Quite a few 40+ women struggle with getting older and the changes that tend to occur, which became apparent through comments from readers on this website. It inspired a topic on the forum: Why do we insist on talking ourselves down and also inspired this article by long-time reader Suzanne. I think she has an important message so am very happy to share her article here on 40+Style. Over to you Suzanne!
As women past the age of 40, many of us struggle with our changing bodies and how to dress them. We do not want to become “invisible” or to look frumpy but we also do not want to look inappropriate or like we are trying too hard. Many of us hope to look youthful or fashionable but not like we are attempting to be young.
It is a fine line we walk and there are many confusing and conflicting messages from runways, magazines, Hollywood, and even from Blogs. A few weeks ago I had a very interesting experience that made me deeply ponder these issues and I had a small epiphany. I shared this story with Sylvia and she thought it was inspirational so I am going to share my thoughts with her readers as some of you may find some insight too.
A short story…
I was asked to attend a finance meeting as a favor. The board was all male but there were two female office assistants at the place where we assembled. I have known these women for many years but the men from out of state were meeting them for the first time. Both of these women are professional, intelligent, well dressed, and well groomed individuals but B is at least 15 years older than A, yet these men thought B was the younger of the two.
This gave me a great deal to think about.
What is it about B that causes her to be perceived as eternally youthful?
I have often heard the term “aging gracefully”. I know that means different things to different people, but to me it has always sounded a bit defeatist – like we are to accept our fate and quietly fade into the background. Then you see a woman like B, who in her 7th decade is still thought of as vital and attractive. What is her secret?
I will share with you that B has an incurable disease. She has been in remission for several years but she is on strong medications and she is unable to have plastic surgery or chemical peels or injectables so everything about her is natural. Despite obstacles, I will share with you what I believe makes B so beautiful:
- B has made the choice to live life to the fullest.
- She is active and loves to play tennis.
- She bought a motorcycle when she turned 50.
- She is open to new things – foods, cultures, hobbies.
- She recently befriended a gallery owner and has been introduced to amazing artists and collectors at openings and galas. Their fame does not intimidate her.
- She is always learning and growing.
- She keeps her hair dark and in a current cut
- She is never without makeup but it is subtle and enhances her features.
- She does not have a large budget but she keeps her wardrobe modern – replacing outdated items with the newest colors and shapes.
- She wears vivid shades and is known for her colorful shoe collection.
- B makes everyone feel important and interesting and good about themselves, because she truly feels that way about herself.
- She lights up a room simply by walking into it.
- She embraces who she is at this time, with these flaws, and she honors that.
- B is forever young in spirit and that is reflected in her physical appearance.
What have I learned from this?
- That we can all make the choice to age attractively.
- We can be joyful, charming, flirty, and fun no matter how many candles are on the birthday cake.
- We can remain open to new experiences and keep on evolving.
- We need to laugh every day and stay optimistic.
- Maintain a spirit of adventure.
- Do not fear wearing bright colors or trying a new style.
- Most importantly, never believe that “the best is behind you” but that “the best is yet to come”.
I hope all 40+ women will embrace this philosophy. We are truly awesome creatures and we deserve to celebrate that each day.
Note form Sylvia: I really like Suzanne’s message and think we can all learn from this. I am definitely going to try and apply many of Suzanne’s lessons as much as I can into my own life! How about you? What do you think is the secret to looking amazing and youthful at 40+?