Monday, July 14, 2014

No Country for Old Women

I received something that really struck a nerve pertaining to ageism. I'd like to think of it as a social experiment. I don't look my age at all. It could be that I'm a hermit, the melanin in my skin or, genetics. When I get carded the recipient will stare at the identification, place it under a light, look at it, look at me, then some exclamation like "Wow!" or something occurs. Maybe it's a first world problem, but when my peers thought they had a 25 year old peer and then they learnt different, the interactions change. It gets more personal. There is more cattiness and gossip toward me than previously. I guess it puts me in that "category" of mature career woman. I use the term mature, because as a beauty aficionado, I am very aware of marketing, products, and media presentation.
I don't fault women for being so obsessed with aging as society does nothing to allow women to embrace becoming older. I was working on a client's face, and her concern was looking too old. That would not be so shocking, if it weren't coming from a 22 year old. She said that all the birthdays after 21 are down hill according to her mum. With the images of women on telly, I can't say I blame her. I am pressed to find a reality show that begins with "Real Housewives of ..." that doesn't make me cringe. It is like a menopausal version of Mean Girls. There are more physical altercations with the older women then there are on any of the shows on MTV or other channels. In addition, the main focus of these programmes, looks and money. I would be terrified of aging as well! You see all the backstabbing, cosmetic procedures, and men who would rather be at work than at home with their partner. Sure, some of it is contrived; however, it's not just television.
Whenever an article about a women who is over 40 is published, the title usually has something about age. "Jane Doe: Looking good at 40," or the Jane Doe, 47, has found love with a man three years her junior. When a woman dates a younger man it's news, but men date women who can be their daughters, but they don't have an equivalent of "Cougars," on television because men always date younger women. We females are simply traded in for a younger model.
If I listed all the celebrity males dating younger, and I mean much younger women, I would be writing until the Second Coming. It's not disgusting if a man is 40 and his girlfriend is 23, but the opposite and it's news.
I also feel that we are forced into fearing age due to biological clocks. I've read countless articles about the hazards of childbirth after age 30. At age 35, you are considered high-risk. Halley Berry stated her giving birth at 47 was a "geriatric birth." She spoke of all the risks she took at having a baby. By the time she listed them, I would have been expecting something with three eyes, a hoof and not foot, etc. Way to scare someone for nine months that they are selfish for thinking they could not have any kids, and she and her husband are now expecting.
I believe that's why there are quite a lot of divorces. If you think about it, a woman finishes secondary school age 18, then if she doesn't have a gap year, she may graduate from university at age 23-25. If she chooses to continue her studies, we see her at, for arguments sake, 28. Now she is done with school and looking for a job, friends, travel, but in two years she enters that stage where she should be thinking about child birth. So...she meets someone decides he/she is the one, and the quest to have a child takes precedence over the opportunity to be married. The pressure is insane. Doing bridal work, if I had a dollar for every time I heard, "How soon until I get some grand babies?" I could retire and own an island. At baby showers it's, "Are you planning on more?" I'm impressed that woman have been able to do this with out having a mental breakdown.
I expressed this when the friends at MORE sent me a survey. I don't think I made a difference, but I was happy to speak up and give credit to women since it seems all we are good for is having children, raising them, and staying, young, thin and beautiful and married to a man who's fat, bald and incapable of helping around the house.


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