Wine mom memes say a lot about American drinking culture

At some point in the mid-2000s, the “wine moms” phenomenon emerged from the ether—saucy imagery of white women appearing as retro housewives, paired with punchy taglines about the emotional benefits of booze. Today, wine mom memes can be found scattered across the internet and plastered onto t-shirts, magnets, and signs. But who gets to be a wine mom? For Wine Enthusiast, Rachel Tepper Paley writes that these tropes tend to apply only to some mothers: White women, who can comfortably make jokes about being at the end of their rope knowing they won’t be taken seriously. Women of color, on the other hand, don’t have the privilege to celebrate light-hearted drinking memes—their alcohol consumption is often socially construed as irresponsible or dangerous. Like so much cultural flotsam in 2021, it’s complicated.