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Saved 9/20/10 to BellaSugar Q and A

How Do You Feel About Being Called Ma'am?


About once a week, when I head to Jamba Juice, the guy behind the counter — without fail — will call me ma'am. While I realize the word, which is derived from the French "madame," is meant to be respectful and friendly, I can't help but feel anything but ancient whenever the words are uttered.

"Miss" is a more youthful term, and the shift from being called "miss" to "ma'am" is a subtle sign that I'm no longer 18. It's not a huge deal, and yet it needles me. How about you? How do you — or would you — feel about being called ma'am?

Vanessa1388528014 Vanessa1388528014 31 weeks 14 h
I don't care how old I am when I have NO naso labial folds, no belly like I had kids, NO eye bags, no small aging eyes who is somebody to assume my date of birth and marital status? They can talk to people without using titles
Vanessa1388528014 Vanessa1388528014 31 weeks 15 h
I don't think ma'am versus Miss has anything to do with sex appeal. I see girls around 17 who are obese and have a face only a mom can love called Miss and I see why hotter girls young and old called ma'am
Vanessa1388528014 Vanessa1388528014 31 weeks 15 h
I take excellent care of myself. I am 29 but I have injections of radiesse and some times juvederm and botox, I use expensive retinols, and I also use Alpha Hydroxy, I am very slim and wear junior clothes and have cute little curves so I take excellent care of my face and body, my hair is thick and long and I look 24 and I get called Miss and Ma'am but some days the ma'am is constantly and what annoys me is when I go to a specific restaurant this older guy waiter ma'ams me the whole time he is servicing me. Who is anyone to judge my age or marital status. I have big eyes and a baby face. And they don't just say it once but several times while they are waiting on me. They think they are being so respectful but they are making assumptions and annoying me. And I am not even middle age , come now and look very young.
Seashell14774714 Seashell14774714 1 year 5 weeks
Hello
AmyD68 AmyD68 1 year 41 weeks
I think it feels terrible to be called Ma'am (or when I was in Paris and sometimes got called Madame) From talking to friends as well it makes us all feel like we look over 30, dowdy unattractive etc. I know some people were raised that it is polite and I am sure that it is meant to be so...but still with so many people feeling badly hearing it I dont understand why people still insist on using it. I dont care if someone is noticably older - I think the only result of pointing that out is to make someone feel bad. If I saw someone heavier and I just casually pointed it out - ok they know they are heavy but maybe they were enjoying their day and didnt feel like thinking about it at that moment
veronicaskyy2 veronicaskyy2 1 year 47 weeks
I have been called maam several times in my life and everytime is stings a little- Im 24. I take good care of myself, but dont feel I look the part of Maam, that being said I am happy there is a blog with posts dedicated to this- I feel better about my hang up about this topic :)
missredmini missredmini 2 years 42 weeks
Don't like it. I volunteer at the VA and after my first day I went to the military exchange and had a name tag made that I wear on my ID Badge. It say " My Name Is Not Mame"
kirbyspit kirbyspit 2 years 42 weeks
The issue is the fact that in the U.S. women are valued mainly for their sexual attractiveness, which is correlated with age. An older woman has less societal value because she has less sexual appeal. What we resent is being identified as too old to have sexual appeal; therefore less value as a person. Do you really want to support that? If you don't, you won't care if you're called ma'am.
Elite-Lady-Cathleen Elite-Lady-Cathleen 2 years 48 weeks
For me it depends on who is saying it and the delivery.
greear greear 3 years 1 week
I hate being called ma'am. It doesn't make me feel old, just GENERIC and insignificant. Like talking with a telephone solicitor. Sales clerks, etc., should call an older woman "madame"and a younger woman "miss", if they feel they must say anything at all. I prefer no title at all. Very irritating.
teenysquirrel teenysquirrel 3 years 3 weeks
Plus for me to call others 'ma'am, 'miss', 'sir' to others doesn't come to me naturally. Just weird.
teenysquirrel teenysquirrel 3 years 3 weeks
I DETEST MA'AM. It does make me feel ancient. Especially since I am not used to it. One time I was waiting in line @ Starbucks, this woman front of me was clearly older than me. The counterperson called her 'ma'am' while he called me 'miss'. So obviously service people are choosing the titles by judging women's ages. Meanwhile men all are 'sirs'. I got to just work on my self esteem and just accept that now I am more of a ma'am than miss. But sucks regardless.
Anjellarok Anjellarok 3 years 13 weeks
Just an expression of courtesy. I say "maam and sir" all the time.
JenniferVL JenniferVL 3 years 13 weeks
I agree on it depends who is saying it. If it is a soldier saying it , its ok because that is how they are suppose to address women. But anyone else saying it will just make me feel old. I'm good with miss or mrs since I am married.
SocialistLez SocialistLez 3 years 16 weeks
I hate it. I'm 20. Feel free to call me that when I'm 40. I know there are more important things to get worked up over so I try not to let this bother me.
lemonfluffable lemonfluffable 3 years 18 weeks
I feel old when someone calls me ma'am. But I don't freak out, and I don't feel like it's a hit to my ego. I just brush it off and go on with life. What annoys me more is being called honey, sweetie, or babe from some random person that I don't even know, such as a waitress or a customer on the phone!
Rosiesedz Rosiesedz 3 years 20 weeks
I work at a snack bar at an ice rink and when the kids come up to me and i give them what i want i LOVE when they say ma'am it makes me feel respected and it puts a smile on my face.
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 3 years 24 weeks
Once I stopped getting carded, I almost simultaneously went from being miss to ma'am. Sure, it makes me realize I can't be a young one forever, it's a lot better than "hey you," no doubt!
testadura67 testadura67 3 years 24 weeks
Geez, it's meant to be polite. Especially in the service industry where your waitor, hostess, cashier, whatever doesn't know your first or last name. When I worked retail, didn't matter if it was a little girl buying a candy bar or an 80 year old women filling her gas tank, she was "ma'am", just like any male who I waited on was "sir". Get over it people.
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 3 years 24 weeks
GummiBears, You are a funny one! ;-)
GummiBears GummiBears 3 years 24 weeks
Eff it I am vain so I will admit that I get slightly annoyed by it.
0Payton0 0Payton0 3 years 25 weeks
I went to Subway a couple months ago, and I'm 14, and I this lady that was making my sandwich came to the counter she's like 'what would you like today?' so i tell her, and it took me a minute to think of what bread and sandwich i wanted, then when i was telling her what i wanted on the sandwich every other thing she said was 'ma'am' 'is that it ma'am' 'what would you like ma'am' && i HATE when people call me ma'am, i don't care what age, or what job i have, i would rather not have anyone call me miss or ma'am. i just don't like it, but the word ma'am urks me the most.
PNBeauty PNBeauty 3 years 27 weeks
I can't stand it! It begun last year and I don't get it too often but it makes me feel old. I couldn't stop wondering how old they thought I was.
Smashboxchick Smashboxchick 3 years 37 weeks
I havent, but if I was called m'am id probably be offended. I am from the midwest, so it's not something we're used to hearing here. In the south, people were raised to say ma'am as a way of being polite. I just think it's something that should be said when someone is older, much older. Otherwise it sounds sarcastic and rude. At least to me.
nailpolishfanatic nailpolishfanatic 3 years 38 weeks
I don't mind it because I think it is meant to be respectful especially in the Southern states like South Carolina. Would you rather be called "hey you"?