Ma, You Be Killin’ Em: Elizabeth F. Banks

May 07, 2011

We have so much to thank our mothers for. In addition to birthing us, feeding us, and bathing us, they've also been our most influential style icons. As a small token of our affection, we're counting down to Mother's Day (this Sunday, heads up!) by celebrating our moms' style, swagger and grace.

What did your mom like to wear? My mom proudly states that she was the first woman to sport a Lacoste shirt in her male-dominated law school class at the University of Texas. It is probably true—she has always been a strong, independent woman. But my mom's choice of shirt was certainly not fueled by any sort of liberal agenda. Quite the opposite—Beth was a die-hard preppy, and preferred to imagine herself a character in a P.G. Wodehouse novel. And hey, she liked the little alligator. Guess it runs in the family because I dress in dude-clothes all the time and so does my brother.

What music did she listen to? Beth was born into this world just a few decades too late. While hundreds of Creedence-loving cretins were panhandling their way through the University quad in 1975, my mother was listening to show tunes in her dorm room. Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Frank Sinatra, Irving Berlin. I grew up doing my homework to the Sound of Music soundtrack, seated at the kitchen table while my mom made dinner. Now she plays the saxophone and clarinet. I did not inherit these same tastes and talents, but I admire her for being different and keeping it classy.

What would she say? Does she have a fave phrase or saying? Something anecdote-ey. Despite our preppy/hippie differences, we share the same offbeat sense of humor. She loves Strangers With Candy and It's Pat and Molly Shannon's SNL characters. Talk about gender-bending! Most of her go-to phrases are quotes are pulled from our favorite cult classics and repeated in a strange voice. If the words "The Squirrel", "Fandango", or "Don't lie to me, Tamala," mean something to you, then welcome—you're in our camp.

Posted: May 07, 2011
Ma, You Be Killin’ Em: Elizabeth F. Banks