55 and proud of it!
As a journalist, a few years I interviewed a grandmother who authored a book. She said she wrote the book because she was tired of grandmothers being portrayed as women with gray hair tied back in a bun. Those days are long gone, she believed. Her picture of a grandmother was modernized to represent her as a grandmother. This grandmother was a lady who was in shape, wore stylish clothes, and had long flowing dark hair.
Modern middle-aged women definitely have it going on. More so than generations before us. I can’t quite pinpoint why, but can only guess. Our stress factors are lower because we know how to take care of ourselves. We work hard, but we know when to take a “time out.” We treat ourselves by going to the spa, by taking time to relax and do creative things, and of course, retail therapy. We do it all, but we don’t forget to make ourselves a number one priority, therefore having the stamina to be able to give more of ourselves to others.
Even though I dye my hair, I can assure you that I have minimal grays. It’s not hereditary. My grandmother was gray young, and so was my mother.
The thing is, there is less tension in my life, as well as the lives of my peers. Because my generation has been independent — making our own money and marrying later in life — we end up with men because we truly love them, not because we need them. I’m proud to be a part of an age group that began the trend of marrying someone you could call your very best friend.
I’d also like to add, that by the time you are in your 40s and 50s, you know what looks good on you. You have the confidence you lacked in your 20s and 30s. You’ve experienced with different looks, changed your closet as your body changed, and now have a killer wardrobe, as well as great shoes. Maybe you now have a gut, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that you still have toned, rockin’ legs.
By doing more of what we want, dressing how we want, wearing our hair how we want, by being with who we want to be with, and by surrounding ourselves with like-minded women with youthful spirit, the result is — YES, WE DO LOOK MUCH YOUNGER THAN WE ARE! And there should be nothing wrong with that.
However, lately I’ve been coming across some negative comments on articles about older women. Women of a certain age do not like that the models used in the articles are so “young looking.” They don’t feel these women represent their age bracket. But they DO!
Those who look their age or older are definitely in the minority. They can easily look younger with a good make-over, a little less stress in their lives, and giving themselves a little tender loving care.
If I’m making it sound “easy” well it’s not. I grew up during the 1980s and that meant that 25 was old. From that point, I took care of myself with the little info I had back then. I was into yoga from a young age. I stopped eating conventional meats. I avoided preservatives and additives 80 percent of the time (and still do, with cheats). And I realized from the time I started working that I’d always support myself and only marry if I was truly in love. But the biggest thing that makes me look younger, I think, is I do not smoke. Others are also giving up this stinky habit. And I’m a happy, non-gossipy person. Now people are finally realizing how ugly and stressful bad-mouthing can be. Smart women don’t do that; it’s actually frowned upon. It’s great because when we get together, we talk more about ideas and fun stuff in life. We aren’t bitter because we’re honestly in a happy place.
I’m sure other foxes over 40 and 50 will agree with most of what I am saying. Long gone are the Edith Bunker hairstyles for women our age. Long gone are the days of sneaking cigarettes when our husbands aren’t around because we don’t lie to our spouses, they accept us as we are. Long gone are the days of busting our asses cleaning the house. We either hire cleaning help or don’t mind a little mess. And long gone are the days of talking trash about other women — we are here to support each other!
So, next time you are reading an article about older women, and you think the model doesn’t look her age, think again. Most of us don’t! After all, pretty is as pretty does, and most of us are pretty darn awesome!
Maryanne Christiano Mistretta has authored four books and is working on her fifth. If you enjoyed this blog, you may love her fiction book “Love Cats” about love in the 1980s. It’s available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B00YBGVJQS
She’s also a motivational speaker available for talks at schools, JCC’s, women’s clubs, rotary clubs, and corporations. Email her for pricing and availability at: firstname.lastname@example.org