It takes a bold woman to take “funky” as a compliment. We should be flattered by the word, because funky isn’t about style or fashion, it’s about attitude. Here’s how to get more of it in our lives.
The urban dictionary says “FUNKY” is second most complex word in modern usage. It means both extremely good… and extremely bad. Being brazen enough to feel flattered by such a double-edged descriptor gives us girls a force-field against expectations.
Why embrace your funky?
Embracing your funky helps you grow bolder. According to the same dictionary, funky means different or strange but definitely cool and interesting. It even goes so far as to add “unconventionally modern or stylish.” Doesn’t that describe who we are now perfectly?
Women with a funky attitude don’t follow trends slavishly. We do use select parts of that trend to our advantage. Who cares if we get some stares?
I’ve always admired people, especially women who completely own whatever outfit they wear, house or apartment they live in, and car or truck they drive. These women, especially if they are 55+ are not falling victim to the worst thing that can happen when we age. Becoming invisible.
We no longer need to fit in
When we were younger and needed to fit in, toning down our bolder and funkier instincts made sense. Like putting on a coat when it’s cold. The expectations of others ruled.
We dressed for success for the job we wanted and needed to keep. Being normal moms and/or spouses kept us from embarrassing our families too much. I don’t know about you, but even back then, my funkier side always seemed to peek out like a shirt that won’t stay tucked in.
A funky wedding sets the tone
Like when I got married in 1975. My mother had been a war bride and wanted me to have the big, white wedding she had been denied. I tried to go along, but I feel in love with a long-flowered granny dress that cost under $100.
My husband, Hank, wore an off-white polyester suit. My mother-in-law, who turned out to be a brazen soulmate, happily dressed in a batik caftan.
My mother cried, probably in equal parts happiness that I found a good mate and in disappointment about my dress. My father gave us a lot on South Padre Island to make up for the cash he didn’t have to spend on that wedding. We sold it for a down payment on our first house.
Big Wedding – Short Marriage?
Hank and I have been married 40+ years so the marriage didn’t suffer from the quirky wedding.
My maid of honor/best friend had the big traditional first wedding that everyone expected. That marriage lasted 3 years, which leads to my motto – “the bigger the wedding, the shorter the marriage.” Just saying.
Shaming us gets harder
During the years we are having kids and building a life and career, it feels scary, even dangerous to stand out too much in attitude or in style. Shaming each other is all too easy. But as we get older, shaming us gets a lot harder.
Follow your dog’s funky lead
We’re growing bolder and getting funkier as we age. That’s because we now know that trying to meet other people’s expectations often means falling short of our own. We skate across the surface of each day just getting through it.
Time to dig down and uncover what makes us and the people and experiences around us interesting. Dogs have it right. Sometimes to really enjoy something, you must roll around in it.
Getting Funky when we travel
When we travel, the sumptuous cruises or luxury hotels are nice, but I always feel like I’m missing something. Like we are keeping ourselves from really learning about what makes that destination unique, different and funky!
With companies like Airbnb, we can now become part of the place we visit. In Honolulu, we stayed in an apartment close to Diamond Head. We kept our balcony windows open and ease dropped on those people who live full-time in paradise.
We walked through a beautiful park on our way to the beach each day. Traveling to the North Shore, we had our most luxurious but soulless stay at the Turtle Bay Resort. We had the most memorably happy night in a dumpy bungalow in a little neighborhood by Haleiwa
Getting Funky when we dress
When we put on clothes, it’s time to dress for ourselves. And time to quit dressing for what others think we should be. I just tossed out a perfectly good tunic top the other evening because it made me feel frump and forgettable. Don’t give anyone a reason to ignore us!
You don’t have to dress like Phyllis Diller but remember, Phyllis succeeded by standing out and owning it. I think Tina Turner used Phyliss’s hair as a starting pointing for her fabulous funky look. Grab what works from wherever you find it.
My funky style
I love fitted jeans, white button-down shirts and V-neck t’s with ¾ length sleeves. I also love 50’s and 60’s suit jackets from thrift shops – so Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn!
I’ll grudgingly spend $300 for jeans that really flatter me. But you won’t be catching me shelling out more that $50 for a cocktail or evening dress. No one will notice you at those rare big events. And really, who cares? I want to have presence at the places and with the people I interact with most often.
Funky Jewelry that has meaning
My jewelry isn’t expensive, but it is a kind of talisman. I’ve got a silver oyster pendent with a pearl in it bought on Royal Street in New Orleans. It reminds me that a little irritating grit in our lives can make some valuable changes in us. Like being flooded by Hurricane Harvey and the positive changes that’s made in our home and lives.
Funky Home Décor
I’ve only replaced one upholstered item downstairs. I bought a fabulous reading chaise from Wayfair and put it in our study. I’m leaving the rest of the room empty except for a roll top desk and lots of book shelves.
In our living room, we are using the mid-century modern sectionals my funky mother-in-law had custom made in the 1960’s. I love them and they will do until we figure out where and how we want to live as we go forward.
But the most brazen, funky step forward is how I’m spending my days. First, I’m writing this blog, putting words and thoughts on paper every single day. And releasing my quirky thoughts and ideas.
During my 3-decade corporate career, I wrote in service of selling people things they didn’t always need. Now I have no limits except entertaining, inspiring and equipping women like you and me.
Developing funky friendships
I’m taking every opportunity to live boldly. To get myself out of my comfort zone, accept and get acquainted with people who think and act and live differently. People who are funky. You’ll find groups on them everywhere just waiting to welcome you.
Here’s how I’ve found them. By joining a barbecue cookoff team at a giant competition. Impulsively visiting a pop-up choir from Meet Up where we learned to sing harmony on “Blackbird.” Riding the rails on the Sunset Limited to West Texas. Staying in a vintage Airstream trailer by a ghost town cemetery.
Let your funky flag fly
Time for all of us to strike out and let your funky flag fly! And when someone says, “You are kind of funky,” let’s give a big fist pump. Call us funky, bold, brazen, brassy, different, unique – just don’t ignore us.
What funky advice do you have for the rest of us? I love hearing from you!