There! I said it and in doing so made up a new word. “Fuckeduptedness”. There’s no need to explain the word either.
It’s a time of reflection for me because in less than three months I’ll reach my 65th birthday. It’s a weird age, it is—because it signifies the true entryway to Senior Citizenship. When you are between the ages of 60 through 64, it still sounds a bit young. 65 is that magic age. Smack between the early sixties and…seventy!
I may be getting older but I know how to rock!
And other than the usual neurotic thinking such as in 65 years from now I won’t be around—which kills me because I want to be; and the fact I am a failure in my career because I was never able to re-enter the workforce in the type of job I had in NYC, gives me a never-ending pity party. it really ain’t too bad!
…but not yet! I gotta squeeze a lotta life out first!
We—our generation is a more youthful bunch of old people. We are not our grandmothers or grandfathers either. We be cool! We are fun! We do what we want.
And They hate it!!
Who’s they? I’ll explain. They are the experts (In their own minds) who pontificate about how we are to dress. How to wear our hair. How we are to live. They make up the rules we have to follow.
And therein lies the fuckeduptedness of being old.
I’ll give some examples.
When you are old, or if someone younger feels you are old, oftentimes are spoken down to. It’s almost “old people baby talk”. For some reason people seem to think as you age you no longer hear nor can you comprehend even the simplest sentence such as “Have a pleasant day.” We may have aged but we have become smarter and wiser so stop speaking down to us. For God’s sake, I didn’t even speak that idiotic baby-talk to my children when they were babies! Just stop it!
Ugh. If any adult ever spoke to me in baby talk, he or she would have huge welt across their face!
People also have a tendency to speak LOUDER to you? Why is this? I’m the loudest person I know—please do not try to compete with my loudness or I’ll bust your eardrums! You takin’ to me? I hope not because you don’t sound to bright.
OMG!! There is NO reason to shout at me. I can hear you!!!!!!!!! Stop it!
The “anti-age” factor. This is bullshit. I want to bitch slap the marketing idiot who created that term because he or she needs to be thrown into a jail cell. Age needed to be celebrated! Many don’t make it to their fifties or older. My brother was one so don’t even get me started!
Airbrushed, photoshopped and anti-aged. Ageing is a horrific experience to be ashamed of–isn’t it?
The second you leave mommy’s love canal; you begin to age. Does anti-age mean that we should all stay a few hours old? Because that’s basically what it means? Why not pro-age? We’re happy to have those birthdays. We’ve accomplished great things. Why anti-it? Which brings me to….
The Beauty Industry. This they despise us. This industry views us as cows out to pasture.
True dat! The Beauty Industry treats us lder ladies like cows put to pasture. And these are French cows that I hung out with a few years back while hanging out in the Burgundy countryside. We got along well–we related to each other!
They will use late-teen to twenty-something models in their “anti-aging” campaigns. And worse yet, will advertise foundations, concealers, primers “made” for us and use those same young models. There’s plenty of gorgeous mature women with lines, creases and wrinkles on their faces. How come they aren’t used?
Yes. This is twenty-something Kendall Jenner. Estee Lauder, a cosmetics company that the “Mature” customer could relate to, now has to look at younger models to figure out just how the hell any makeup will look on their older skin. This is the fuckeduptedness of old!
It drives me nuts too because this is an industry that thinks it’s so “forward” by using gay men wearing make up to prove how diverse they are. No. You aren’t diverse. And neither are ads with one obligatory young white girl, one obligatory black girl, one obligatory Asian girl, one obligatory Latina and one said gay guy diverse or inclusive. Show me the seventy-year old woman of all colors and show me that old gay guy and only then will you be truly diverse.
Where the fuck is the old lady–or old man–or the physically disabled person. No. You are NOT diverse until everyone is included. Go find a wrinkled person.
They, the Village Green Fashion Policing Society: How many times? How many magazine articles? How many internet postings do we have to be tortured with when it comes to what we should and shouldn’t wear. I can’t even with this one.
I will wear my skinny jeans, my mini skirts and above-the-knee dresses. Hoop earrings will continuously remain dangling from my ear lobes. Over-the-knee boots will continue to be worn. And nobody will or should dictate how anyone should dress. Especially the older demographic.
I will continue to wear my leather pants with pointy-toed boots..
I will continue to wear my miniskirts with boots..
As an old, shriveled, wrinkled old prune of the pro-age, I’ll keep my ripped jeans thank you!
And I will wear those glittery heels.
And I’ll continue to wear my hair long. Even if it IS fake!
It saddens me to see that women my age, mid 60’s and in their 50’s and even older fall into that misconception that they need to dress like an unstylish, unattractive wallflower. Why? Why can’t a woman who is of the pro-age, boomer generation dress as wonderfully as she feels. Wait. Some women don’t feel wonderful. And it’s because many women have given up. And no wonder. Fashion magazines are splayed with clothing brands that only advertise young, nubile women in clothing that the older woman can wear and wear well. It is an absolute disgrace and one of the reasons I haven’t bought a fashion magazine in over a year. I’ve not renewed any fashion or beauty magazine and have no desire to pick one up. In fact, I’ve allowed my Allure subscription to expire because they never followed up on their promise to stop using the phrase “anti-age”.
The very last Vogue magazine I read was when Wintour placed Kim and Kanye West on the cover. If I want to read about celebrities, I’ll buy Star or People. Fashion magazines have become trash. Bring back the actual models and get rid of the celebrities. Better yet, showcase the magazine’s true demographic of the “over 40” woman!
The Corporate “They”. This is a touchy and personal one. Perhaps for you too, or someone you know. Life events happen. Some are great. Some aren’t. And somewhere along the line, many of us, regardless of the life situation, have to re-enter the workforce.
Sad but true. Due to corporate closures I’ve lost a couple of jobs and I’ve never recovered the earnings that I’m worth. Think about that one–that’s the story of almost every person over 50 who has reentered the workforce and it is shameful and sad!
Corporate America and Small Businesses do not want to hire anyone over a certain age. It’s bad enough to seek employment over 50 but to seek employment over the age of 60 is a near-impossible feat.
It’s all true.
And it sucks. It sucks because our generation has such a stellar work ethic. We come from backgrounds where we were taught how important values are. Granted, many of us aren’t technically gifted the way younger people are, but we are quick learners. The amount of information and computer skills I’ve learned from each job I’ve had is invaluable. As a whole, we are open to new ideas. We are excellent workers. We don’t call out sick on a Monday due to excessive partying over the weekends. We won’t need a day or seven off when the kids are off from school or if they are ill. We are there 100 percent.
It’s incredible because corporations get tax breaks for hiring the disabled but they don’t get anything for hiring the mature demographic. Perhaps they should, then maybe more of us would have the jobs we deserve!
They think we aren’t cool. Oh yeah. Ever get the eye-roll, side eye or smirk from someone younger? I’m sure you have. Perhaps it’s happened when you listened to the current top 40 music. Or discussing a movie or book or …. basically anything. It’s because they think we aren’t cool.
Wise words. No generation will ever be as cool!
Let me tell you something about “cool”. We are of the coolest generation ever.
That boho look? We started it back in the late 1960’s. We had the Summer of Love. Our demographic got politically involved. The Youth Movement protested. We questioned. We wore clothing that our parents disapproved of.
My favorite Beatle, George Harrison and Patti Boyd, hanging around playing guitar and smoking at the same time. Now THAT’S a feat!
Why—I remember the most beautiful pair of Madras plaid hot pants I purchased with babysitting money. I wore them to go out and my parents made me go back upstairs to change. Those were the days alright. We wore miniskirts and tattered and patched jeans. We had “head shops” where those who did not use bongs and roach clips could buy peasant tops and patchouli or ylang ylang oil.
Show me a modern-day fashion designer as cool as Mary Quant. Her iconic Mod look changed everything. And we had her! And she’s still influencing how women dress!
We had the slick cool of Jimi Hendrix and the raspy cool of Janice Joplin. I do not think there is anyone currently in the music industry as cool or as talented as they were. I’m biased but it’s true.
The sad thing is that she never got the chance to pro-age..
….and neither did Jimi. That’s anti-aging. They never made it to pro-age.
And dance we did!
And partied hearty, I might add. Booge. Oogie. Oogie!
We enjoyed life. And we still do those things. It’s just that we do them at a more measured pace!
And at her age, she can light up whenever she wants!
And therein lies the fuckeduptedness of old. It’s not how we perceive ourselves it is how they perceive us. And as pro-agers rather than anti-agers, maybe it’s time to start a new movement!
Others see me as the figure on the left. An old, grumpy, unstylish old woman who should be thrown to pasture. I see me as I am on the right. Stylish, pro-aging, and only grumpy when I’m in rush-hour traffic!
What say you? Do you feel the same way that I do? Do you find yourself being ignored or shoved aside due to aging? Do you think we aren’t respected the way we should be? I’m really curious to find out! Do you like my new word??????