I’m getting older. It’s been happening for a while now. Aging occurs whether I pay attention to it or to something else. It is relentless and not at all stoppable. And for most of it, I didn’t care.
But somewhere along the line, I crossed the magical line between looking good, and looking good for my age. It’s an invisible line, but it exist in every woman’s world. Not to say that men don’t sure in this world, but for some reason, they aren’t subjected to the scrutiny that comes as they get older. It might seem unfair. It’s not. Because they are judged on other things just as harshly as women are judged on looks. Part of me thinks this has to do with the biological reasons we pick mates. What we need to find in a potential life partner and co-parent is apparently different for boys and girls. I dunno what the underlying reasons are for real; I can only speculate. But it makes sense to me. So I’m going with it until I learn differently. So school me up if you’ve got the info I need.
It’s hard getting older as a woman in America. Aging gracefully seems to be an oxymoron in our society. In our world, age and grace don’t belong together when they are paired together in reference to women. So imagine trying to live that shit. Getting older isn’t a dirty word. But in so many ways, small and large, I and many other women are made to feel that way. I’m not unattractive, mostly passably pretty. But the quality of how I look seems to have been overtaken by how old I look. We are told we look too young, or too old. We dress too young, or too old. Our hair is too young, or in a style that is too old. The list goes on and on.
When the FUCK do women get to be just right?
Goldilocks and her three bears have passed us by completely. Women are told over and over again that they are not quite right. Ever. At any age.
I am right. As in okay. As in perfectly fine, great even. Right at the age I’m at. And I don’t dress too young, or too old. I dress how the fuck I feel. On any given Sunday and every day there after. I wear my hair how I feel. And by that, I mean I have STOPPED coloring the gray out. I am just right. Exactly the age I am and exactly the way I am.
I have to confess that I was torn about not coloring the gray out of my hair. The examples of women who let their hair gray naturally are small, few and not glorified. When did we stop thinking that salt and pepper hair was hot as hell? On women as well as men? The confidence it exudes for a person in our society to allow age to show is way sexy. Way.
Besides, it’s all a trap. Didn’t you get it from reading the stuff above? When we are young, we are told to wear makeup and dress up to look older. When we are old, we are told to do anything to look young–but not unnaturally so. When we fall into the trap of doing either of these things, then we are told that we are acting “too old,” “dressing too young,” “trying too hard,” and the list of how we don’t measure up in what we are or trying to portray goes on and on.
We as women can never get it right.
And we are hamsters running on the wheel trying to get to that just right state.
Only the game is rigged. And that’s never gonna happen. Ever. Because just when we get that perfect mix, it tips and we are “too” something else. And I’m done with that. Me and all my goddamn gray hairs.