It’s double nickels for me this month. To be quite frank, while the ups are overwhelmingly in the lead, being “an older woman who looks good for her age” comes with its own set of downs. (one of the downs? Being called “an older woman who looks good for her age”)
My passionate ups:
- Becoming a grandmother to the most perfect Zoe.
- Realizing my dream of becoming a pilot, and flying my own airplane. Something I never thought I could ever be capable of in a zillion years. I am a total aviation dork!
- Discovering Sheila Kelley’s S-Factor: probably the most loving and magnificent feminist movement I’ve ever encountered. Look it up ladies…you’ll thank me, i promise!
- Traveling on a work mission to Swaziland, South Africa, with my son. Ask me about it!
- Spending time with and working with my family and beloved friends…every damn day.
Now for the downs:
- I’ve lost a lot of important and irreplaceable people and fur babies the past few years.
- I don’t move as quickly as I used to, and my parts hurts. You know? Health and stuff.
- My passions have shifted a bit from professional to personal, which I like, but often is frustrating to those I work with (and I work with the very, very best).
- I feel tired and unappealing a lot of times, and honestly…F-ing menopause makes me feel freaking crazy for no reason at all! (Well, there are actually a bazillion biological reasons i’m feeling a little funky…but that is for another blog…)
So again… I have to ask myself: Why are ‘they’ targeting me? How do they know I’m 55 ?? Ads, articles and blogs popping up all over the place telling me what NOT to wear or DO at ‘my age’. Magazines warning me about what will look absolutely terrible on me…Graphic T’s, cleavage, trendy denim, “too-young” hair, not to mention ALL of my favorite makeup tricks.
The seemingly never-ending lists of no-no’s got me thinking that in actuality, I don’t really want to spend one more second of energy worrying about how other people think I should look, dress or behave.
Be certain of this: I love women of all ages, shapes, sizes, colors, orientations, and (almost all) mindsets. We are all wonderful in our own ways. Just for today, however, instead of allowing myself to be reigned in by all the new rules, I’ve decided to make my own list; a list of what’s completely and utterly awesome about “women my age” . I’ve compiled a love list based on my 35+ years of experience in the industry, talking to pretty much EVERY woman i’ve ever met.
- We have the freedom to be spontaneous, since we probably don’t have little ones at home.
- We don’t get pregnant. Winning already.
- Self-knowledge in the boardroom, and in the bedroom. We know what we want.
- Experience (yes, that kind). Let’s face it; we’ve had lots of practice. We not only know what we want, we’ve learned what men (or women) want.
- No hidden agendas. We take care of ourselves. You might say we are cats that are a little bit more like dogs. We tend to pursue our passions without unrealistic expectations of life long commitment. We aren’t trying to rope anyone into much of anything.
- We aren’t needy. This stress-relief alone makes for a much more awesome experience. If we are taking time away from our family, career, and creative passions in order to be with you, it’s not because we need you: we want you!
- We understand the benefits of being physical. We don’t need to use sex as a weapon, or a bargaining chip. It’s pretty straightforward for us.
- Confidence. We have the kind of prowess that can only come with self-knowledge, self acceptance, and a lack of self consciousness, which all come with age.
- Conversation. We have the brains, guts, and self-confidence to actually have a real conversation! Saying it how you feel it…it’s a freaking amazing feeling!
- We aren’t afraid of communicating. You know where you stand with us. We don’t have time for mind games, and we aren’t worried about losing a man/woman if we express or share what we want.
- We can hold our own. No matter in what situation we find ourselves, it is more than likely not our first time at the rodeo.
- We don’t move in herds. We don’t need to check in with our girlfriends every 15 minutes for approval or advice. We don’t need approval from any large groups or governing bodies. We don’t need your, or any one else’s, permission to live our lives.
- Brains above beauty. Of course, we care a great deal about our presentation and our appeal. We work damn hard to keep ourselves fit and fine so that we can actually enjoy the lifestyle we’ve grown into. That being said, most of us over 50 are not striving for physical perfection. We know that to feed the head well is to feed the heart well. We find far more worth and value in how we think than how we look.
- We aren’t shallow. Not only do we care more about our minds and matter: we care more about YOUR minds and matter. While most of us, at any age can appreciate beauty, we’ve lived long enough and had enough experience to actually, in a very true and sincere sense, appreciate more what a person has to offer mentally and emotionally than physically.
- Wisdom. We’ve lived a lot. We’ve seen a lot. We’ve done a lot. While most of us are completely uninterested in telling you what to do, in most cases, we can give you a pretty damn near perfect idea of what will work.
- We don’t carry around a lot of shame and regret. Let’s face it, it’s not a good look on anyone. We know that stuff ages us, and we’ve found the wiles and ways to let go of the choices, or the parts of our past that no longer suit us. Although we’ve given up hope on a better past and some of its scenarios, we are all for moving forward and creating a brilliant future for ourselves and those we love.
- While we may occasionally embarrass you, our lack of embarrassment about ourselves is entirely liberating. We are long past being ashamed or embarrassed about who we are. We like what we like. We do what we like. We are not embarrassed about what we like. We wear what we want. We dance and sing in public. We laugh LOUD.
- We’ve put away our rose-colored glasses. I dig reality; it’s raw. It’s real. It’s sexy. The women my age who I look up to are the same. We see ourselves for who we really are, and we see you the same. We take the good with the bad.
- We don’t carry the weight of the world. We’ve had some time to figure out what is important to us and to those we love. We pick our fights, and we fight the good, fair fight. Mostly we win.
- We are sensitive. That is not to say that we are overly emotional; we are sensitive to the needs and feelings of those around us. We care deeply, and no longer feel the need to remain stoic in every situation. While we don’t hide our feelings, it’s not likely you will see us shatter into a million pieces if things aren’t perfect.
- We are mentors. We are mothers, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, friends and lovers. We are teachers. We are less competitive and more sharing of our wealth of talents and wisdom. We want those around us to succeed.
- We have time. Hopefully by now, most of us are experiencing a little extra time in our day. Without small children of our own to shuttle about, we can take the time to appreciate our older children, and their children.
- We are emotionally independent. We appreciate our own space. We don’t require constant companionship, comfort, entertainment or approval from a partner.
- We are financially independent. We like being treated, and being treated like a lady, but we don’t have financial expectations of you, and we are likely to return the treat just as often.
- We REALLY have seen ALL the good bands!!!
- Last but not least – love: We understand the value of both unconditional and conditional love. We understand the worth of Love over fear. Love over hate. We know the value of self-love. Love for those we know. Love for those we don’t. Love of the world. Love of beauty in all its forms.
In short…be comfortable, and try to be comfortable in your own skin. If you want to garden in your old Def Leppard concert T-shirt and nothing else, do it. (but wear a good moisturizer with suncscreen. I suggest Dermalogica Age Smart Dynamic Skin Recovery, SPF 30). Take care of yourself, inside and out. Eat, sleep, and play. Shower the people you love with love, and make sure to always fly your beautifully seasoned freak flag with pride and JOY.
Tammy Taylor is the proud and dedicated owner of Got Beauty and GotBeauty.com. This year, she is celebrating 35+ years of being in the beauty business, and she would love to share it with you. Sign up for our Lovelist Rewards program so you can stay tuned for exclusive specials going on all this year.