Rocking my age means feeling good about myself; feeling energetic, vital, and certainly not desperate to appear "young" to the majority of other people. I do not believe in failing to smile to avoid wrinkles, troweling five pounds of make-up on my face to 'disguise' wrinkles, wearing the same clothing styles as my grand-daughter, nor experiencing life threatening surgeries to disguise my age. I also do not spend excessive time (I mean several hours a day) in the gym to defeat the effects of gravity. I exercise enough to keep myself healthy, avoid losing strength and tone in my muscles, and present as pleasing an appearance as is reasonable. (I would like to lose 10 pounds and a couple of inches off my waist, both for appearance and health!!) I do not eat 1/4 portions on my plate, use diet type drugs of any sort (I place excessive tea and coffee drinking in this catagory), am not, nor have ever been regretful of my age (regret that I did not always live my life as productively as I hoped, yes, but that is another story!) I generally feel vital, healthy, and "content". If I could take a magic pill that would let me look the same as I did at 25, I would have to think about it; the lines, wrinkles, and skin tone were hard earned.
Having said all that, You all know I believe that a woman's appearance in extremely important, especially for the person who appears 40+. You also know by now that I believe in creating a desirable impression while being true to ones self image. I whole heartedly believe that for most of us, that means creating a 'youthFUL" image. (energetic, vibrant, current, open minded, etc.) "Old", has a negative connotation, even in areas where the assumption is positive, such as "antique" (who really wants an antique sofa?, silver services? etc.?) Maturity is a state of mind, not an age, and has a positive connotation, 'desperation' does not.
I have repeatedly posted about the use of archaic "rules and taboos" as to what we older women should or should not wear, and I do find most of them totally irrelevant. However, I have been reading a lot of advice lately that recommends and encourages an older woman to wear whatever she feels like wearing and not to consider her age at all. Not one of them reminds the reader that she must accept the consequences of doing so. Once again, I want to point out that dress code is important EVERYWHERE, not just for an occasion such as a job interview. Every aspect of our lives is an occasion and what we wear on the occasion will give an impression to the recipient.
This is so important for the older person in general, especially in day to day activities such as getting a quote on maintenance services, financial transactions, medical care, etc. There are examples of the differences in treatment of older women, based a great deal on their appearance. Studies have shown judgement of intelligence level, ability to adapt, use of information, etc. are often based on appearance alone. I have personally read many of them, and have experienced some in my own life.
Oddly enough, there are many articles and advocacy pointing this out for people who are very much overweight, and the discrimination issues involved. Very little is written about the trials and tribulation of older woman EXCEPT in the difficulties in male companionship/sexual relationship arena. Women experience far more discrimination than most men except in hiring for jobs that are minimum wage and not related to heavy lifting.
Helen Mirren, my style icon, is a perfect example to me of aging with style, keeping current with trends, and never "over the top", no matter the occasion. She also always dresses in fashions that flatter her body type; frankly, many of the fashion trends do not flatter almost any 40+ women..(or many, if any, under 40).