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And she's mighty proud to be one.

During bad hair days and other ego-bruising moments, an elder stateswoman of our Southern family used to say, “I don’t mind feeling this way, but I sure do hate to look like this.”

We’ll admit, it gets a little more challenging for Southern girls as we “blossom into maturity.” Keeping our roots done, our muffin top reigned in, and our complexion adequately oiled with Olay takes some effort. But Mama says this is no time to panic. It’s important to keep your wits about you—otherwise, you could end up like that misguided Memaw who’s still trying to dress like Britney Spears. Don’t go down that path. It leads to exposed midriffs that really MUST be concealed and high-heeled boots that scream “hip replacement.”

The key, Mama believes, is to see your transformation coming so that you can embrace it (i.e., double up on the Estee Lauder). Remember, there’s no shame in getting older. Age brings maturity and depth to a Southern girl. These qualities complement the charm and grace we were born with—not to mention our natural flair with Aqua Net.

Still wondering if you’ve made the leap? Let Mama help you. Answer “yes” to seven or more of her questions, and—CONGRATULATIONS!!!—you’re one of us now. Meet us at the gym (because there’s an amazing coffee shop next door that serves unbelievable homemade cheesecake).

Listen up, ladies, and answer Mama:

  1. Are the Spanx you’re currently wearing strong enough to snag an F-16 landing on an aircraft carrier?
  2. Have you ever audibly screamed while trying on bathing suits in the fitting room?
  3. Do you define the primary food groups as fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, dairy, and ibuprofen?
  4. Have you ever complimented a friend on the quality of her knee brace?
  5. Is there enough overpriced moisturizer in your master bath to lube a Chevy pickup?
  6. Do you loathe the inventors of skinny jeans with the white-hot hatred once reserved for your SEC rival?
  7. Have you traded your season football tickets for a flat-screen TV and a La-Z-Boy recliner? (Aside: Thank you, Brooke Shields, for making that an acceptable choice.)
  8. Would you rather stumble onto a great root touch-up than a great chicken casserole recipe?
  9. Do you make a point of never turning sideways while looking in the mirror?
  10. Do you find “it’s just easier” to put your socks on before you zip your jeans?
  11. Do you find it’s even easier to buy jeans so loaded with “give” that one leg would stretch over a Toyota Camry?
  12. Would you rather have a year’s supply of L’Occitaine hand cream than an actual trip to France?
  13. Do you wear blinders when you pass McDonald’s because you’ll gain five pounds just by looking at those golden arches?
  14. Do you adore sweatpants?
  15. Do you and your girlfriends often find yourselves swapping notes about your recent “procedures”?
  16. In the past week, have you said “that’s just too much trouble” more than once?
  17. Have you FINALLY realized that your Mama is far wiser than you thought she was, back when you were a clueless teenager? (Bonus points for a yes on that one.)

Tally up, girls! Got seven or more in the “yes” column? Let’s go celebrate over a decadent dessert we promise to give up when we go on that diet one of these days.