Who Are You Calling Grandma?
By ALEXANDRA ZISSU
Published: May 11, 2011
LAST month, Gwyneth Paltrow, promoting her new cookbook, “My Father’s Daughter” (Grand Central Life & Style), on the television show “Chelsea Lately,” revealed that her mother, the actress Blythe Danner, wanted to be called Woof by her grandchildren, Apple and Moses. “My mom’s hot and she didn’t want to be called Grandma,” Ms. Paltrow said. “So she kept trying to make the Woof thing stick. It’s even her e-mail address.”
Ms. Paltrow did not elaborate on the provenance of Woof, nor on her children’s actual nickname for Ms. Danner, Lalo. But another Hollywood grandmother, the actress Goldie Hawn, has written about her own reluctance to embrace the term in her best-selling memoir, “A Lotus Grows in the Mud” (Berkley Trade): “The wonderful day arrived; my grandson, Ryder Russell, burst forth into this world. I could barely contain myself. But was I really a ‘grandmother’?” Ms. Hawn wrote. (Or, as Shirley MacLaine howled in the 1983 movie “Terms of Endearment,” “Why should I be happy about being a grandmother?”)
It is, Ms. Hawn continued, a “word that had so many connotations of old age and decrepitude.”
“My son Oliver decided I should be called ‘Glam-Ma,’ which I thought was quite brilliant and made us all laugh so hard.”
The term has stuck. According to UrbanDictionary.com, “If 60 is the new 40 then GlamMa is the new Grandma, a woman with a sense of self and style.”