Don't dress your age, don't look your age and other things I can't even!
Good cold November morning from Maine! I need to vent!
There is NO SHORTAGE of midlife bloggers, "gurus" and "experts" who want to tell women how to "deal with," "cover up" or "fix" wrinkles and things that droop (talking about women here). There are endless lists of "rules" about style for women over forty. We're supposed to forgo the confidence we've acquired in middle age when it comes to dressing and appearance and submit to endless Dos and Dont's.
I've also come across midlife bloggers and articles, like this one, that deride the idea of middle-aged women being concerned about weight, as if it's simply some kind of superficial concern best left to the young and insecure. Attending to good, balanced nutrition and a healthy weight in middle age is subservient--to science! I want my heart to be one of my best-looking assets! That's my concern; not droopy eyelids.
Recently the New York Times ran the opinion piece Don't Dress Your Age. The author raised some good points, but what I did NOT agree with even a little is that we only have two choices: slavish obedience to societal dictates or letting ourselves go.
Here's what I had to say:
Notice I wrote that I could care less, and that's true. I still sometimes feel insecure or, without really being aware of it, question if I'm too old to wear something, do something, say something, or simply put: Just be me!
I will be turning 49 next month. I don't look 30. I look like me. My age. The paradox is that the more I tend to my health and well-being the healthier I feel and look. Sometimes I think good health in midlife is mistaken for youth.
I don't see what I'm doing as metaphorically flipping the bird to the nonsense (I should cut my hair short, get highlights and cover the gray, wear animal prints, stop maintaining a healthy-to-me weight) although I sometimes do that, too. It's about learning to not even check in with someone or something else for approval or permission. It's a process but it's so liberating!
Having said that, I do love my new comfortable old lady shoes! As you can see, I also wear Docs and I'm sure other age inappropriate things!