This is an uncomfortable (to me) post.
'Cuz it's ALL about the sexy.
And at my age, that's a different ball of wax, then what it may have been in my twenties. Now-a-days, it's all about putting it on simmer- I don't EVER flaunt my body, and I'll be honest, it may be because I'm not particularly PROUD of my body. This isn't helped by a boyfriend who is quick to point out my flaws and flaps, rather than praise any of the good stuffs. I'm currently suspecting that he doesn't see the good stuff. And maybe, neither do I.
After spending a few days with my bestie, visiting from sunny California, I got to thinking a bit. She's in her early 40s, very vibrant and physically fit, and what one would describe as sexy. VERY SEXY. We talked a bit about how our dressing has changed now that we're "of a certain age," and I offered up my unsolicited yaps about "preserving one's dignity and dressing more modestly" but she was having none of it. Instead she thoughtfully responded against said dignity with some solid (and body positive) reasoning.
She said: I work hard at my body, I feel good about this body, and I'm going to show it as long as I've got it. If my legs look this good in my 70s, I'd totally wear this in my 70s. "This" being, in this particular case, a particularly snug pair of short jean shorts, worn under a slouchy over-sized ecru lace sweater. She went on to declare that it's no longer about dressing "your age" but "dressing your form". The BFF believes that if you're fit, at any age, you are set.
And that got me thinking- how come I agree with her in theory, but feel such an inner resistance? I think about the women whose style I admire the most, and they, like my BFF, are fearless (and fit) women who disregard conventional opinions about dress. One of my faves is dear Desiree whose dress uniform seems to consist of leggings, a tutu and a swimsuit. And I think she is damn sexy! So what's going on here, what's the deal?
|Pin-up or Shut up: Cynthia age 66 is proof that Mature is Sexy (photo credit: Erwin Olaf)|
A quick internet search turned up an interesting post about a some photographs showcasing older women posing as pin-ups. How do I feel about these "mature" pin-ups? Well, all sorts of conflicting feelings, to be honest. Intellectually I say- Yay! I love seeing women expressing a body positive attitude and celebrating their bodies, but I also had a knee-jerk thought of: oh no, somebody's going to make fun of them. And that thought was bumper hit by this one: I COULD NEVER POSE LIKE THAT. The photographer was quoted making a very salient point, stating that "we should celebrate our body and embrace our age rather than adhere to the society's narrow-minded formulas and expectations."
"The series is a reminder that people can be sexy at any age. We should celebrate our body + embrace our age rather than adhere to the society’s narrow-minded formulas and expectations." -Erwin Olaf, photographer
So I'm going to put my money where my mouth is- I claim to celebrate the individual self, and style as a means to express it, and yet I put dampers on my own expression of sexuality, based on my own prejudices regarding my body shape and age.
Since pin-up images are idealized, I took the liberty to heavily tweak a photo of me prancing about in vintage bloomers and a striped T-shirt. I'm not yet ready for prime time in my full cauliflower thighs and cantaloupe belly glory. As it is, it's going to be very difficult to hit the publish button. But I'm going to, because it's time I "pin-up or shut up."
I now throw down the gauntlet down to you, dear readers and friends, of all ages. Can you celebrate your body as is, weathered and wise, by playing pin-up?
Let me know in the comments.
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