The other day this gem floated through my FB feed.
Yes, it’s 24 things that women over 30 should not wear.
The piece states, “By age 30, women are expected to be a little more mature, and they should dress like it, too. Here are 24 things no woman should be caught wearing after age 30.”
Models as young as 13 pose in sexual positions for international campaigns, but a 34-year-old woman who knows her sexuality, can’t wear a mini-skirt shopping? How does that make sense? And it's not like the author above is not on some lone rant; she is reflecting a widely accepted idea: Women 30 and over should dress “their age,” aka, modestly.
But why? At 30, I am just starting to get to know myself. I am just starting to get to know what I like. I am just starting to accept my body and enjoy my sexuality. And yet as I empower myself and strengthen who I am, it doesn't matter if I don’t “dress my age.”
The article implies that women over 30 shouldn’t draw too much attention to themselves. An aging body is distasteful. But the older I get, the more I like my body.
Not because I have buns of steel (I don’t) and nice calves, but because I love myself. And I know my experience isn’t unique. I know a lot of women who finally begin to love themselves and find power in their 30s. Yet as we age, more rules arise surrounding how we are allowed to present ourselves.
If you Google “age appropriate clothing” overwhelmingly all articles and videos are directed at policing what women wear. Not one article is directed at men. Age-appropriate clothing is not about boosting women’s appearance as they age; it’s about preserving their insecurities. A woman can’t be whole, and she can’t like herself too much.
I am just starting to speak from my diaphragm and know what turns me on. I don’t want to be constantly monitoring how I look so I can fit a mold that someone else created. I don’t want to suppress the things I like and slink into the aging background of muted colors and baggy blouses.
From now on I vow to edge out of my comfort zone with the below items:
1. I will wear the 80s pants I found at the thrift store for five bucks because I like them.
2. I will wear my tight leggings because they are super cozy.
3. I will wear short shorts because it’s hot in LA right now.
4. I will wear bikinis until I am 80 because I like the sun on my stomach.
5. I will wear low-cut shirts because sometimes cleavage is fun.
6. I will wear mismatched socks because I don’t care if someone knows I lose things.
7. I will wear sparkle pants because sometimes I like a little twinkle.
8. I will wear leopard print because it’s sexy, and I like to be sexy sometimes.
9. I will wear overalls because I like them.
10. I will wear my long flashy earrings because I like a little flare.
11. I will wear skin-tight dresses because I feel inspired to do so.
12. I will keep my old bra because it has held up.
13. I will wear crop tops because sometimes I like to show a little skin.
14. I will wear my old sneakers because they are comfortable.
Wearing things I enjoy isn’t a political statement, but, unfortunately, just being myself, a woman in her 30s, is. Apparently, it doesn’t take much to shake things up. Just a tight shirt and pair of overalls.