Cate Blanchett, arguably Australia’s most successful actress, (although IMHO she doesn’t hold a candle to Toni Collette in Muriel’s Wedding) recently did an intriguing expose for Porter magazine. I was unaware of Porter Magazine until now. It shouldn’t suprize you that high fashion is not my bag and if I must look at glossies I prefer Men’s Health.
Anyhow the article is choc full of stunning highly stylized photos – that’s not the intriguing bit. In the revealing personal interview which justifies the expensive photo shoot, Cate claimed to be intimidated by the “Mummy Mafia” at the school gate. “You know [the other mums] are observing how you parent” she tells the magazine then elaborates with “there is a certain circle of people – and we all get insecure – who then ask, ‘Why can’t she brush her hair?’ You just have to shrug that off.”
I’m not judging the fact that Cate feels like she’s being judged. Being a mega star she’d inevitably attract intense scrutiny whatever she does. I can only say full kudos to her for doing the school run when she could offload that menial task on to a stunning 21 year old nanny.
What has aroused my curiosity is that so called Mummy Mafia and the school gate Judgey McJudgersons have raised their heads yet again. Who are these people? I’ve heard el mucho chatter about them in on social media and in real life. Apparently the school drop off at certain private schools is a style competition akin to Fashions on the Field at Spring Racing. Legend has it that yummy mummies parade about in their Channel and Jimmy Choos. I repeat – who are these people? I have never encountered them. In my suburb cut off denims and birkenstocks are on point.
My school run is usually a rushed affair. I’m often famished from not having organised f breakfast and delirious with dehydration because I haven’t managed to get a glass of water down my throat. A pair of Target shorts is thrown on over the tank top I’ve slept in. Much like Cate, I dont brush my hair so much as scrape it into a pony tail. Its a very poor showing and I certainly deserve a place at the bottom of the social ladder. Yet here’s the thing – when I interact with the other parents I never feel judged. Most of them are in exactly the same boat. The lack of high gloss and glamour is overwhelming.
The usual pleasantries are exchanged. Mothers moan about what a crap morning they’ve had and arrange play dates. There’s a smattering of Dads on drop off duty. My conversations with them have ranged from the direction of international currency markets to Ozzy Osbourne’s drug taking which is equally erratic.
If there’s any judgement its self judgement. Some of my peers have managed to get their careers back on track and are working on exciting creative projects or even better – travelling. By comparison I judge myself to be the world’s most boring, ineffectual person.
Talk about school gate cliques, bitchiness and competitiveness refuses to die down despite the fact I have never experienced it. It must be going on somewhere. Is it happening in your galaxy? Who are the mummy mafia? Have you experienced their savagery at the school gate?
Or are the overwhelming majority of parents at your school lovely and down-to-earth?