ABILENE, Texas (KRBC)—Abilene’s local chapters of the Red Hat Society met to mingle and welcome new members of its organization today at the Abilene Mall.
The Red Hat Society is known for its colors, which were inspired from a poem written by Jenny Joseph in 1961. The group that initially set out to essentially represent the ideals of the second wave of feminism is now a twenty-year-old organization that caters to 40,000 members in the U.S.
The open area in front of Dillard’s was taken over by the group that displayed its purple and red decorated tables while the women dressed in their society garb. Members chatted with each other while passersby looked curiously, and a few members told KRBC that stares are not uncommon.
"A couple times walking through the mall, people stopped and asked, 'What's with the hats?" you know, so I told them I said, 'The Red Hat Society is meeting today,” said new member, Laura Valdez.
Many members who spoke to KRBC said that they simply joined the organization to meet new people and have fun.
"I'm just looking to socialize with other women,” Valdez said. “I'm in my mid-forties, and I'd like to just be with my community."
Alexis D’Agostino’s grandmother is “Queen” of one of the Abilene chapters. She is considered a “Red Hat Angel” and frequents the Red Hat Society events. She said the members are great conversationalists.
"They're not just gonna be like, 'Oh she's young. We can't talk to her,’” D’Agostino said. “They'll like accept you right away. They'll just pull you into the conversation. It's good for the older generations and younger generations to get out and mingle and not have to worry about saying or doing anything wrong because it's just for fun."
Valdez said that socializing in groups such as the Red Hat Society is necessary, especially for younger generations is necessary.
"Life is a little too short, and we're a little too enclosed, so we need to, we need to join and socialize a little bit more,” Valdez said.
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