If your family is anything like mine, then your badass grandmother has probably always been an inspiring figure in your life. Since I was a young girl, I've looked forward to weekends spent playing board games with my grandma in her home. At some point, I would always sneak off to peek into her mysterious closets and lust after her many fashionable dresses.
That said, it's always been hard to picture my grandma as anything but the white-haired, sweet-natured woman who loves me unconditionally and makes the world's best pie. She wasn't always like that, though. Our grandmothers' generation is badass. Hell, at some point in their younger lives, they might have even been considered rebels.
The older I get, the more clearly I see that the coolest grandmas in our world manage to be both charming and badass at the same time. (Oh, and by the way, in case you aren't familiar with their work, you should check out the graffiti artist grandmas in Portugal. Because, seriously, is there anything more awesomely renegade than grandmas who tag?)
Of course, not all grandparents need spray cans and abandoned buildings to display their coolness; they've spent a lifetime defying the odds and setting trends. Most of the time, all we have to do is ask them about the kind of mayhem they used to get themselves into — and maybe still get into today.
Here are eight signs your grandma is exceptionally badass (as if she hasn't already informed you).
1. She's Always Cared About Civil Rights
She was there for the Civil Rights Movement and Women's Lib. And if she's exceptionally badass, she's always cared about her own rights and the rights of others — and has the protest photos to prove it. If you haven't already, ask your grandma if she took part in those movements. We can learn a lot from how boldly our grandparents (and parents, depending how old they are) fought for the most basic human rights. Especially because that fight isn't over yet.
2. She's Never Afraid To Be Honest
When you want brutal honesty, you go to Grandma. At least, that's what I do. My grandma would never sugarcoat how I looked in a certain dress, and she definitely didn't hold back when she gave me advice about my relationships.
Whereas most people allow their fear of confrontation to keep them from being fully honest with us, our grandmothers are way past that people-pleasing phase of life. They know better than anyone that if they withhold the truth, in the long-run, they're just hurting the ones they love.
3. She Encourages You To Be Tough
Cry over an ex? Ha! As if your emotionally rock-solid grandmother would even think about it. My grandma used to tell me that there is nothing more temporary in the world than men, before reminding me that even her last husband, the love of her life, passed away years ago. In other words, even when they love you, they leave you at some point. That's just how life works.
What's even more incredible, though, is that this toughness doesn't keep our grandmas from being incredibly heartfelt people who have a whole lot of love for their families. Maintaining this balance is just part of what makes them so magnificent.
4. She Supports The Legalization Of Marijuana
Medical marijuana use among elderly American women is more common than you might think. In fact, recent statistics show that older ladies are lighting up more often than us youngsters. This is so much the case that a pro-marijuana group called "Moms for Marijuana International" is even working on creating a chapter called "Grannies for Grass" in three different American states.
We've seen the image of the female pot smoker change recently in our own demographic — young, successful professionals are stepping forward and participating in the cannabis reform movement. But a lot of older, retired women have supported the legalization of marijuana all along. Your grandma might be one of them! In fact, she just might be a more experienced stoner than you are.
5. She Has Little-To-No Tolerance For Sexism
I've noticed that my own grandmas have very little tolerance for sexist comments from men. As easily as they'll speak the truth about your choice in fashion, they'll call a dude out if he dares to make a joke at the expense of a woman. Clearly, we can learn a thing or two from their bravery.
Our grandmothers know all about the exhausting, frustrating fight for women's rights, because they lived through some pretty serious inequalities themselves. Even in the '70s, which really wasn't all that long ago, women weren't allowed to open up credit cards in their own name or report rape by their husbands. So the next time you feel discouraged about the gender wage gap, go chat with Grams. She'll give you some pointers on how to get through it all.
6. She Has Some Truly Enviable Concert Stories
Have you ever asked your grandma what kind of concerts she used to go to when she was your age? Call her immediately and find out. She can probably tell you quite a bit about the history of rock and roll. Honestly, it makes me jealous just thinking about how our grandmas were there for every second of the best decades for rock. I mean, they were around when David Bowie was in his prime!
7. She Never Thought She Should Depend On A Man
We love to think of ourselves as strong, independent women who don't need help paying our bills or planning our next vacation. But our grandmothers learned independence way earlier than we did, and they've been looking after themselves for a very long time, even if they were stay-at-home moms. Plus, it's likely that they'll outlive (or already have outlived) their spouse, which means they have to master the art of taking care of themselves in even the toughest moments — both emotionally and physically.
8. She Lost Her "Filter" A Long Time Ago
Grandmas spout the wackiest things because they've earned the right to say whatever they want, whenever they want. You probably already laugh at your grandma's hilarious lack of a filter, but if you're like me, then the older you get, the more you're going to realize just how much you deeply respect this quality.
Women are constantly censored, silenced, and judged for what we dare to say, but grannies say whatever the hell they want. And that's just one more reason why they're total badasses.