Ultimate Karen

If you’re wondering what an Ultimate Karen is look no further than yourself if you’re older than a middle schooler.  Karen is a name that middle schoolers use as an adjective.  It’s a “mom name” and it’s not cool.  If your name happens to be Karen, then blame Tik Tok for how uncool your name has become.

Several months ago, a video surfaced of a woman yelling at another woman because her Uber driver cut her off, or something to that effect {I try to avoid this stuff.}  Woman #1 was in the back of the Uber, when woman #2 came over, stuck her head in the rolled down window and called #1 a bitch.

Ultimate Karen

#1 didn’t appreciate that, because hell, she wasn’t even driving, so she made a comment about the foul language {#2 had left her kids in the car while she went postal in the middle of traffic on #1} or something to that effect.  #2 proudly said her kids couldn’t hear because they were listening to Kidz Bop in the car.

And Kidz Bop Karen was born.

Kidz Bop Karen is not attractive, wears “mom clothes,” is about to snap at any given moment {clearly} and will never be the cool mom.  Pretty soon the Kidz Bop was dropped from the nickname and Karen was on its own.  In our house, “Mom clothes” became “Karen clothes.”

One day Ella was wearing a cute, long, chenille cardigan, from her favorite store Old Navy, and I made the mistake of saying, “That’s cute.”  I was met with an eye roll and a “No it’s not.  It’s Karen clothes.  I’m just wearing it because I’m cold.”

Ultimate Karen

I asked her to explain Karen clothes to me and she said they are mom clothes that aren’t cute.  Ironic since they all want to wear the mom jeans and the mom sweaters…  I know because I’ve shrunk a total of three sweaters this winter and have passed them down to Ella who gladly accepts them.

Let us also note that having equal disdain as mom clothes to middle schoolers is the winter coat.  Wearing a coat to school is a very Karen move.  This week it was 20 degrees outside and there wasn’t a coat in sight. Okay, maybe one.  I even saw a girl wearing athletic shorts and a hoodie.

A cardigan or hoodie is often seen as an acceptable replacement for a coat.  So, a few weeks ago we were leaving for school when Ella was wearing a different long cardigan – this one from Gap Kids with a fur lined hood {it’s super cute but I kept my mouth shut this time} – she stopped to look at herself in the full-length mirror, grabbed the cardigan with both hands and said, “Ultimate Karen.”

This ultimate Karen was going out last weekend wearing a dress, leather jacket, tights and heels.  As I was leaving, I asked her if she liked my outfit:


“Do I look like a mom?”

“No.  You look – I can’t say it because it’s a bad word.”

“You can say it.”

“You look badass.”

When you’re young, you want to be like your mom but you don’t want to admit it.  When you’re old, you want to be a version of your younger self but you don’t want to admit it.  And the older single moms?  We’re trying to stay relevant because we live in a world where Sharon Stone and Brad Pitt are single and on dating apps.  One’s our competition, the other’s an opportunity.

So, here’s to all the badass Karens. Wear what makes you happy.

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