The concept of the MILF predates the term itself, as exemplified by Mrs. Robinson in the movie The Graduate (1967). The term itself was first documented in Internet newsgroups during the 1990s. It was popularized by the film American Pie (1999), where John Cho's character (simply credited as 'MILF Guy No. 2') used the term to refer to Jennifer Coolidge's character Jeanine Stifler.
A 2007 article in New York magazine stated that evidence the term had become mainstream included "25,000-plus MILF-branded mugs and tees on Café Press to a rash of hot-mama books (The Hot Mom’s Handbook, Confessions of a Naughty Mommy, The MILF Anthology), television shows (Desperate Housewives, The Real Housewives of Orange County, the forthcoming contest Hottest Mom in America, and a pilot in development called MILF & Cookies), and, of course, a concomitant porn genre". The authors of the article went on to ask, "How exactly did a once-taboo erotic fetish become a widespread, culturally sanctioned ideal, a perverse mix of branding and empowerment?"
Although not yet as widespread in popular culture at large, the forms DILF (for "Daddy I'd Like to Fuck") or FILF (for "Father I'd Like to Fuck") also exist among women and gay men to refer to a sexually attractive older man.
In popular culture
In 2002, a resident of the U.S. state of Washington applied for a vanity license plate reading "GOTMILF", a parody of the advertising slogan Got Milk. This plate was approved, but it was later canceled after complaints were filed against it. The 2003 music video for the song "Stacy's Mom" by the group Fountains of Wayne draws on the theme of a MILF in its storyline.
In December 2007, low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines ran a controversial advertising campaign, using MILF to promote their tropical destinations, based on a different acronym: "Many Islands, Low Fares". In January 2009, Spirit ran the campaign again.
In 2013, an apparel company, True & Co., parodied the phrase in advertising for its line of brassieres converting it to "Mom I'd Like to Fit". The campaign garnered negative attention for the San Francisco-based company. A 2014 article in Playboy magazine by Purdue University sex educator and researcher Justin Lehmiller referenced the work of Sigmund Freud and Alfred Kinsey to explain the fascination with the MILF phenomenon.
- "MILF, Definition of MILF in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press.
- "MILF Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". Cambridge Dictionary. Cambridge University Press.
- Press, Cambridge University (10 April 2008). "Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary". Cambridge University Press – via Google Books.
- KUMAR, DASH, RAJENDRA (1 December 2015). "PROFESSIONAL LEARNER'S DICTIONARY OF SPOKEN ENGLISH". PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd. – via Google Books.
- Dalzell, Tom (25 July 2008). "The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English". Routledge – via Google Books.
- An example of 1995 internet usage of 'MILF' predating American Pie.
- Em & Lo (24 October 2007). "Of MILF and Men". New York. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- "yummy mummy - definition of yummy mummy in English from the Oxford dictionary". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "How to Be a DILF". GQ, April 27, 2016.
- "End Of Road For GOTMILF License Plate". the smoking gun. July 21, 2004. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- Fountains of Wayne. Stacy's Mom. Virgin Records/EMI Music. Event occurs at 3:00–3:08.
- Layman, Will (15 April 2007). "Fountains of Wayne: Too Smart to Be a Rock Band, Too Smart to Be Anything Else". PopMatters. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- "Fort Lauderdale's Spirit in the sky". anna.aero. 15 August 2008.
- "Over the Line?". The O'Reilly Factor. Over the Line?. 2007-12-11. Fox News Channel.
- Moran, Lee (May 2, 2013). "Lingerie chain's 'MILF'-themed ad campaign sparks anger Consumers who still remember the film 'American Pie' aren't buying bra retailer True & Co.'s ad pitch to the MILF segment: 'Mom I'd Like to Fit.'". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- Lehmiller, Justin (August 24, 2014). "Why Do Guys Like MILFs?". Playboy. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
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