Beyond Buxom Beauties – What Does Aging Well Mean
Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2012
Full-figured buxom beauties are making it on the runway, in the fashion magazines, and all over. But aren’t we missing someone?
Okay, world… it seems the “skin-and-bones” look has finally taken a much deserved hit. But, somehow, I’m feeling not so thrilled. I’m happy to see a woman with real curves in the fashion magazines. Sadly, there’s something, or should I say, someone missing.
What does it take to get an attitude adjustment toward the aging body?
I lived through the Twiggy stage, which didn’t bother me in the least because I was a Twiggy. I happened to be a skinny teenager, so I fit the bill.
I lived through the Jane Fonda era, but I didn’t mind that, either. After all, I was pretty young and relatively slender and in shape. So, no big deal, right?
I lived through most of my 50s without too much trouble. We aging women were getting rounder. I looked at my new “smooth” curves as pretty natural. Many women my age were embracing our curves. Buxom women sporting nice booties… that’s us. Fine. A supportive bra and clothes that suited our curvacious figures worked out well.
So, what happened to irritate me?
And then I saw this picture:
Can’t we EVER be full-figured AND old AND beautiful all at the same time? Aging well is NOT necessarily about being buff! Yes, we want to be strong and healthy, Yes, we want to move easily and be within a healthy weight. Yes, we want to watch our BMI. But COME ON! When did the bar rise this high!?
We women in our 50s and 60s are already so critical of ourselves. We talk about living well over 50 and what we often mean is being in great shape and looking young. In order to age well do we have to look like a movie star? What if we don’t? The covers of magazines are plastered with the latest starlet turning 50 or 60 or 70 with cheers of “Doesn’t she look wonderful!” written all over.
So, what it boils down to right now is:
1) You can be a full-figured woman if you are young.
2) If you are older, you have to look buff and trim like a movie star.
And, please don’t get me started on the whole Paula Deen thing. I’ll save that for another day. (Okay, you may as well get started, so take a peek at what women like Dorothy Sander of AgingAbundantly.com and Sophie Lumen of FeedTheBeauty.com have to say about THAT.)
I expect that, as I age, I will look fine – not buff, not gorgeous – but fine. I eat healthy, I walk, I ride my bike, I brush and floss, and I laugh. These are the things that will help me age well. Will I look like Helen Mirren in a bikini when I get older? Hell… I don’t look like her now! I don’t look like many 50 and 60 year old movie stars. But, hey… I walked three marathons and when I ride my bike I’m like the wind! So, yeah, I’m aging well. Just don’t ask me to pose in a bikini. Or, maybe…
p.s. My apologies to Helen Mirren. I understand that she is quite uncomfortable with the hoopla made over that picture. She says it was a fluke and she doesn’t really look that good. Nice fluke.
p.p.s. The debate continues… Be sure to take a look at this post by Chloe Jeffreys of GenerationFabulous.com. It’s hard to discuss body image without discussing how bodies look. It is the sad truth. Click on and read: Chasing Youth or Aging Gracefully?
p.p.p.s. I even had to chuckle over a picture used on a post by a woman who writes really great stuff – Sienna Jae Fein – but I’ve never seen a 60 year old décolletage look like this (although Sienna says she knows someone who does sport such taut skin at 60!) Check this picture and the story out on Sienna’s blog post Sexy At Sixty and you tell me: