To me it seems that the spectrum of who and what we are supposed to be as we age is presented as very black and white—cut your hair, put away the miniskirts, eat kale. The juicy middle gets ignored, and I’m not talking about muffin tops. I’m talking about the fact that we don’t turn 40 and immediately become one-dimensional, resting-bitch-face old hags. I’m talking about the gray area in which we women get better: Maybe we cuss a little more. We definitely have more sex. We try on ridiculous lipstick. We grow into ourselves.
Aren’t there some things that defy age limits and just hit us right in the sexy bone? I have a T-shirt—it’s nothing special, but there’s something about the cut of the neckline and the way the fabric runs diagonally that when I put it on, it just hustles over to highlight all the right spots. Even on a crap day, it makes me feel gorgeous.
There are other things too, things I maybe didn’t notice when I was younger and too focused on everything I believed was wrong with me. Here are just a few of the things that make me feel gorgeous that have nothing to do with age:
I’m not ashamed to say that those days when it all just works, whether it’s a few strands of hair that curl under my chin, or unexpected curls that don’t quit, it puts a positive spin on everything.
They don’t even have to be from a salon. Looking down at my silver or red toenails makes me feel amazing, because it means I took the time to focus on myself in a way that only really matters to me. It’s not buying a new top that other people will see, not a skin serum or jewelry; it’s just a colorful wink on my feet.
A few years ago I bought a pair of jeans that were unreasonably priced, but I had some extra money, and I couldn’t get over how incredible I felt when I put them on. So I bought them. They were slightly distressed, and the pockets sat in just the right spot in back so that they were a perfect fit without trying too hard. Over time, the distressing has worn into holes, and wearing these jeans scratches my child of the ’80s, Bon Jovi-loving, Cindy Crawford-idolizing, wannabe-video-girl itch.
Seven weeks ago I added some serious weight lifting to my excercise routine. If you want to feel younger, you should be in the weight room and I am talking 5 days a week. Weight training can help you increase your energy levels, endurance, and it tones your body, creating muscle that makes you feel stronger and more youthful, according to the Cleveland Clinic. There is something about lifting weights that makes me feel like the powerhouse I’ve always dreamed of becoming. I am no where near looking like Halle Berry, but hey, I’m getting there!
Talking about excercise, sexy is moving your body. Whenever I’m feeling unsexy, I’ll check out an online dance class, or hit a party. Moving my hips and getting my blood flowing reminds me how amazing my body is. I love salsa, but you can also try belly dancing, zumba, or ballet. If you don’t live in a place with dance classes, try dancing in your kitchen or buying an incredible dance DVD like this one.
Sexy is not about what you look like, but how you feel. It’s so easy to look at ourselves in the mirror and think, There is nothing sexy about my body. But sexiness has nothing to do with how you look and everything to do with how you feel about about yourself.
It’s only in our late 30s that we come into our full beauty, and don’t fully hit our stride until our 40s. So where is the disconnect?
A global study conducted by Dove entitled Beauty Comes Of Age found that nearly six in 10 women believe that while men over 50 are viewed as distinguished, women over 50 are viewed as over the hill or past their prime. Paradoxically, 60% of women said they were not concerned about the idea of aging. So it seems we’re not actually bothered by the fact that we’re getting older. It’s society’s perception of aging that gets under our skin.
“Women today are redefining aging. It’s all about power,” writes best-selling author, Naomi Wolf, in her book The Beauty Myth. “Women today are very rejecting of older norms and expectations of how women have to age. Women are much more accepting of themselves now.” That acceptance comes from within, not from worrying about what everyone else is thinking.
There are certain things that make us feel sexy and beautiful and fulfilled no matter what our age. And there are some things we will never outgrow. Regardless, one thing I know for sure is that I’m not going to let society determine what is or isn’t “age-appropriate” for me. I have to admit, though, I am learning to love a nice kale smoothie.
Thanks for reading my friends.
I was wearing: Top–Lace bodysuit: FemmeLuxe: here / Skirt: Zara / Sneakers: Nike