The "wine o'clock meme" is one that has outlived its welcome. Yet women's lifestyle media continues to push it out. As if a hand on a clock says, "Ok, now it's OK to escape from your life." But what if you built a life so big you didn't need to escape from it come 5 p.m.? (Hat tip to Holly Whitaker of Hip Sobriety who taught me that).
This FB post hits a particular nerve personally, as it was posted by a magazine and brand I loved and championed for seven years as an editor. During this time, I was one of the people who thought you could put messages like this out into the world with no consequence. 5 o'clock somewhere, right?
While I posted photos of cocktail carts and travel adventures, I was believing my own message: everyone drinks. It represents "freedom" and celebration. But here's the spoiler alert that doesn't come with the wink-wink memes: it's a drug. Drink it enough and you can experience devastating consequences. I did. Most people never saw the consequences because I was too busy spinning my own narrative. 5 o'clock somewhere, right?
Among women, alcohol abuse and dependence has increased by 83.7 percent (JAMA). We can't keep creating media without acknowledging this, and that it's not a "them" problem but an "us" problem. If I sound passionate about this it's because I am. It's because I talk with women every day who are actually watching the clock to see if it's time that they can drink. 5 o'clock somewhere, right?
It's time that we get smart about the messages we create, consume, and share. I know my friends Southern Living can do better.