Stop what you’re doing and listen, really listen. Do you know what the faint sound you’re hearing is? The long anguished and exasperated sigh of women who qualify for an AARP discount reacting to the latest onslaught of 50something celebrities teeny-tiny bikini photos.
Behold these age defying visions of perfection. Their bodies untouched by the cruel effects of gravity or Father Time. There are no imperfections of five decades of life imprinted upon their mortal forms. No cellulite, no spider veins, no stretch marks that tell a story of a child’s birth. Their breasts are cantilevered and their stomachs are as taut as a rope being pulled in a World Wide Wrestling Federation game of tug-of-war.
These sighs you hear aren’t predicated on jealousy but on yet another never-ending, unrealistic expectation being set for women. Welcome to the latest female norm – the one where we’re never allowed to age.
I totally understand why celebrities who now take calcium supplements to combat menopausal bone loss post these amazing photos. They’re in a brutally competitive business that doesn’t exactly embrace the aging process for women. They’re showing that in no way can they be classified as “old” so don’t you dare even utter that word.
Honestly, if I looked that stunning I probably couldn’t resist taking selfies every hour on the hour. My idea of the perfect beach pic is me in a white linen swimsuit coverup. That’s why a big part of me is shouting “Yes” when I see these photos. I had a great big “YES” when I saw the 57 year-old “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit model. But with these yeses to what the Internet has deemed “thirst traps” comes sadness
Are we really still doing this? Still seeking gratification for looking “hot” and being classified as “sexy?”
I’m not saying you can’t be sexy as you age but I always thought it would be a different kind of sexy, a better sexy. Not the timeworn bikini sexy that we’ve been exposed to since we first worried that our thighs looked fat while we tried on swimsuits in a Sears dressing room in the 7th grade.
I want to embrace an updated version of sexy. For me right now being sexy is centered on fitness. I want to stay strong. When I can lift a 50-pound bag of dog food out of my car and hold it over my shoulder while still being able to close my trunk with my other hand I think to myself “Yep, I’ve still got it. Watch out world.”
Curious to discover what other 50+ women deem as sexy I reached out to several friends.
A longtime BFF who just turned 60 responded that last year when she navigated her company safely through the pandemic and economic downturn and passed sales projections she felt “sexy as hell.” She added, “It was a powerful feeling to know that I accomplished so much. Just ask any man – power is sexy.”
Another friend who’s 57 says being unapologetically content with who she is makes her feel sexy. “I think having that freedom to just be me is beautiful.”
My Pilates buddy laughed and said, “Knowing that at 72 I’m almost always the smartest person in every room is the sexist I’ve ever felt in my life.”
These women’s version of sexy actually gives me goosebumps (and so much better than my dog food moment – just saying). It’s empowering and a lot more life affirming than a bikini pic. I want to be this kind of sexy. It’s got swagger and a kick ass attitude that’s rooted in knowledge and an abundance of confidence.
I want the kind of sexy that a photo couldn’t even begin to capture.
👙 Now for something entirely not sexy – my latest audiobooks! 😂 Click on the link for a listen to Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble in Texas 🎧. It’s a fun summer romp full of meddling mothers, cupcakes and revenge. How can you say no to that?