Thursday, October 11, 2012

Women Deny Their Age or Compete With Daughters

The following comment was made in response to one of my articles about "mid-life "mean girls" behavior"

Great advice! As one who is in her forties I avoid the middle-aged gripe club and referencing my age all time. But I have a question. Maybe the answer is in your e-book, but what do you say to people who claim that doing what you prescribe is denying their age? And what do you think about women who say having a youthful vibe, particularly in dress is "trying to compete with your daughter?"

Let's agree on this: It's stupid to deny your age or that you are aging.

Let's also agree on this: While it's stupid to deny your age or that you are aging, it's smart to engage in deliberate defiance of the vicissitudes of aging. That said, it's not easy to make the effort to fight decline because our human nature prefers ease over effort and the leisure oriented senior culture mindset and lifestyle compound the issue.

When "up there" in years, little is worse than being dependent, particularly if dependence results from failure to engage in positive acts of defiance early on. An example of a positive act of defiance is starting an exercise routine while you still have the strength and capacity to bend and stretch, and sticking with it year in and year out. Continuity of effort produces amazing results needed most in the older years.

As for the charge of "trying to compete with your daughter" - let's face it - many older women DO look as good as their daughters, and can wear their daughters' clothes and look great in them, but I don't think women consciously or deliberately try to compete with their daughters.

When a woman makes a negative comment about another woman's appearance or clothing choices, it may be envy. Or, maybe not. Perhaps it's an honest opinion that something "on trend" for a young woman looks silly on an older woman. For example, older women wearing dresses that seem to be made of barely (no pun intended) a yard of fabric. Upon seeing such sights I am often tempted to utter a childhood expression applicable for confused fashionistas:

"I see London, I see France, I can see your underpants". (And sometimes, even more!)

Perhaps you are not old enough to have heard that expression but as a first grade six year old (waaaay back when) I heard it a lot. A cute classmate's parents owned a clothing shop for young children and Jacqueline always looked picture perfect in her short short flouncy Shirley Temple dresses, a sight that motivated gleeful little boys to let her know they could see her picture perfect lace-trimmed underwear. Never seen a Shirley Temple dress? If you have watched teen idol Selena Gomez energetically bounce up and down around the stage in her short short flouncy dress (to the delight of panting pre-pubescent boys), you have the picture.

I digress. If you are making an effort to hang on to as many youthful attributes as possible, good for you! Do what it takes to keep and improve what you have now. Don't allow disparaging remarks from envious or misguided women about denying your age or competing with your daughter deter you from achieving your goal of healthy, independent, DEFIANT agelessness.

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