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?

These pictures of beautiful, buxom women:
Beautiful buxom womanBeautiful buxom women
Don’t get me wrong.  I think they are beautiful and I think it’s about time.  But if ALL bodies are good bodies, why aren’t any of those bodies old?

And then I saw this picture:

Helen Mirren bikini
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.

{{sigh}}

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.)

{{heavy sigh}}

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:
Sexy at 60

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6 Responses to
“Beyond Buxom Beauties – What Does Aging Well Mean”

  • Nina Knox says: February 27th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Bravo, Patti! I never really noticed the way media depicts the age vs. weight vs. curves thing – but you’re absolutely right. I’m 54 and feel like you, I’m in pretty good shape for my age. But when I see those Over 50 movie stars I know that they have the resources to get all the lipo. and surgeries they want and then they act like they didn’t! Come on – yes you did! Let’s see some natural, healthy, Over 50 bodies for a change and appreciate the beauty there. We all age – there is no way around it. Why can’t we all just embrace it?!
    Thanks, Patti!
    Nina Knox – Over 50 and Happy
    http://over50andhappy.com

  • Patti says: February 27th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks, Nina. I like what you said; “We all age – there is no way around it.” My Mom always used to say about aging; “It’s better than the alternative.” Yup. :D

    I like to see the interviews with beautiful movie stars and other famous type people when they’re asked “How do you do it all?!” And they start talking about getting up early, working out with their trainer…… huh? Rewind….. trainer? Oh, that explains it. And nanny, stylist, private jets. ’nuff said.

    Thanks again, Nina, for stopping by. I always appreciate the company!

  • Patti Stafford says: February 28th, 2012 at 8:23 am

    The pic I shared on FB is not touched up, but my husband is really good at touching up pics. He can get rid of several flaws, so you really can’t trust pics these days.

    I think if you’re happy in your body it will show. I’m not overly happy with mine at the moment, but hormones are making it dang hard to get rid of this pudge I have. I am determined to beat it though. ;)

  • Patti says: February 28th, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Thanks for sharing your picture with us gawkers on Facebook, and for sharing your thoughts here, Patti. :D

    Yeah, I know all about those dang hormones and the pudge their fluctuations cause. If it’s any consolation at all, it gets better when “The Great Pause” finally comes. Believe it or not. Really. Age has its advantages, and that is one. The years leading up to menopause, the peri-menopause years, are very similar to puberty. Remember THAT?! EEEEGADS! Hang in there and keep fighting the pudge, because it really does help in the long run, even if its stubborn now.

    Again, thanks for visiting me here and on Facebook… and for sharing your picture. What fun!

  • christina says: March 7th, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Bravo! well said! I am only 47 and am already disgusted at hearing ‘you could pass for much younger'(why would I want to?) and ‘you look good ….for your age’ Noone ever says ‘ wow what great accomplishments you have and kudos on a full interesting life!’
    I want to see more women doing fun active things and exploring all life has to offer, not rocking on a porch knitting.

  • Patti says: March 7th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Thank you, Christina. I’m glad younger (yes, younger!) women like you are understanding these frustrating “compliments.” I really want to respond to these kinds of comments with; “In comparison to what?” or “What age wouldn’t I look good for?” Or, like you said; “Pass for younger? Why? Is there a Junior Citizen discount?” Okay, feeling a bit silly, but it really is ridiculous. Keep up the good work, Christina, and continue the good fight. ;)

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