IF anyone is flying the flag of the older woman, it’s me.
I try to fly it higher than everyone else, because for generations past, women “of a certain age” have been forced to blend into the background.
They were made to disappear collectively once they were past 40. As they continued to age, there would be the inevitable investment in a purple rinse and comfortable shoes.
And by the time they were 50, grey macs were a wardrobe staple. The older woman was as plain as vanilla. Well, not now. Not any longer.
We are here and we demand to be seen. We want to be heard but, above all, we want to be visible. And lockdown, with all its tedium, procrastination and humdrum has really been the perfect opportunity to make our presence known.
I have now, more or less, stopped looking at the pretty twentysomething wannabes on social media. Without casting aspersions (OK then, I will), it seems they are all projecting more or less the same monotonous things. It’s all about the pout and the overtly suggestive pose.
They’re Polyfilla-ed up with make-up, their hair is immaculate and some are filtered beyond all recognition. Every day is a lingerie day and it makes me wonder what else they do with their time — do they ever wash up? Take out the bins? Clear the plughole?
No, of course they don’t, and at their age I’m sure it’s quite natural to want to show off your wares — it’s a competitive world out there. So spare a glorious thought for those of us who are 50-plus. As a general rule, you might not even consider us on account of our age. But have you seen who is rocking lockdown out there?
Underwear that would pass for dental floss
Yes, it’s the old ’uns. While I have been hard on some of these gals before for flashing their flesh, I think we can all agree they have brightened up these recent dark times.
Did you see Madonna the other day in her erotic little get-up, wearing underwear that would pass for dental floss in most households? I mean, let’s face it, she’s never been shy, but the woman is 62 and you can’t deny she would see off any 25-year-old in the blink of an eye.
Only yesterday, the never shy Amanda Holden snapped herself looking angelic among the spring blossoms wearing nothing but a swimming cossie designed by Tess Daly, 51. While it’s obviously a great way of flogging the new range, it’s also a refreshing reminder that there’s absolutely nothing strange these days about women in their sixth decade of life donning — and designing — a one-piece. In fact, it’s celebrated.
Lizzie Cundy seems to have been watering her garden in a bikini every single day for the past year. And why not? She looks fab doing so. Granted, Helena Christensen was a top model, but she’s nearly my age and she can stand provocatively by my front door like that any day of the week. And I bet if she opened her mouth she’d have something interesting to say, too. Unlike some of the spring chickens of today.
Then there’s J Lo, with her full and wholesome body, looking strong and in control. She’s aspirational, that’s for sure. Naomi Campbell may not be my favourite person in the world but a sexy shot with a hint of nipple is enough to stop anyone in their tracks.
And what about Davina McCall, constantly flaunting her scrumptious, indefatigable abs. Admittedly, she does make me feel like a lazy cow, but that’s what inspiration is all about. And don’t get me started on Salma Hayek, in my view one of the most beautiful women in the world. And one with great character and posture.
Near-naked selfies after a few too many rums
The point is, the older women are finally doing it for themselves. We’ve been waiting in the wings for so long, waiting to be raised up and appreciated.
We have been overlooked for decades and now is our time to step out of the shadows and be acknowledged. It’s like we’ve started a new club, subconsciously but very deliberately.
This has been a quiet but long-overdue revolution of age battling perception because, ultimately, it’s in our power to be what we want to be.
We don’t have to be resigned to being the wallflowers at the disco, we can put on our sparkly outfits (or take them off as seems to be the case) and dazzle and beguile.
A lot of the mature female celebs look nothing short of sensational. It may not be that everyone is capable of shimmering in the light of notoriety but, credit where credit is due, these women have worked hard for their bodies (some, possibly, with a little help from an aesthetic practitioner) but the results can’t be denied. And I’m so overjoyed to see them flaunting it and shaking their booty so publicly.
As for me, I’ve also pushed the boat out during this pandemic and done some near-naked selfies in the bathroom after a few too many rums, and posed with my naked butt in the heat of the sunshine during Lockdown No1.
Most of my days are spent in the drudgery of housework, ungrateful children, picking up dog mess and gardening.
But goddamn it, I’m going to do it in a G-string and a full face of make-up from now on because, quite frankly, us old birds have still got it and the world needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
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