I love Ladies Day.
The spring season brings a lot of glorious things. The sunshine, fresh air, tulips. And lots of very tanned women wearing incredible outfits, apparently totally impervious to the cold celebrating Ladies day.
Every year, on Ladies day, the photos pour in. This woman dared to wear a short skirt. This one wore a halter top. Look at this girl who donned hot pants despite not being a size eight.
Judging women at Ladies day is pretty much a national pastime. And you know what? It’s really not okay.
Yeah, these are women who’ve gone to an extreme place with their wardrobe choices. No, they’re not outfits that I’d personally choose to wear.
But that doesn’t mean I (or you) have any right to put on my judging pants and start making comments about them.
Whether it’s a trip to Aintree or a night out, we’ve all been guilty of doing it. We see a short dress, high heels, a slightly orange fake tan and we make a value judgement. Women who feel beautiful in what they’re wearing, women who deserve to get on with having a nice time, end up as targets for snobbery.
But you know what else they are?
Getting dressed up is fun, really ridiculously, silly fun.
A bit of lipgloss and a neat ponytail is not the look that you come up with if you’ve been shopping especially, and then had your friends over to get ready together.
The ladies of Aintree, the ones who’ll be held up as an example of women behaving badly and ladette culture, they’re the women who put on the greatest hits of the 90’s this morning and popped bottles of champagne while doing each other’s hair.
There’s a warm, happy cameradarie about them, laughing and drinking and having fun. The idea that anyone could look at them and see past their friendships and their fun, right through to a questionable style choice is just incredibly sad.
Aintree is not a sea of young ladies wearing pastels and nibbling on sandwiches. The women at Ladies day have the gall to want to gamble and drink, a bit like their male companions.
You’d think, given that it’s 2017, that drinking a beer and yelling for your horse to win wouldn’t be cause for shock, and yet every year it happens.
When I see the pictures from Aintree I don’t see ‘ladettes’. I don’t see women behaving badly. I just see groups of women who’ve taken the day off work to get dressed up and have fun together. And then I see the rest of the country queuing up to take this piss out of them. Which makes me really sad.
So next year maybe I’ll do the same thing – dig out my leopard print catsuit and go get spectacularly pissed with my girlfriends, even it it does land me in a load of unflattering photographs.