It’s been too long since I’ve been part of any bar scenes to really have a current take, but when I lived in San Francisco (1989-2001), a cougar was NOT something that any woman should aspire to be.
Cougars were older women, once attractive, but a bit past their “sell-by” date; typically trying to pass for someone much younger than they actually were, overly made-up, wearing fashions typically seen on much younger women (think tight animal prints and sequins spelling out some logo across their fake boobs), trolling for younger men in bars as a method of self-validation that they were still worthwhile.
This was complemented by MILF, a term for which I’m sure every one knows the definition. MILFs were also attractive older women, but generally with their shit together, dressed fashionably, but with class. MILFs didn’t need to troll younger men for validation … men of all ages pursued them, and more often than not were shot down, because validation didn’t come from whom they dated, but from within.
Think Diane Keaton vs. Cher. Think Diane Lane or Cate Blanchett vs. Sharon Stone or Demi Moore. Think glamour and style vs. fashion and trends.
10 years ago, we considered cougars to be pathetic; but it now seems that many women are trying to reclaim and rehabilitate the term, much in the same way that the gay community is reclaiming “queer” … so these days, who knows?
What are your thoughts, dear readers? Is it better to be a cougar or a MILF? Is either a good thing?