Ladies Who Lush: Bingeing Across the Nation

Spencer Cain

It’s no secret that Americans love to drink. As many of us learned in high school and college, alcohol tends to shape our social lives more than we would probably like to admit. It doesn’t end there though — more and more adults are publicly professing their liquor loving ways. What is also of note here is how many ladies are getting in on the action.

We see it all over the media. There’s nothing a stressed out gal enjoys more at the end of the day than a glass (or four) of wine. Just last night, I was at an event in New York City when I saw a frightening teal sheath approaching. It took me a minute, but I realized it was former Real Housewives of New Jersey castmember and villain Danielle Staub. She was accompanied by some random male friend, and as she passed me, I heard her mutter, “White wine, white wine, white wine.” Minutes later I saw her again, glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand, looking relieved.

Certainly the illustrious Ms. Staub isn’t the only “real housewife” who knows how to throw back a few. The ladies on any version of of Bravo’s beloved franchise are all about the booze. Much of the drama on the previous season of Real Housewives of New York was the result of Ramona Singer‘s “Pinot problem.” The insane blonde businesswoman went as far as creating her own label, perhaps to make her dreams of a Pinot IV become a reality. There are plenty of other examples. Look at The Today Show! Kathie Lee and Hoda are known for their on-air happy hour on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

What accounts for the rise of wino women? According to a study by Columbia University, the “introduction of women into the workforce, and more upwardly mobile women” has reduced the “social sanctions on drinking.” As we’ve seen on shows like Mad Men, businessmen have been bonding over three martini lunches for decades. So are women just making up for lost time or do we have a serious epidemic on our hands?

My take-away is this: Instead of slurping down that bottle of cheap merlot you picked up from the corner liquor store on your way home last night (you know, the one with the screw off cap?), how about making your binge drinking much more impactful? Beer-drinking and bar-hopping is facing such a large depletion overseas, it’s starting to impact the European debt crisis. So drink with style, drink with purpose, but most of all drink with a strategy. If you’re going to toss back with the bigs boys, you better be prepared to do it in a way that doesn’t erode your liver or do in those dreams of a corner office.

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