Got that old lady look

by Madeleine Kolb

I guess I should have been humiliated when I learned earlier this month that I had appeared at an event near Seattle with a look that virtually screamed Old Lady.

This news appeared on the Internet in a short piece by Charla Krupp, author of a book called “How Not to Look Old.”

While she didn’t mention me by name, she certainly had my number. The strange thing is that I thought I was looking pretty good that day, not young but good.

But according to Ms Krupp, two specific breaches pegged me as an Old Lady in a clueless, not-with-it, just-don’t-care sort of way.

One is that a little while ago I decided to let my hair go gray after having it colored for years. I was aware that—in the eyes of some people—this is an unmistakeable sign that a woman is Letting Herself Go.  And, in truth, my hair’s at that awkward stage, a mix of the receding dyed hair and the advancing gray hair. When it all grows out, though, I think it will look just fine.

The other Old Lady thing I did, though, was really clueless. I wore nude (that is, skin-colored) pantyhose. Apparently, it has been decreed that women should not wear nude pantyhose. They should go about with bare legs.

If  those bare legs are pale and pasty, a woman should apply fake tanning lotion to them. What? All these years I thought that’s what skin-colored pantyhose are for. At least in part.

Obviously, this is not just a matter of fashion. It is, fundamentally, a matter of accepting aging in ourselves and in others.

photo by freeparking

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christopher August 2, 2010 at 11:32 am

Madeleine,

Given I’m 25 and a male, the most attractive older woman I’ve ever met let herself go completely gray. She did take care of herself in order to look good, however, she fully embraced her age and did nothing to attempt to look younger. I was breathless.

Since my father stopped dying his hair jet black, one of my neighbors commented on how amazing he looked.

I’ve been trying to get my mother to embrace her gray hair for a while now. She explains that her profession does not allow her to do that. I told her B***S***.

I am proud that you let yourself go gray. I hope that you are embracing it more as you stay comfortable with your age. I think society would be much healthier if we learned to love the human body in its natural form, even in old age and in sickness.

Chris

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2 Madeleine Kolb August 2, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Chris, Thank you for your perceptive comment. All I can say is that if everyone felt the way you do, the world would be a better place.

Men and women of any age are attractive, if they stay as healthy and active as they can and accept the changes that occur over the human life cycle.

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