I am so thrilled that so many are discussing ageism on social. Women in their 40s and 50s+ sharing how they are more confident, have found their voice, and feel more vibrant in their bodies. Freshly turned 41 years of age, I also resonate with this: embodied, more confident than ever, self approving, and taking up my space. My only concern is as women, we need to be careful especially if the message comes across as glorified bikini shots. Don’t get me wrong. I love bikinis — wearing them and admiring others in them. What’s the intention?
Have we created a new monster? Back in the 80s, I saw my mother and her female contemporaries “liberated”: working, having babies, doing aerobics to Jane Fonda, and on occasion fit in a few expensive shampoo blowouts. The female powersuit was a thing in the 80s and 90s. It promised the world, but for many, it was a curse. It wasn’t optional— female fulfillment meant being employed, having 2.2 kids, blazers and pumps, and being thin. If you didn’t achieve these, you were considered old fashioned, frumpy, and anti-feminist.
In 2020, things aren’t very different. The difference is that women now do even more. We obtain more degrees, put in more overtime, be “supermoms” complete with Pinterest bday parties for the kiddies, travel Instagram worthy vacays, and are told we must “look good for being [insert age] and still wear bikinis” in the name of being feminists, woke, and are dismantling ageism.
Hold. On. Here.
Since when did “vibrant, empowered aging” mean we conform to the beauty economy? There is a difference between being healthy and embracing our age and needing to clutch onto youth or thinness. Embracing our age is neither mimicking youth nor adding new pressures and expectations. Why is the definition of empowerment need to be seen on such narrow (and commodifiable) terms? Embracing our age is about acceptance and challenging our short-sighted, fear-based definition of beauty. It’s not our bodies that need to change. It’s our fearful minds.
If this topic is of interest to you, I’m hosting a LIVE ONLINE event, DECOLONIZING AGEISM on March 3. Part educational, part sister circle. All welcome. For more info, and to reserve your spot, click HERE.
founder and Spirit Communicator
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