Ladies. We are given a bad rap. When we are in our 20s, we are expected to look young, thin, cute, quiet and flirty. Once we hit our 30s, we are expected to be all that, and professional, driven, creative and “in control.” And by 40, we are relegated to mom status, still have to do the same, and simply move out of the way.
Take a look out there. Google “women over 40 shouldn’t.” I’m not linking to the posts, because, frankly, I don’t think they deserve the traffic. But suffice it to say, the list includes:
- Shouldn’t wear shorts
- Shouldn’t wear mini-skirts
- Shouldn’t wear cartoon characters
- Shouldn’t wear motorcycle jackets
- Shouldn’t wear leggings
- Shouldn’t wear bikinis
- Shouldn’t leave their hair grey
- Shouldn’t wear jeans
it goes on and on. And you’ll notice, that list revolves around appearance… Right? As in most of us aren’t quite as thin, tight, taut and babe-a-licious as we used to be.
Yes. I know that there are some smokin hot mamas over 40 out there. But let’s face it… Their lives are not our lives. Most of us don’t have chefs, trainers, stylists and full time child care. Most of us aren’t paid to be a size 0. Most of us don’t have the inclination or energy to give up our small treat at the end of a long, exhausting, frustrating day.
But just because it’s harder to drop the pounds, doesn’t mean we have to give up and sit on the couch. Just because we might never have a perfectly flat tummy, doesn’t mean we have to cover it up. Just because we aren’t as small as we used to be, doesn’t mean we have to wear shapeless, ugly clothes. We don’t have to be quiet or passive or agreeable. Just because we are over 40 (or 35 or 30) doesn’t mean we have to do ANYTHING we don’t want to…
You know what we do have to do?
We have to stop comparing ourselves to our friends and our frenemies and our coworkers and our siblings and Hollywood actresses.
We have to decide what we want, and start doing it. No matter how “ridiculous” society tells us it is.
If we want to make changes – in our weight, in our lifestyle, in our careers, in our hobbies - we have to embrace the impulse and work towards achieving those goals. We have to celebrate the tiny victories… even if it takes a really long time to get to our end destination.
Basically, we have to love ourselves where we are now. And embrace our strength to become our most aspirational selves. And don’t let ANYONE tell you how you should act over 40. Because it’s not their choice to make. It’s yours.