … but Cameron Diaz is latina. Or half latina. Whatever. We come in all colors down in the LatinAm and it’s very confusing to me that non Hispanics don’t get that.there … off of soapbox.

  14. Danielle Belton says:

    @ steph TI am aware of Diaz being a Latina, which is why I wrote: It also features Cameron Diaz magically transforming into an insane Latina when by trade she’s just a generic white blonde. Very Martin Sheen of her.I was joking that Diaz is like Martin Sheen, who is also Latino but by trade as an actor is always cast as a white person, not Latino or white Latino.So I wasn’t explicit, but it was implied that I knew she was Latina by the Martin Sheen reference.

  15. Lady M says:

    Micheal Steele is a repeat offender of all these slang terms I wish would die… Or already died a slow and painful death but are being resurrected by Steele’s dumb ass. Stuff like bling bling and off the hook. Even Obama was mocking him saying he was "in the heezy". Steele and his lame shout-outs to "urban suburban hip hop settings"… whatever the hell that means. Crap like that. Also co-sign on the babymama/ daddy and swagga. The CNN thing on that, and Soulja Boy’s song, did me in. I’m also getting tired of hearing hustla/ hustlin’. "I’ma I’ma hustla," as Jay-Z would say. In this bad economy, everybody is a "hustla."

  16. rain21 says:

    Snob I got your Diaz joke..Made me LOL. I always forget she is Latina… Also thanks for the SNL clip…really funny. Reading your blog makes my day.

  17. BluTopaz says:

    Any activity, person or inanimate object described as "hot" gets on my nerves and I don’t know why. And I don’t have virgin ears, but i am extra tired of the mf word used as a noun, verb, adjective, etc. I live in NYC so that might explain my constant exposure to it.

  18. miss kate says:

    YES YES YES on "baby mama/daddy". Trifling though they may be, the terms used to be kind of useful, as they had a very specific application/connotation. Labeling someone "my baby’s daddy" meant "yes he got me pregnant…but I don’t have anything to do with him anymore other than the rearing of our child. He is not my husband and no longer my boyfriend. He’s connected to the kid, not to me." Now folks done got wind of it and go throwing it around all the time like it’s cute, slapping it on everyone involved in the creation of a child. No, no, no.

  19. Spinster says:

    Please kill the following:- baby mama/muva/moms- baby daddy/fahva- wifey (UGH)- hubby (UGH)- "it ain’t trickin’ if you got it"- swagger is cool, it’s "swagga" that needs to be killed- "no homo"Might be more, can’t remember right now.

  20. Spartacus P. Garvey says:

    What’s wrong with "no homo?" I think in modern times, it is a very necessary phrase ;)As far as the word "shawty", I don’t see why people women get all riled up about it. It has somehow been distorted into a bad word for women, but those from the south or simply familiar with the origins of the word know that it is not gender specific and is basically the black equivalent to "dude" or a replacement for "dog/dawg". It is SUPPOSED to be a term of endearment, but somehow women have distorted it. If a white person says "Dude, that car is hot!" and a black person says "That car is hot, shawty!" it is basically the same thing. It is also perfectly acceptable for a man to say the latter sentence to another man, no homo. (haha)Personally I think black women need to stop trippin over the word "shawty".

  21. BluTopaz says:

    @Spartacus, Personally I think many Black males need to stop shouting to anonymous women out in the street ‘Shawty’, then following it up with ‘well f– you bitch’ when the women don’t respond. And no, I am not going to stop afterwards and ponder ‘well the origin of the word shawty IS a term of endearment after all, so I can just stop "trippin" over yet another display of uncouth behaviorand btw, I have never heard shawty being used to describe anyone other than women or children-maybe it is a Southern thing for men to call each this word. but something tells me there might be trouble if you’d call another dude here in Brooklyn ‘shawty’

  22. APeach says:

    @Spartacus:I’m 5’7" and a 1/2. But then again, I would dislike the term if I was 4’11". It set my teeth on edge as a teenager and young woman. Exactly why am I or any woman supposed to be impressed or find enduring someone who calls me short? It is annoying. And it’s an annoyance only directed at women.Why do you think you can pick and choose what’s endearing to women? I think most of us would settle for respectful. "Shawty" is not respectful.

  23. PCH says:

    You learn something new everyday. I had no idea that shawty was offensive to women, mostly because I am Southern,and use it for everyone.

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