Monday, January 12, 2009

I HATE! When Older Women Dress Like Teenagers


This post goes in conjunction with my post about adults wearing clothing adorned with cartoon characters.

We've already established the fact that at a certain age, you inevitably must retire some components of your quickly fleeting youth i.e. belly shirts, low-cut jeans, any article of clothing with a cartoon character emblazoned on it, mini backpacks, platform shoes, cowboy hats, overly-puffy down jackets, anything with fringe on it, etc.
And you'd think this would kind of be common knowledge to the older-set, but you'd really be surprised how many adults think they can get away with acting and dressing like their teenage counterparts. The biggest offenders among this group are older women - specifically the 40 - 65 year-old demographic (and I know that 40 isn't really that old, but let's be honest here, when you're 40, you're no spring chicken).

Case in point: there is a show on a very popular cable network that centers around the work of a high-rolling female matchmaker. She is not completely unfortunate-looking by any means, but I would estimate her age to be somewhere between 40 and 45, and the woman constantly, and I mean constantly, dresses like she's 20 and aging backwards Benjamin Button-style. Short skirts. Tighter-than-is-allowed-by-law-pants. Mini-dresses. Sky-high heels. You get the picture. And like I said, this woman isn't grotesque, but truth be told, she doesn't have the body of the 20-year-old beach volleyball player she is trying to dress like.

And I'm all for women being proud of their bodies etc. etc. , but I just think that women of a certain age should ease gracefully into decorum. You can get away with dressing like a harlot when you're 16, 18, and 23, but at 40 years old, you just look plum-silly trying to rock a leather mini and knee-high boots. I'm even finding that at 23-years-old, I can't get away with wearing what I used to. Let me tell you, my high-school body is NOWHERE to be found and the same goes for the (barely-school-appropriate) corset tops and hip-hugger jeans that were (embarrassingly) once my staple.

Bottom line is this: when you're 40 or 47 or 53 or 61, you really just look ridiculous when you try to pull off clothes made for the Limited-Too clientele. Your teenage years were meant for dressing ridiculously and getting it out of your system. Your high-school style is not meant to transcend into your 40s. And if perhaps I haven't yet hit this point home, please take into account the women on the fabulous show Rock of Love (see photo above) or many of the female guests on Maury. These women, while clearly past their physical primes, are still intent upon resurrecting the clothing of their oh-so-trashy-youth. And while these examples are extreme, I think it makes clear my point.

A little modesty ladies... a little modesty.

4 comments:

Unknown said...

how about mind your own business, and let people dress any way they feel happy, who the heck do you think you are to dictate what a woman can or can not wear? you have no authority because you are not the one paying for their clodes, if you think they look ridiculous, that is your own problem and not theirs, your opinion is irrelevant, you must have no life, if you expend your time looking what other women are wearing and being bitter about it lol

Tatyana El said...

I am 33 years old, and I feel most comfortable in the same type of clothes that I used to wear when I was 15: various tee shirts and tank tops, jeans, and shorts. In colder weather I add Jean or leather jacket.

I dress like this because it is easy and comfortable. I could care less about what people think. What is "age appropriate" anyway? What are our standards of beauty and what is "normal"? Just a bunch of labels and stereotypes. If someone is not comfortable with MY looks, it is THEIR problem.

Unknown said...

Lizz Bannan, nobody give a shit about your opinion! If you hate what other people decide to dress you obviously have a problem, maybe you hate that someone older than you looks better in a dress that you would look horrible.

Anonymous said...

I am in my 40s and was with my boyfriend when I saw a woman walking across the street pushing a baby carriage for the couple behind her. I gawked at her as she had the body and demeanor of a teenager but wrinkled old face of 60 year old. She also appeared to have the same long unkempt hair style of her youth. I found it very disorienting...I have seen elderly men at the beach who may have firm beach bodies and the attitude of youth but are old and wrinkled.

I definitely look young for my age since I take care of myself and my skin, but i also try to dress appropriately, and stylishly. I do take issue with being called "no longer a spring chicken." Trust me, I am very much aware of my mortality ... and biological clock...and the years go by very quickly. Soon you too will be in the "old chicken" category.

I agree that youth is beautiful, but fleeting, and that one must dress one's age....I think the reason the image of an old(er) person acting/dressing younger than their age is that they look as though they have learned/absorbed nothing through their life that would have informed their judgment and imbued them with wisdom. We look to our elders for advice, judgment, discernment.....To see a 30-something flouncing around like a teenager...you'd think she had outgrown that stage mentally...with all of its flourish...and foolishness....and learned lessons/acquired substance she could impart on others and share.....

I thought of that goofy old woman flouncing down the street with her long, unkempt, teenager-type hair and could not help but think of my grandmother who was kind, compassionate, maternal, classy, elegant, stylish, warm..erudite...She was a beautiful woman, but she acted her age and wasn't trying desperate to reclaim her youth. I thought the former woman had mental problems, frankly. She looked ridiculous....I think the same of old men who do the same....thinking..you're not a kid anymore...BE A MAN, dress/act like one, inspire my confidence....Why are you still trying to pretend you are a surfer dude....

People can do/act/dress as they like...but there are a lot of people in this society who suffer from arrested development....I even had a roommate like this...a 60 year old lady who threw tantrums like a teenager if she didn't get her way, refused to clean her room, was entitled and spoiled like a child, and never learned to dress herself properly...Mentally, she was still a dependent, entitled little kid....

Men have even complained about women like the poster described....She sounds like a materialistic gold digger....Yes, we all know that men value fertility, attractiveness, and youth in women...Mature know good men value more ....that is, substance, fidelity, integrity, warmth, intelligence, and good sense. They want women who can be good wives and mothers....Who would seriously look to an aging party girl for dating advice?

I sometimes mourn for the loss of my youth...and wish I had made better or maybe different decisions at different stages of my life....I cannot help but notice the encroaching wrinkles in my face...the folds around my smile.. how embarrassed I was to be leered at so often because of my beauty and youth only wanting to be taken seriously....Now I am taken seriously....and have a good man who loves and adores me, despite a few wrinkles...and I don't need to look, act like a teenager...Instead I have to be me, remain interested and interesting....Men think women who try desperately to hold onto their youth to be desperate and pathetic...I think women do the same.

Please don't judge the original poster. We all used to have that same arrogant attitude of youth...She will grow old too as will we all....She does have a point about appropriateness....but at the same time everyone has a right to their own life decisions. It's the observer's right to notice...and it's the observed right not to care....