How Big Alcohol made being a Wine Mom trendy

A pair of wine moms drinking champagne at a party

Alcohol in the Ancient World

Before the word wine mom was introduced into the English language, alcohol and women have been tied together. Alcohol has been around for hundreds of thousands of years.  It was a common Babylonian practice to offer beer and wine to their gods as acts of worship. Biblical texts often issue warnings of overconsuming alcohol; and there is even evidence of an alcoholic cocktail that came from China as early as 7000 BC. 

As a species, it is hard to find the humans who lived before alcohol.  However, it is no secret that our relationship with alcohol in the United States has continued to evolve and infiltrate itself as part of everyday life.  There has always been debate and tension as to the ethical and moral ramifications of alcohol consumption. The early 1900’s experienced a time where prohibition fervor culminated in the prohibition of alcohol across the country in the hopes of achieving nation-wide abstinence .  However, Americans continued to find ways to make and distribute beer and (increasingly) hard liquor, which led to prohibition gaining the distinction of being the only constitutional amendment that was later repealed. 

Alcoholism’s evolution

However, in many parts of American society, alcohol was still taboo and considered a sin in the eyes of God.  In many circles, not too long ago, a pastor would be stripped of his title if he was found to have partaken of alcohol of any form.  Now, it is not uncommon to see pastors posing with a beer in hand at a baseball game or BBQ. “Moderation” is often the scapegoat used to justify such behaviors. 

There is no doubt that our perspective of alcohol has taken a major cultural shift, but exactly how did we go from alcohol being seen as a sinful behavior to “wine mom” being a common social identifier among suburban women?

Wine Moms in the modern world

From the 1950’s to the 2000’s, alcohol was primarily targeted towards men. Due in large part to culture-wide sexism, advertisers not only refrained from directly targeting female consumers, but they over-sexualized women in their advertisements; a (extremely successful) marketing technique to get men to buy more alcohol.  It was not uncommon to see women dressed in bikinis or Daisy Duke shorts serving alcohol to men in advertisements. But that all began to shift as we began seeing the social climate change in regards to how we viewed women, and Big Alcohol didn’t waste any time capitalizing on that. 

Major alcohol companies realized that if they could convince women to drink more, that would in turn encourage their (assumed) husbands to drink more.  To get the women sold on their product, they had to revamp how it was portrayed.  Women were beginning to feel empowered, so they began marketing their beverages as just that. Sophisticated and empowering. Having a drink at night is no longer reserved for a night out.  Instead, they sold us the idea that women deserve to drink, considering the insurmountable responsibilities the modern woman carries from taking care of children to managing careers.

“Mommy juice,” a reference to alcohol, began trending on social media as we witnessed moms collectively bragging about the amount of alcohol they have to drink in order to keep their sanity in check, effectively labeling themselves as a “wine mom.”  Popular retail stores targeted towards the stay-at-home mom and wife have even begun offering their shoppers wine as they peruse the aisles of towels and bed linens. These same retailers also capitalized on the wine mom movement by promoting clothing and accessories that promoted the wine mom lifestyle 

The Risks of being a Wine Mom

There are more ways to enjoy life and friendship than with alcohol

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that this marketing technique has not only worked, but it has had devastating effects on the physical and mental health of women, or wine moms, across the country. A study conducted in the United States in 2017 revealed a staggering 83% increase in alcohol use disorder among women from 2002 to 2013. To take it a step further, From 1999 to 2017, the rate of alcohol-related deaths surged by 85% among women, compared to the 35% amongst men.  In addition to the risk of developing alcohol use disorder and/or death, the wine mom trend can also lead to:

  1. Accidental child injury
  2. Increased risk of depression and/or anxiety
  3. Increased tension and turmoil in both personal and professional relationships
  4. Greater risk of high blood pressure, stroke, digestive issues, and liver disease
  5. Higher risk of cancer

While there is no denying that connections have been made amongst those who hopped on the wine mom trend, we have to ask ourselves, do the benefits outweigh the risks? Alcohol is poison. And alcohol use disorder is a trap that can destroy the lives of both men and women alike. But for anyone who’s struggled with alcohol use disorder, there is hope: Alcohol rehab at Better Tomorrow, right here in West Palm Beach.

Find Real Empowerment

Better Tomorrow Treatment Center’s modern, evidence-based addiction care is designed to foster the personal growth needed to sustain a lifetime of recovery. Find the insight and strength required for the rewarding sober lifestyle your or your loved one deserves. If you or a loved one wants to start their recovery journey, with drug treatment in West Palm Beach, Florida, please contact us at (888) 653-1149, or head over to our website and scroll down to the bottom of the page and fill out our 100% confidential information form and a compassionate member of our team will reach out to you.

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