Because I am premenopausal and prone to mood swings and their accompanying crises, this morning I was feeling bitterly angry about the increased time I have to put into my beauty routine in order to look presentable these days. The older I get, the more time I spend on makeup, the tidier my hair needs to be, and the neater my wardrobe. Twenty years ago I could walk out the door with a bedhead and wrinkled dress and it just looked like personal style. Now it looks like deranged older lady.
Some days I feel pretty who cares about what people think and other days, like today, I feel pressured to look put-together and cover my arms and conceal my age spots. My trim and elegant grandmother was always quick to point out other women who'd "let themselves go" and I swore that that would never be me, but I so often wish I could just gain 20 pounds and give up on my hair and wear a caftan. And while I probably won't, it's totally okay to do that. Feeling good means different things to different people and I guess what I'm saying is let's stop judging one another. As dearly as I loved my grandmother, I wish I could go back and stick up for all those women who'd "let themselves go."
I love style inspiration blogs and how many more of them I see about older women lately. My friend recently sent me this great Who What Wear feature about stylish older women, and while they are all pretty thin, they are wearing all kinds of out-there styles that were simply not permissible in my grandmother's time.
Here's my personal feel-great formula:
- Wear what makes you want to stand up straight.
- Stay physically fit enough to avoid aches and pains.
- Have sex on a regular basis.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Eat for pleasure and maximum energy.
Even though some days I put on my makeup begrudgingly, I do it in the interest of feeling like my best self. My idea of my best self might change in time, and that's okay, as long as I'm meeting the above criteria and celebrating other women's lifestyle choices the whole way.