With the whole of the Boomer Generation looking at the age of 60 square in the eye, give or take a few years, there are now countless books on What To Wear to Be Youthful, How to Look Younger, How to Date Younger, and well, in short, How Not To Be Yourself at Any Cost. As we all know from seeing photographs from the recent Academy Awards, there are many aging actresses who have succumbed to plastic surgery pressure and what they are told are current trends, and are looking more like circus freaks than elegant older women, who have had successful movie careers.
I have read a few silly rules recently, masquerading as “sensible advice”, in magazine articles or from a chapter in a book, that I believe we should ignore. It is high time to buck the trends, question both so-called “good” and ridiculous advice, and just BE…and whether than BEing means wearing a little eyeliner, or hauling out a shorter skirt from years gone by, is completely up to you.
I have listed below a few of these no-no’s by which my never-say-die generation is supposed to adhere, and which, I believe, should be cast aside.
- Cut Your Hair after 40. This one has made a resurgence, having been very popular in the 1950’s, when the last thing a woman was supposed to want was hair anywhere near her shoulders in her later decades. However, we have seen several aging celebrities who look great with shoulder-length and longer hair. If your hair is in good shape, if you have time to cater to it, if you keep it trimmed on a regular basis, go ahead and leave it long, I say. I worked briefly as ….um, well, the word is “mature model”, and one of the models with me had long gray hair with some of her original black streaks in it. It was shoulder length and so suited her complexion, she looked absolutely fabulous. If you want to wear your hair long, do so. Who are these people who say this is such a crime?
- Never Wear Liquid Eyeliner. If there is one thing that seems to get more appealing as a woman ages, it is her eyes, which gain depth and expression, enhanced no doubt, by those fine lines around them. There are so many new liquid eyeliners, such as those that come in pots (think MAC or Benefit) and which, if applied with a thin brush, ever so close to the lashes, enlarge and frame the eyes so they stand out instead of receding into an already fading skin tone. Again, use your discretion. Obviously if you are prone to puffiness or dark circles underneath your eyes, you maywant to avoid the liner on the lower lid as it will emphasizetthese. You could also choose a less intense color – a gray or navy blue liner instead.
- No Rings on Her Fingers No Rings on Her Toes. Every time I see a woman with a lot of rings on, I think how I would like to wear those rings myself. I don’t though, not because I think it is a terrible look, but more that…well, as one of my sisters told me, I am on the conservative side. But I know an attorney who wears lots of rings, as well as one on her small toe in the summer. Do you think this influences her winning her cases? She is one of the top lawyers in the firm.
- Short Skirts. Okay, I’m not saying go back to the micro-mini, and I know you remember what that was to wear Jilbab all the time due to some religion conditions in my town. However, there are lots of over-50 women with great legs. Why not wear a shorter skirt, one that grazes the top of the knee, or even a touch above that if you have kept yourself in shape. I think this look with black leotards and a great pair of boots looks stunning. And please, don’t think you have to run out and get a “knee lift”. Yes, there is such a thing.
By now you should not be letting anyone erode your hard-earned self-confidence. You have the right to wear what you want when you want, and you know what looks attractive on you and what should be put away or donned to your daughters. The more I see these articles and books pop on bookshelves and internet sites telling an entire generation how they should present themselves, the more I think we should be honoring and respecting a sense of self that we have earned and now must learn to trust.