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Getting Old Sounds Fine Until It Happens to You
04.27.17
The-Utter-Shock-of-Aging-Man-Repeller-Feature

I felt old for the first time because of a pair of shorts.

I bought them — my shredded Levi’s denim cutoffs — in 2003 from the vintage section of Urban Outfitters on Melrose (FWIW, that place used to be a gold mine). Since then, I’ve worn them everywhere. Over the years, the artful thigh rips have widened and, in certain instances, comingled to create even bigger holes. With every spin cycle, their washed-out blue has faded and their fringe gotten wilder. The overall thrashed messiness is tempered by a perfect, relaxed, high-waisted fit. I had them on while moving into my freshman-year college dorm room. I wore them over an ill-advised American Apparel bodysuit to a Lower East Side bar on my 26th birthday. They’ve come with me to Fire Island, Cambodia and everywhere in-between. I’d never dream of not packing them.

So naturally, into my suitcase they went while I prepped for a recent trip, this time to Argentina. But when I put them on one morning, as I had hundreds of times before, something was different. I stared at myself in the mirror and fixated on the combination of pale, exposed thigh and drippy fringe. Words like ‘inappropriate,’ ‘sloppy,’ and ‘Coachella’ floated to the forefront of my brain. My very favorite shorts, which I’d paired with everything from silk blouses to bikini tops, looked wrong. I couldn’t imagine leaving my hotel room in them. I thought, ugh, I’m too old to be wearing these.

I’m 31 and have never been so aware of my age. It’s not the number itself that concerns me, it’s that I’ve begun to notice that I am aging. I started to really see and feel it after my 30th birthday: fine lines emerging on my forehead and around my eyes, my skin decidedly not glowy, my hair a listless, Barbie doll-like texture (though, to be fair, I blame the New York City water department for that one). I just felt a little…off my game.

The shorts took this feeling to a new place. Somehow, in this foreign country, seeing my 31-year-old body in my 15-year-old Levi’s felt even more blatant than deepening forehead crevices. My coolly ripped-up, don’t-give-a-fuck jean shorts seemed so specifically tethered to my younger self. That singular realization sent me spiraling down a rabbit hole of age-related self-criticism.

🚲🍷🚲🍷

A post shared by Jenna Gottlieb (@jennagott) on

While on gorgeous hikes in the mountain ranges of hippie backpacker village El Chaltén and long drives circling Patagonia’s famous seven lakes, I plunged not into the shocking beauty before me, but backwards into the depths of my own personal history. Something about the stunning foreignness made me particularly wistful. The more awesome the scenery, the more lucid my recollections of adolescent details. In my mind, I replayed tracks from the mix CDs my best friend used to mail me, recalled half-ass high-school English papers, felt the heaviness of my lids during late-night drives home to my parents’ house after a party.

I criticized and agonized over younger me’s choices. Should I have done more? Kissed more boys, tried more drugs, worked harder in high school, been badder in college? I cursed myself for not learning more languages and taking more camping trips, for having too little ambition and confidence. Should I have done then what I’m doing now — planted myself in a foreign country for a couple of weeks? Would it have been better in my early 20s, with less money in my pocket and without the security of a job and comfort of a loving relationship? What could I have gotten out of it? An idea for a book or a blog, maybe? A sense of purpose that would’ve laid out a better, sounder course for my life?

My stupid shorts made me realize something: Aging makes it really hard to live in the moment, because the moment always seems to trigger ones that came before. Yes, getting older shows in your face and energy level, but at the heart of aging is a sense of intense retrospection and self-comparison. I never knew my skin was glowy until it seemed lackluster. I didn’t know I had sort-of-silky hair until my ponytail felt like hay. l didn’t know that cutoffs were a younger-me thing until I was an older me. It’s the activation of that strange, pervasive awareness that makes me feel if not old, than certainly older.

Towards the end of my trip, I gave my shorts another chance. I threw them on for a casual morning bike ride, avoided the mirror, and headed out to pick up my cruiser and helmet from the rental shop. Of course, I quickly forgot about my age-cutoff cutoffs crisis and slipped back into the ease and familiarity of my beloved Levi’s. In photos from that day, I appear happy and relaxed. I don’t look particularly old or young. I look like me. And I’m sure, 20 years from now, when I’m 51, I’ll look at those photos and I’ll think, jesus, she was really young. She had no idea. And she really didn’t.

Illustration by @CrayolaMode. 

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  • AC

    I’m 31 today and feel you girl.

    • Abby

      Happy birthday!

  • Kay Nguyen

    I’m 20 and whenever I look back at my older pictures, I can see there is a significant change in style and I can’t imagine what I would wear when I turn 30 <3

    https://www.myblackcloset.com/

  • Adrianna

    Ugh, no. I wish we would stop celebrating youth in America so much.

    • nygirltrappedinfl

      Amen sister! I’m almost 50 I guess I should just go crawl under a rock somewhere…..

    • it’s crazy! i’m an apparel designer and over the last 6 years or so, every (female) model i’ve worked with has been 17-20, usually more like 17, then if we had a male model he was probably 24-30. felt really odd as most of my career i was working for a place whose target customer was early 30’s with young kids. would love to see things change.

      • Meg S

        I wish clothes that are targeted at me wouldn’t be modeled by a 20 year old. 20 year old me couldn’t have afforded to buy them. The current not 20 year old me CAN.

    • Olivia AP

      I just turned 28 and I see EVERYBODY obssesed with youth and that is what makes me feel fucking old at 28!

    • ihaveacooch

      it really makes me dread getting older and i’m only 23. i feel like my youth is over and i’m only in my early twenties!!!! we shouldn’t dread aging!

      • Adrianna

        My late 20s have been so much better than my early 20s! I also much prefer how I look like at 28 than 23

        • ihaveacooch

          yeah, there’s this weird assumption that people (women, mostly) expire after 25 or something. we need to embrace getting older! with age comes more experience, more self-assurance, etc.

        • Anne Dyer

          And oh my gosh late 30’s is amazing!

  • Harling Ross

    Love this writing so much

  • Natty

    isn’t it funny how we travel to opposite ends of the earth only to take a trip inwards? introspection and self-discovery come easiest when far from home. that’s been my experience, anyway.

    PS – love the shorts.

    • I totally agree. I was just in Hong Kong and it really threw my world around, and made me question truisms about myself. Came out the other side with more awareness, and some changed attitudes.

  • Lindsey

    Oh my gosh, I resonate with this so completely! I never really cared about celebrities or models or what was in style very much in my 20s, but now that I’m 31, suddenly I feel really confronted by the fact that I’m *not* in my 20s. Everything seems geared towards a body or a look I just don’t have anymore. Even though I do yoga and can actually see muscles forming in my arms, I still have bingo wings. Even though I bought into the whole Korean skin care thing, I all of a sudden have all these fine lines under my eyes that the concealer just settles into. I always thought I would age gracefully, in the sense that I would be ok with it, wearing whatever I wanted no matter if I was “too old” for it or not. And yet, here aging is, and I’m deeply uncomfortable with it. I want to do the no-makeup makeup and look like those cool girls in the Glossier ads, but I will just look tired and people will ask me if I’m ok.
    I don’t know. The more I get into fashion, the more I feel on the outside of it. I never understood, in my 20s, why people felt they had to be like the images of models and celebrities they saw in magazines. I never felt that, but now I realize it’s because I literally looked like the people I saw in magazines. I’m tall, and I used to be crazy skinny. And I would think, Stop worrying so much! Everyone is beautiful! These pictures are just pictures! How naive I was! Now that I’ve gained weight and fine lines and grey hairs, I feel terrible about myself looking through instagram or in magazines.

    That being said, I’m still trying to find “me”, style-wise. I know who I am as a person, but I’m finally wanting to put my best physical self to the world, and with a changing body, it’s a little bit harder to know what really works best. Luckily, I have a strong group of women around me who are very encouraging at all times, and it’s so nice to have that support system on days when you’re feeling less than.

    And, I also want to say, that MR *never* makes me feel less than. Y’all are truly the best, and make me feel like I can do crazy things with clothes, no matter what I look like or how old I am. Keep doing what you’re doing! Love you guys!

    • Olivia AP

      PREACH! My feelings exactly, I never related so much to a comment and article. It is horrible because when you look at your lifespan, as a women you are cool just between 15 and 25?

      Also, if I look back when I was a teen I couldn’t afford the things I like now, so they advertise to a really small group, don’t you think?

    • Meg S

      Korean skin care can’t stop time, but it does help with some things. The best part is all the massaging, that’s made my skin glow like nothing else. I’ve also given up powder makeup because it settles. BB cushions are my staple, and glossier makes some really nice cream blushes that come in little paint tubes. Highly recommended. Nyx makes a great undereye concealer too, and if you don’t have a Nyx nearby they sell it at CVS.

      The perks of being older is that I can afford to do all those things I wanted to do and buy all those clothes I wanted to buy. 21 year old me never thought about having traveling all over Europe and Asia, but I have and it was amazing. I’m getting ready to do it again in a month.

      As for instagram, it isn’t and will never be reality. It’s the best version of ourselves that we want to show other people.

    • elwolf

      I completely relate to this! I used to think people were overreacting to media, and I remember thinking that magazines etc just inspired me rather than made me feel bad. I actually always feel like I “peaked early” in that I had my ideal body and face at like 16, and it’s just been downhill from there. I feel ashamed to admit that though, because it makes me feel vain, and like you I thought I’d welcome aging with the same confidence I had when I was younger. I’m in my late 20s but started seeing wrinkles yeaaaars ago, just due to my skin type and eye shape. Metabolism isn’t what it used to be, obviously. I mean I definitely feel attractive at times, but it’s hard not to compare myself now to my younger self, or to images I see in the media. It really does help to read stuff like this (both the piece and the comments).

    • Jenny

      I relate so much! I am now starting to realize the importance of ads showing models with different bodies and “imperfections”. A few years ago I had perfect skin and a pretty great body-but to me looks aren’t everything and I have always advocated that if an ad wants to use a certain look or type of model then go ahead everyone knows no one looks like that. But I was hit with adult acne that now takes forever to heal, stress from work caused a 10 pound weight gain and stretch marks. I get comments from women and men who comment on these changes. And I realize if more people were exposed to diverse and unretouched body types I wouldn’t get these comments so much. And I no longer say “who cares” or “so what” when an overweight friend complains about an insecurity because I now feel their pain and feel their outsiderness

    • Kiks

      I recently found a bunch of selfies from my mid-20s (I’m 33 now) and holy s–t I wanted to cry when I saw how glowing and flawless my skin was. But, I’ve been through a lot since then. An anxiety disorder and a bout with suicidal depression, an abusive relationship, a few years of probably a pretty severe drinking problem, a stressful job. Life takes its toll. I wouldn’t want to go back to who I was before I overcame all those things, but I do wish I had her skin.

    • Lili

      Aaaaaah. I’m turning 31 this year and I can really relate. I often find myself thinking back nostalgically about my 20’s… I miss being that care-free, that frivolous, that young!!!! Now I constantly worry about how I look. I love clothes but worry if I’m too old to pull certain looks. I actually check with my 19 year old niece to confirm that I’m not one of those weird older ladies trying to dress like a 20 year old.

      I have a few age spots creeping in, fine lines around my eyes, my skin doesn’t glow, my eyes don’t sparkle as much, not to mention the creeping weight. Not to mention my body just isn’t the same, I take ages to recover from any injury or get over the flu… Like the writer said, it’s all about intense self-comparisons.

  • tmm16

    One of my favorite, insightful pieces on MR. I just celebrated a birthday and I’m starting to have similar thoughts about age and perception.

  • Basil

    For me, turning 35 made me feel OLD. I don’t know how to describe it. The first inkling was a couple of years ago when I realised that less and less of the advertising was aimed at me, or spoke to me (which on reflection I was fine with – who needs that hassle) but then at my last birthday, it hit. I felt like I should be so much further along than I am. I think it was also because we had fertility issues, so had put our life on hold for a couple of years (not moving home or job just in case I feel pregnant, not really committing to anything) and then after having the baby and then turning 35 it hit, like those 3 years had passed without me noticing either that they’d passed, or that my life had stagnated.
    But – with that has come a sense of purpose that I should stop putting off doing things that I really want to do (which is challenging with a toddler and a full time job) but I really don’t want to turn 40 or 45 and feel once again that my life is stagnant.

  • Deb

    You guys are so funny 🙂 love the article

  • Albina Abdulina

    You look young, period.
    I am 23 and I already have thin lines appearing on my face (can only blame my lifestyle choices and ambition). At first, I was sort of scared of what will happen with my future self, i.e. how will I look like ten years from now, but then I sort of figured that every person is beautiful in their own way. Looking young is just one of the many many ways you can be beautiful.

  • Holly D

    I’m 62 and am finally okay with saying fuck it. Being terrified of aging is far more soul-crushing than actually being aged. It’s actually incredibly freeing to be able to make decisions based on what is meaningful to you as opposed to what is deemed appropriate and attractive.

    • Molly D

      Holly D you’re the best

    • ihaveacooch

      hell yeah

    • Cherryblossomgirl08

      Holly D, you’re a boss.

  • Carrie Griffin

    This is great! Don’t laugh, but I turned 25 this week. I don’t feel like I’m getting “old”, but I definitely feel like more of an adult now. It’s weird how a number can change how you see yourself.

  • Anne Dyer

    Love this. I so vividly remember being 30 (8 years ago) and catching a reflection of myself in the frozen food section of my grocery store. Juicy track suit (please remember 8 years ago) and Uggs. No words. Way too old for that shit.

  • Jen

    This is really insightful. I just turned 40 last year, and, over the past few years, I’ve felt the slow drag of age creep up. Whether its the fine lines that seem to appear overnight, or the feeling that I can no longer pull off the no-makeup look, or the new weight gain around my midriff (I had a concave stomach in my 20s so not sure what this is all about), I’ve been kind of bummed about the inevitable. I guess the bright side, if there is one, is that I can start to give much less fucks than before, given my wisdom and experience.

    P.S. I just bought a pair of high-waisted Levi jean shorts that I love. Age be damned.

  • Katrina Elizabeth

    I’m almost 31 and I do not feel old. I’ve never had the type of body or style that screams “young person” so I can’t really relate to lamenting the loss of a nicer body.

    But, an interesting thought about the shorts – most people don’t own the same garment for 15 years. We often outgrow or wreck or tire of clothing much earlier. Do you think maybe you’ve just put a lot of feelings into the shorts because they’ve been with you so long? To put it another way: say you hadn’t kept them for 15 years, would you have felt the same?

  • Meg S

    Late 20’s > early 20’s. But the biggest change has been my skincare routine. It isn’t just makeup removing. It’s makeup removing, double cleansing, toning, occasional face masking, moisturizing, essencing, ampouling, retinoling, eye creaming and sleep packing.

    But things are so much better than being 21. I’m trusted with more than answering phones and filing. I attend meetings with various important people, write things that get published on our web site, do complex financial things. I balance this with school and somehow manage to make it work. I have friends that I can keep without seeing each other constantly and texting every five minutes.

    My new main concern is this: how am I going to get my skincare routine to Paris without taking a million tiny travel bottles?

  • rolaroid

    Interesting. I turned 30 in November and though I can feel my body wearing and slowing down, I have never felt better. I’ve never felt more confident and wise and that has led me to make better fashion choices, much bolder and more fun ones, and in fact I feel younger through the wisdom bc I truly DNGAF which is what you’re supposed to be like in your teens and 20s but it’s not true! We do care, too much! So insecure.

  • Noctilucens

    Either I don’t quite understand the exact meaning of “lines” and “wrinkles”, or there is something sinister going on in the USA. I am in my mid-fifties, and I only started to get fine wrinkles (noticed only when grimacing or smiling) about a year or two ago; and the appearance – texture, complexion – of my skin is still (so I gather) envied by women half my age. (Yes, odious – but there is a point to this seeming boasting.)
    Now, this is surely due to genetics in part (I only use a very simple home-made skin cleanser/cream, no sunblock, never even owned a foundation, and I smoke… a LOT), but then I see a lot of women here in Europe that don’t get wrinkles until their late forties or late fifties. So I have to wonder what would be that variable that makes women on one continent age decades earlier than their counterparts elsewhere in the world. I don’t have the answer. Food, maybe?

    OR maybe you are seeing something that’s not there – an optical illusion of sorts, induced or fuelled by expectations. I mention this because it seems to be the ultimate root of many an “ageing” ailment.

    And I have to agree with a few commenters below that youth does NOT automatically equal beauty, or vice versa; nor do wrinkles necessarily diminish it.
    You won’t look young forever; but you can look beautiful and sexy – unless you talk yourself out of it.

    • Kiks

      You are very lucky, if that’s the case. I have had fine lines in my forehead since my mid-20s. They don’t really bother me, I barely remember not having them. So a lot of it is probably genetics. But I have a feeling the North American diet of piles of sugar added to every processed food and drink is partially to blame as well. (Yeah, I need to eat better.)

  • Its funny how getting old is never about age, I’m 22 and i was FREAKING OUT when I turned 23 I just thought ¨from now on is down hill¨ i told this to my dad and he just stopped me, he said he is almost 60 and he doesn’t feel old at all, i guess its our own fear and perception on life and current situations, its also about how young our soul is, not about the body, at least in my opinion. Have you seen these moms that are even hotter than sorority girls? better body and all? They don’t look old at all, its about how much care you take of your body and spirit. I guess yea, theres an age for everything but hey, 30s are the new twenties right?

  • Martha Lewis

    LOL just wait. Wear what makes you feel like you. I am 59 and sometimes dress like a 9 year old sometimes like a monk. You get to choose.

  • About self-comparison: as you get older, you might start forgetting most of the olden times and concentrate on now … and while Now can be tricky when getting older, there are tricks to make it even better than Before: sports, good food, good make up, appropriate (=flattering or statement or …) clothes … all the efforts one can make really do work their magic!
    (I don’t have many photos from my past and those I have, I have stowed away and never look at them. Yesterday, I had my passport picture taken, compared it with the old one and I look exactly like 10 years ago (I don’t in real life 🙂 because I now definitely have some gray hair and a few wrinkles) so …)

  • Selina Moses

    I’m 28 and being told to hurry up with things or I’ll be old before I know it. But I finally feel like I’m getting to know who I am now so I feel like I’m really starting to be what you’re supposed to be in your teens/early 20s. I’m getting there at my own pace

  • Laurel Ann

    Ok – hard water in NYC or anyplace can be rememdied real quick for under $20! The water was killing my hair where I live too and my boyfriend installed a filter for me. (They’re on Amazon and at major hardware stores. Our 30-something hair shall still shine!!

  • Claudia

    I’m only 22 and I put on my Levi shorts the other day and had so many similar feelings (also the shorts were a little tighter). I’m about to graduate college and I just can’t stop thinking how I’m getting older all the time and I’m feeling upset because I feel like I should be going crazy these last few weeks. On another note my mom is almost 55 and has never done anything to avoid looking older and I think she looks beautiful and is definitely my role model when it comes to aging. Best advice: always take care of your skin and wear sunscreen

  • Cynthia Schoonover

    Age never bothered me until I turned 60, but I realize that age is only a number, and I don’t think I look my age. As far as style goes, I dress to suit myself, but I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I’ve always taken care of my skin and used spf, which really helps. I was too busy raising my two girls when I was in my 30’s to worry about aging.

  • Kimberley Boehm

    I turned 57 two days ago and I’d been having a pity party until I got a hold of myself. It’s not my age–I feel great. I just realized that since my father is a healthy 83 and his mother–my grandmother-is nearly 101, I will most likely live to a similar old age. My despair had more to do with wondering how I’m going to live the second half of my life!

    • Kimberly, you’ll figure it out, because you’re aware and thinking about it. Happy Birthday!

  • AGEIST

    “Aging makes it really hard to live in the moment, because the moment always seems to trigger ones that came before”

    Fascinating observation and I agree. I would add that additional to the “what is happening now track”, the “remembrance of similar past experiences” track there is a third track which comes in later. Its a post-fear track that says “I don’t really care anymore”. Thus the 60 year old mind moves closer to the 17 year old’s – something that can get both of them into satorial trouble.

    Great piece. We are huge MR fans.

  • Maria

    Oh my gosh all you wee little thirty year olds! You’re not old! You can still wear denim shorts if you want too! You can wear anything! Your body might be slightly different than it was when you were 20, but if it’s more than slightly different, then there’s probably more going on than simple aging. Life is hard, it takes its toll, but the end of the day who you are is a function of so much more than your age. If you don’t feel alright in your torn up old shorts anymore, maybe that’s due to the increased amount of time you spend in a professional environment – if you don’t see as many people in denim shorts every day anymore (if you’re not surrounded by college students) then it starts to look a bit odd. Maybe that’s just not your style anymore. But I doubt anyone else was noticing/judging you for it. Your skin is probably just as good as it was when you were 25. It’s so much in our minds! I know it’s in the popular culture mind as well, and it’s something that’s projected on us by everything we see every day, and it’s pretty much inescapable, but the way we see ourselves is so much more complicated than just that number.

    • Johanna F

      Amen. Seriously.

  • angela nash

    This hits so hard for me, especially after having 2 babies. How I wish I had loved my body and self more when I was young and thin! I always was working to lose weight or look better when in hindsight I was just right. Now I’m a not so hot mess. And at 34, is there really any going back?

  • Hannah Betts

    I’m 46 and – thus far at least – have loved my life more the older I get. As a woman, age is kind of brilliant – meaning fewer people to patronise you and fck with you. Maybe they’ll be an age at which this feeling stops. I’ll keep you posted re devs.

  • Lola

    I enjoyed this article, but why do any articles I read about this subject have the author wondering whether they should have done more drugs?? I’m a teenager now and it makes me feel like if I’m not doing drugs I’m doing something wrong. I don’t have any desire to do drugs now, so why are these writers almost encouraging it?

    • Vida Rose

      You’re doing well following your instincts. The idea is everyone looks back in time and wishes they had more fun; and it’s very popular to equate fun with recreational drug use. If you want to know what is authentically fun to you, write a list of times you felt most like yourself then do those things more. And on behalf of all growns I apologize for the confusion.

      • Lola

        Thank you for the advice:)

    • snakehissken

      My friends who DID do a lot of drugs regret not doing less drugs… they just don’t write these articles because they’re still putting their lives back together.

  • cee pee

    As a 40 year old let me tell you how I’d kill to be 31 again. My point is, you’re always going to be much older than you are at any given moment (until you keel over dead), so fucking enjoy every second of it. You’ll never be as young as you are right now.

    • Michelle

      Good comment. It bums me out when people lament how old they are. I’m in my mid 30s and am starting to hear it a fair bit. I think to myself “when I’m 80, I’ll be wishing I looked like I did in my 30s, had this body and health”. Its good to be in the moment and enjoy what we have now, whatever age that may be.

  • I was just complaining about how brutally difficult it is to lose weight now that I’m 57. For so long I was lucky to be able to get it off, once I’d put a little energy into it. Now I have to practically starve myself. Reading this post and seeing 30-somethings dealing with aging, makes me feel like a warrior just for getting out of bed everyday! I was thinking about ALL of the modifications, allowances and positive self-talk I have to do on a daily basis, that are now as routine as brushing my teeth–that I have to whiten more often, because I’m old. But maybe the best part of this post are all of the comments from women my age! For years I’d thought that I was one of the few pathetic older women reading Man Repeller, while trying to remain invisible here so not to appear too creepy. When I read posts that my sons’ girlfriends would find more apropos than me, I wince at my loyalty. But I love the writing here, the inspiration, the girl (woman) power. I marvel at your (and your audience’s) brilliance at such a young age. But, still I wanted a place for us–us “plum aged” women. So I launched a fashion blog six months ago called, Plumage 59. I would love it if you would check it out–you old 30-year olds too! Believe me, you’re aging woes will become relative and you’ll fee l6 again! https://plumage59.com

  • Oh my gosh Jenna – I HAD THIS EXACT THING HAPPEN TO ME YESTERDAY! It was so hot and muggy and I was running to HomeDepot and thought, “I’ll just put on my favorite jean shorts.” They’re like 7-8 years old, with stringy fringe and fold up with little rough cuffs. But I put them on yesterday and just felt old. I’m also 31 and something just didn’t feel right when putting them on. All those thoughts about getting older, fears and insecurities hit me hard. I tugged them down to make them less dramatic, checked my cellulite in the mirror, kind of shrugged and wore them anyway because it was so hot. But I probably will start to wear more dresses in the future.

    http://www.shessobright.com

  • Vida Rose

    Being young is embarrassing. You probably weren’t as in the moment as you think you were in hindsight. The body is always changing. It takes boldness to be selfish enough to really take care of your mind and body, and I swear it can only happen with age. Having said that I know that this is a v familiar narrative around clothes and aging and I feel like your attachment to your shorts is kind of beautiful. It might feel good to do a ritual or art project with them. Or burn them.

  • Kokonuts

    I am 43 and noticed over the past decade that I started to think more about my choice in clothing. Suddenly I wasn’t sure if I looked ‘age appropriate’ which was something that I didn’t think about before. It wasn’t that society told me I was dressing for my age, but I felt I wasn’t dressing the way I wanted to anymore. But I feel out of place nowadays in society. My skin isn’t what it was, men don’t look at me the way they used to, my style is more conservative. It’s really something I never had to think about from about 18-33. Great article!

  • Rita M

    I never posted before but had to join the discussion after reading both the article and the comments. While I understand the feelings described (I’m 33) it is frankly scary to see how many (YOUNG) people are affected by all the brainwashing caused by the media/beauty/fashion industry. A 23-year-old is noticing fine lines??! A 31-year-old is worried about looking silly in cutoff’s? A 35-year-old worries that she’s no longer a marketing target??! This is worrying indeed but for very different reasons than the perceived realities. With all the tools, resources and intel available to us nowadays, we should know better than to let what society ‘sells’ be the benchmark for how we perceive the world and most importantly ourselves. (We all know by now that the majority of what is shared to the public is heavily edited, and I mean both digitally and surgically. C’mon. Even the most genetically blessed person can be enhanced – a couple of clicks on instagram and you see a 20-year-old Victoria’s Secret angel having her under-eye circles erased and filled with hyaluronic acid by a Kardashian’s-sponsored plastic surgeon).

    I am so much better in all aspects of my being NOW than I was 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 years ago. And I know, if I am lucky enough to keep on growing and aging, that the best is yet to come. Mind over body, and then the body will reflect that. I ate McDonald’s and pasta all the way through my twenties. Because I really didn’t know better. I was not reading enough. I was completely lost and so naive in what matters to life’s real challenges. Aging has made me grow, learn and gain incredible insights and clarity regarding life as IT IS. If you’re lucky enough to not live in some sort of extreme situation, just be grateful for every breath, and LIVE THE PRESENT, having learnt from the past and cherishing the future. Take care of yourself in the best way possible, above all by properly feeding the mind!!!! The rest will follow. Let’s celebrate growth, confidence and wisdom instead of photoshop and fillers.

  • I’m feeling this. I’m only 27, but my body has certainly changed in this past year. It seems like every spring I get a new reminder of my advancing age and changing physique. Shorts never fit like they did last summer, and my thighs never look like I want them to. Weight comes on more quickly, and is slower to lose. I almost feel like I’m living in future-me’s body. I don’t dislike it, but it is different. It’s fuller and more womanly, which is nice for me, since I’ve always felt gangly. I’m trying to love it for what it is, rather than fight to hold on to a past version of myself.

  • Jackie

    SPOT ON

  • Julia

    Lets all get a grip here and realize we are only human and that there are some people out there that would LOVE to live to see more wrinkles and wirey hair, but will never get the chance. Life is fragile and yet oh so beautiful and wonderful. It is so easy to get caught up in aging ( i do as well at 33) but I have come to learn to love myself how I am. I have gone up and down in weight the last five years and it was hard at first, but I realized like you said above that at 50 I will be looking back thinking that no matter what, I looked beautiful, because I do. We are beautiful at any age. Lets embrace it and love ourselves just the way we are, and if you want to wear the cut offs wear em!

  • I see the older crowd chiming in so I’ll pipe up. Being in your 30s you are neither young nor old. There does come a time, as you write about, that certain articles of clothing don’t feel or look right. There really is an age appropriate cutoff, but it is more within yourself rather than what others judge you are wearing.
    I do look back at images of me in my 20s and 30s and think I was once a beautiful young woman. At the time, I didn’t think so.
    Now in my late 50s, it is a joy to celebrate my life, my clothing choices and knowing that I don’t have to answer to anyone but myself.

  • Sonya Harrison

    I am reading some of these posts, and I am dismayed at the way we see ourselves. I am 66 years old, and could not be happier with the way I look, I realize that I am no longer 30, but I am just so glad to be where I am, I have not had an easy life, but one that has been filled with fairly good health, lots of laughter, a strong bond with my female friends, and the most wonderful daughter and grandson, on the planet. It also helps that I have not worn makeup in over 30 years and I am complimented daily on my skin. I have a full length mirror in my bedroom and every morning it is the first thing I go to I turn my music on
    and dance and just marvel at how fabulously I am aging then I kiss myself and head for the shower,

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