This is an older blog, but after reading this blog, that might not be a conversation I should be having. Still it is well worth repeating.
I'm a woman of a certain age. 56 years old, to be exact. Well, to be really exact, I'd have to say 56 years and 42 days old as of this writing. I don't know what time I was born and the only person that can tell me, is sadly no longer here. But that's a different kind of blog post.
Meriam-Webster defines a woman of a certain age as "of a somewhat advanced age: No longer young."
The Urban Dictionary (shout out to my dear friend Richard, without whom I was blissfully unaware of The Urban Dictionary) defines it as an "Ironically polite term for a woman who does not want her actual age known, e.g., one who is close to or just over menopause." They go on to say that "things that define women of a certain age are exceptionally gaudy clothing, homeopathy and aromatherapy, sensible haircuts, books on feminism, affairs with paper boys, and coffee mornings." They were careful to use an Oxford comma near the end so we weren't to conclude that paper boys and coffee mornings were to be enjoyed together. Pfffft. Who doesn't like to read the paper with their morning coffee?
I digressed a little bit there from my original point. Women my age, or thereabouts, have a way of putting themselves down. I mean, we do it all of the time. Our conversations are about weight gain and aging. We say things like "I feel so fat", "I am so fat", "I hate how fat I look". We are in a society that values youth over wisdom, thin over happy, I never pass a mirror without checking out my tummy. I have a tummy. Gasp!! I've had two kids and 3 miscarriages and I'm 56 freaking years old. Why can't I give myself a break? I say things like "if my belly was lower and my backside was higher, I'd look like bookends.". The truth is, that is the truth. But when, oh when, will I come to grips with it? When I am looking down at my phone and I see that I no longer have the strong jawline of my youth, I literally cringe. Regular conversations about botox and fillers pepper every conversation among my women friends.
This has to stop. We have to stop. Compliments are always "have you lost weight? You look wonderful!" My husband's favorite compliment is "you look very thin in that outfit". We have to stop judging ourselves and put things into perspective. If we don't age, we'll die, if not young than too young. We should be thankful that we have enough food that we have to think about healthier ways to eat. We have to learn to take good care of ourselves, eat good food, exercise, and smile a lot. And botox and fillers to your heart's content as long as we keep it in perspective. We are trying to look our bests and every little bit helps, but it shouldn't be how we define ourselves. I notice when I am smiling I can't see the little lines around my lips and it lifts my jawline. I'm going to try to find more things to smile about.
These are conversations we should stop having.
Susan C. Mangigian
1595 Paoli Pike, Suite 101,West Chester, PA 19380
610-719-1700 main office, 610-299-6237 cell
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