One reason I like comments so much on this blog is that it leads to conversation and a sense of community on this blog, which I would very much like to increase even more. Another reason is that it gives me ideas of new posts as I want to respond in a more elaborate way. My post on how to dress the petite body type was inspired by Cath after leaving a comment on this post how to determine your vertical body shape.

Today’s post is inspired by The Fashionista who responded to my article on how to hide your belly. In her comment she writes ” My cousin claims that I refuse to get old or I am not acting my age. She believes being over 40 is an excuse for letting yourself go. I believe to the contrary. Do we have to put a little more efforts? Yes, we do but at the end of the day it’s all worth it. Poor Madonna is getting so much flack for being fabulous at 50, she is 10 years my senior and boy I sure wish I could move like her. She’s my hero!!”

She’s got a point. Even one of my favorite bloggers, Dorothy, wrote quite a negative post about Madonna  the other day.

So for what it’s worth, here is my opinion on the subject.

Although I do not feel that women should strive to stay or appear young at any cost, I DO believe that we need to work harder at feeling healthy and looking good. That is a choice of course (I’m not saying that you have to do that). Yes, it will be more challenging as your hormones will change, your body accumulates fat more easily and your muscle strength will go down. But as Madonna and many other women over 40 have shown, there are lots of things that you can do about that. And why wouldn’t you?

Accepting your age doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be willing to do some extra work to stay healthy. And I can guarantee you that it will take more work than when you were 20. So you can either accept that you will have all the weight gain, loss of muscle strength etc, or you can do something about it. Does that mean you don’t accept the aging process? In my opinion no. It just means that you want to age gracefully, in a a healthy way with a strong body, so you can keep on doing the things you’ve always done when you’re older. And yes, perhaps you want to keep your body looking good and your skin looking radiant, but there is nothing wrong with wanting that either.

Madonna does not get her svelte body and fitness by being lazy about her workout regimen. She is famous for doing daily yoga and strength exercizes as well as cardio exercizes to keep her fit. This takes strength and determination, which is something that Madonna has in spades. She did not start doing this when she was forty (in order to stay young), in fact she has been exercizing rigorously all her life. Perhaps she had to turn it up a notch after 40 to keep the same body, but to say that she just does it all just to look young would be untrue. I think that she does it to keep strong, to be able to do the concerts that she loves giving and yes, I’m sure she does it to look good as well. So if you feel that Madonna does not represent her age group then that would be correct. Most in her age group wouldn’t do this kind of training.

So you have a choice. You can choose to get active and take the necessary steps to get strong or you can let yourself go. If you choose the former, then here are some things you will need to do more of when you’re older:

  • You will need to do more strength exercizes to keep your muscles strong and protect your bones from breakage
  • You will need to do more cardio, so you keep your fitness and energy levels.
  • You will need to do more yoga to keep your muscles and joints flexible and again to prevent breakage.
  • In addition to more exercize (instead of less as so many of us do) we also need to eat less. Our bodies need less when they are older, so if you keep eating and drinking at the same rate that you have always done, you will always gain weight.
  • Then we will need to monitor our hormone levels. You can either choose to ignore them, or you can choose to rebalance them.

I’m sure there will be many more things that you will need to do, but I will not go into much detail here.

Now, of course the whole discussion about cosmetic treatments, surgery, botox etc. is yet another one and I will not go there (today). But keeping in shape and looking after your body the way Madonna does with her yoga and workout regime and putting in a performance with lots of dance and movement should only be applauded in my opinion. I don’t see why Madonna should get flack for doing that and should  instead ‘act her age’. To me, she is still someone I admire. I don’t think the super bowl show was her best and she herself knows that she is not the best singer in the world, but she always makes an effort to give us a show, to put in the hard work and to entertain us. That is a lot more than I can say of young Rihanna, who has a great voice but  whose concert was a total let down here in Singapore. And to attend a concert of Madonna is still on my bucket list. (there is a show coming up in Amsterdam; I’m going to try to get tickets!)

This blog’s main focus is not about keeping healthy and looking young. However, I do feel that looking after yourself in terms of your health and your strength, will make you an allround more strong, confident and stylish person, so I will touch upon this subject from time to time. I for one want to stay healthy and strong as I age and I have already taken some steps in that direction as I highlighted in my new years resolutions. What will you do?

Update: I did manage to get tickets for Madonna’s concert in Amsterdam. I wrote about my experience here and created several videos. Also, don’t forget to check out the insightful comments below and leave your own!

How do you feel about how we should be aging? 


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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