“Am I too old to wear this?”
I was in my twenties the first time I asked that question. Now granted, I was wearing a white pleather mini skirt and a screaming neon green cold shoulder crop top with equally bright highlighter orange bangles and ankle socks. I should have been questioning my taste, not the calendar. (Or even the fact that I was wearing this get up to work…) But I remember that the girlfriends I asked sort of paused and looked concerned, And embarrassed.
And maybe they, too, were considering my sartorial skills rather than my very tender years, but we were, what, twenty-five, for chrissakes! How sad that we were already absorbing the reality of our truncated shelf life and the attached societal validity implied. Strongly implied.
The Body Positive and Plus is Equal movements have been influential and fascinating for me to watch because they strive for acceptance and celebration of diversity – loving a fit, healthy, well-groomed body as-is; not trying to be or look “skinny.” I want to spotlight and celebrate women over 40 in the same way – not trying to look or be younger necessarily, but valuing and revelling in our mature, well-aged, wabi sabi selves.
In the same way that I love the sort of out-at-elbows, well-loved but faded glamour of Houston or New Orleans over the slick, shiny-newness of, say, Charlotte or Dallas, I love mature women. I love to look at and read about celebrities from my youth, not only to compare how we’ve each fared (although, yeah, that’s in there, too) but for their wisdom and humor on the whole thing. I don’t believe we wish to go backwards, but to define who and where we want to be.
The Body Positive and Plus is Equal movements have been influential and fascinating for me – I want to spotlight and celebrate women over 40 in the same way
I want The Long Weekend to be a gathering place of thoughts and ideas and images for audacious older women. It’s up to us to design a way to age with grace, style, & sexy-chic. No cougar jokes necessary here. We’re not looking for approval or sympathy, or (god forbid!) permission. If you haven’t read Fifty is the new Fifty, I highly recommend it (as well as lots of other books – which we’ll get to!). What to do with this new freedom of the Fuck it all Fifties(tm) and beyond? Where to next?
Listen, we have some time to really stretch out our stride here! Life expectancy is such that living into our 90s is not out of the question. That means we have an entire second life ahead of us, minus that awkward adolesence nonsense. Do you want to go to school to learn a skill you’ve always wondered about? Cooking, coding, environmental architecture? Maybe you want to travel or start a business?
I can tell you, though, that once you click into whatever your next passion is, it will be amazing. You will find a well-spring of energy and focus and determination you never knew you had. I’m going to be exploring some of these side roads here from my point of view and experience, but I need and want to hear from you, too!
What do you want to explore next? Have you already started? Share, honey!