Ava DuVernay has an issue with young social media followers calling her “auntie”. The famed director believes “auntie” signifies an older woman who is out of touch with young people.
“Auntie” is a term of endearment used by younger people who don’t quite know how to address women of a particular age – usually women who are over 40 but not yet AARP cardholders.
With the rise of social media in the 2000s, young people suddenly found themselves struggling to adapt to a new environment overrun by older people going through midlife crises.
“Auntie” stuck as a respectful, yet informal way to address older women they are not related to.
DuVernay, who turns 47 on August 24, said she doesn’t feel old enough to be categorized as an auntie – even if it is said out of respect.
The issue came up while DuVernay was chatting with reporter Van Lathan about her latest Netflix series, When They See Us.
Lathan, who says he’s “from the South,” began to respectfully call DuVernay “Auntie Ava.”
“First of all, I have a real issue with recently I’ve been getting called on Twitter ‘Auntie Ava,'” the 46-year-old said. “Why?! Why?! Am I that old? Because I don’t feel that old.”
DuVernay hoped Lathan would assure her she’s not as old as she looks, but he didn’t take the bait.
Lathan clarified that young people are likely calling her auntie because of “the weight that you bring” to the culture through her movies and TV series, DuVernay said that she appreciated his response.
Other celebrities like Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Monica Brown – who are all pushing 40 – are routinely called “auntie” by their younger social media followers.
Auntie is a respectful way of letting aging celebrities know when they are over the hill.
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