Good morning, Wednesday. Sun's out in the city and it's just getting lovelier. Still a bit of the chill in the air, but you can almost taste Spring and it's divine.
As I cycle through the week, I truly am floored by all the amazing conversations around ageism my piece created. So many people, many of whom I don't know, reached out and said how much they can relate. One commenter noted that advertising is never going to change, and I don't disagree. It's kind of like that old cliche- you can't change the world, but you can change yourself. True that. That's why reinvention is so very important.
The trajectory of this blog is being reinvented as we speak, for example. I love writing about so many things but as I move forward, I think Maven is going more midlife than not. I realize I'm a bit past the midlife point but that's cool. You understand the intent. I want to keep sharing content that speaks to this phase of life. Because there's so much to share.
So I'm part of a Facebook group where women over 40 share hilarious and often cynical sentiments about getting older. It's a sacred space and I don't want to out it because I respect it so much, but one woman posted something that gave me pause. And it was:
"I like getting old because I no longer have to care about "being hot." Anyone else?"
Hmm. That stopped me halfway through my gluten-free waffle. I completely get what she means. The invisible period of a woman's life is legit. I could probably walk down the street in my underwear and be largely ignored. I have to admit, there's comfort in that. But if I'm being honest, it also kind of sucks.
Look I'm married and I'm not seeking the male gaze or male approval or male opinions on my body or anything else.
And it's not her sentiment that bothered me- I can't judge anyone who feels the way she does, but my bit of buggery here is the very notion of what make someone "hot". And why that's the provenance of youth. It's fucked up.
We all know youth and beauty go hand in hand. That's why so many women I know are chasing the dragon/injectables/ketosis/cremedelawhatever to hold on a bit longer. I have to say I fall somewhere on the low side of that scale. I don't do botox or filler (I'm a complete needlephobic), I don't freak out over my body enough to deny myself things I love, but I do certainly have a hefty skincare and makeup budget because i just really love skincare and makeup. You do you. I'll do me.
But seriously- why oh why is being hot something that's off the table as we get older? Case in point- look at Andrea Linnett's brilliant blog post from yesterday, celebrating French icon Isabelle Huppert. Wearing jeans, shades, Converse, and an Hermes cuff, she looks hot as hell. At least she does to me. It's true she's thin and French and fabulous, but you get my point. What's not hot about her? Rien. That's what. I also love that she looks like she's about to give you the finger. That's pretty hot too. I suppose that's what the woman's post was all about in a way, but it still got me.
For me, there's much more nuance about feeling and being hot as we age. Wearing a bikini is only a small fraction of that. Having confidence is hot. Not giving a single f is hot. Knowing your style and what looks great on your body is hot. Being experienced and smart is beyond hot. So screw that noise that being older takes you out of the hot game. That's just dumb.
I don't know what it's going to take to get society in line with this. Very few people look the way they do in their 20s when they are past 40 and 50. It's a fact. But does that mean you lose your sex appeal? I don't think so. You just lose society's expectation of what that looks like.
I never looked like a supermodel. I have hips and thighs and boobs. I've always had those things, my entire post pubescent life. And I've been thin, fat, and everything in between. I never fit into what is typically considered sexy and I was always super cool with that. Because I always knew I had a thing. Stylish, a little wacky, cool. All that. And guess what? I still have all that. A few more wrinkles and a few more curves but seriously- I'm still me. Why is it that older men are considered sexy and distinguished but older women are taboo when it comes to sex appeal unless they're in some sort of perverse cougar role? I call bullshit.
Sure it's cool not to worry about hotness after a certain point. But why is age such a marker of that? That's just insane. After all, there's nothing sexier than someone who is just fully and completely committed to being themselves. Regardless of height, weight, age or anything else. Women, please stop idealizing your younger, "hotter" self. Chances are you're much hotter now.
Cause that's what's up this hot or not kind of Wednesday in the 718. Yours, in age old questions. XO