A Whiter Shade of Gray

senior-3336451_1920In the last several years, there has been growing popularity in older women and men being chic, fascinating and featured in magazines. Well, why not? Older people have this “been there, done that” attitude and are going to continue doing what they want. Old does not mean slow, stupid or even about to die.

Our bodies are aging, each and every day. We know that. Yes, our brains do too, but that does not equate to being senile. We have a wealth of experiential knowledge that helps us to make quick and powerful decisions. We are no longer burdened by the “image” society has picked for us. We can sky-dive if it so pleases us. We can get married when we are in our 90s. If we want to wear florals, stripes and sequins all in the same outfit, so be it. “Insta-Grannies” are all the rage now. I won’t list them, because by now you will have seen, read or are following most of them.

Is this a fad that will slowly fade away as many of these icons pass on? A fad is something that gets worn out and loses its appeal. If we are all aging, then we are all fads. So why not be so individually cool that you never outlive your time?

active-cyclist-elderly-264073What these ultra-cool elders are really showing us is that you must keep going and growing in order to live your best life. Having your 60th birthday, or whatever age you deem to be old, is not an automatic indicator that you must now move to an assisted-living facility and wear Velcro shoes. A continually stimulated brain will spur you into stimulating your body. Walk, dance, climb, hike, swim, sky-dive, whatever challenges you want to place upon your body – just go for it. Be safe; just because you can do it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for your body. Our muscles don’t recover as quickly as they used to, and our bones aren’t as strong as they used to be either.

barca-473854_1920Are you a widower and think that because your spouse of 50 years is gone, you should just sit alone in your tiny new apartment? Au contraire, my friend. Loneliness will kill you faster than your one martini with dinner. Why not a companion to share that martini with? There is no social demand that you be married. Living in sin, if you call it that, is far more fun than withering away by yourself.

Many seniors become entrepreneurs. Done with the working-for-someone-else world, many active adults start new businesses built upon hobbies or passions. We have a lifetime of skills and workplace savvy to make it lucrative.

How about a little Botox, sculpting, or other cosmetic enhancements? False eyelashes and eyeliner aren’t just for the 20-something set. Whatever you choose to make yourself look and feel better should be just to make yourself feel better, and not about what anyone else says.

old-2742052_1920Growing older isn’t an easy thing. The changes in your body can be very frustrating. The lapses in memory are annoying. Don’t let them overwhelm you. Be kind and loving to yourself. Use them as opportunities to slow down and savor the moments of each day. You now have time to do all the fun things you put off while you were working and raising children.

You might even have time to go sky-diving with your grandkids while wearing your new purple-sequinned jumpsuit.

A-Dior-able

images[5]On February 12, 1947, Christian Dior launched the “New Look” collection from his Paris couture house. The world was recovering from World War II, and its austere, masculine clothing. The New Look returned the feminine silhouette with a full bustline, tiny waist and curvy hips. I believe that it reminded the world that the feminine, nurturing energy was returning. It was criticized as being a wasteful luxury when times were still lean. Thus is the power of the feminine energy, to create, to nurture, to honor the need to pamper our souls.

Today, my Sweetie and I attended the Dior exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. The show is in its final tour, ending on March 17th. The exhibit included dozens of beautiful gowns and suits, beginning with the classic “Bar Suit” categorized by a creamy fitted jacket and a black, calf-length full skirt. Think Lucille Ball in her heyday. From the simple suit to fabulous gowns of detailed embroidery and gems, lean silhouettes to curvaceous sweeps, all stunning in this gorgeous collection.

 

I, myself, enjoyed the blatant outrageousness of John Galliano. Highly satirical, if you studied the garments closely. One fabulous gown, that I failed to take of photo of, (God knows why not), which I dubbed “Queen in Bondage”. Bejeweled red satin, the bodice was a tightly fitted corset style with the seeming intent to expose the breasts, although there was a bit a fabric tucked in to keep it decent. Or so I assume. The skirt flared out from the knees, mermaid style, looking almost impossible to move in. The entire garment was capped by an innocuous-appearing crown. Luxurious, over-the-top, this gown defined Galliano’s evil genius. Too bad he couldn’t limit his antics to design instead of running off at the mouth.

IMG_20190303_115107239 (1)Like all art, fashion is beauty in the eyes of the beholder. For women in general, it is the living expression of our soul. You can wake up in the morning ready to deal with what is likely going to be a sh*tty day, and instead, choose to arm yourself with a great outfit. Fake it ‘til you make it, or so they say. Dressing in your favorite outfit, because you know you look fabulous in it, will change the day into something great. And I hate to disappoint you guys, but women don’t usually dress for men unless they are hunting for a husband or boyfriend. As designer Betsey Johnson said “if girls dressed for boys they’d just walk around naked at all times”. Just notice when you are in a public place, most of the women are looking at each other and often commenting about shoes and handbags.

Why? Because we are just f-ing adorable.

Waist Not, Want Not

belly-2354_1920Remember when a tiny waist was so important?  You would measure yourself daily and if there was a slight variation, you would starve yourself or do those twisty exercises or maybe just suck it in for the next week.  Once you are in the menopause-ing years, that tiny waist should be as forgotten as eight-track tapes.

I read a story once about maiden, mother and matron.  The maiden had a tiny waist to attract a really good husband, as a place for his hands to hold her.  The mother’s waist expanded so that when she held her child, the head was supported and placed for nurturing.  The matron’s waist was much thicker as to provide warmth and comfort on a cold night.  Hmmm.  Seems like our waist is only for the benefit of others.

Our middle section has been a focal point of our physical body since we discovered we had one.  Thick, thin, poochy, six-pack muscles, we spend more time on it than brushing our teeth.

Does your waistline trouble you?  Review your diet.  Do you need to clean up your eating habits?  Maybe go grain-free and check out the plan in “Wheat Belly” by William Davis M.D.  A ketogenic diet might work well so read “Fat for Fuel” by Joseph Mercola M.D.  If you have health issues, review them with your doctor.  It might be time to ditch the TV watching and go for a walk.  If you are physically impaired, roll your wheelchair down the sidewalk and experience the healthful benefits of fresh air and sunshine.

If you have taken the necessary steps to be your best self and your waistline still is not what you want, then it is time to accept this change.  Wrap your arms around your middle and give yourself a big hug.  That is what Loving Your Sh*t is all about.

Note: while the story about the waist was a cute fictional version, Maiden-Mother-Crone is considered the Triple Goddess in Neopaganism and often a woman’s power symbol in Celtic lore.  I also like to consider the waist area as symbolic of the third chakra – the solar plexus – as the area associated with personal power.  Claiming your personal and feminine power might actually strengthen and tighten up your waist.

Me, My Selfie, and I

OMG, I can’t believe how good my hair looks today. I should’ve worn different earrings, they don’t really match my dress. My lipstick looks off. And. . . HHOOONNNKKKK!!!! Well sh*t, another double caramel macchiato ruined.

Didn’t your mother tell you to look both ways before you cross the street? To watch where you were going?

christmas-1871085_640The Selfie Obsession is overtaking the world. Preoccupation with looks, clothing, jewelry and location-location-location has nearly gotten many people injured or killed.

I remember as a teenager and young adult being overly concerned with how I looked. I believe that’s quite normal as you are developing a sense of who you are and who you want to be. Much of that includes how you appear to others. It might have been hours in front of the mirror, making sure every hair strand was where it was supposed to be and your makeup was perfect. Then a pile of discarded clothes as you picked the perfect outfit. I began sewing at a young age so I could have choices that I liked.

As you get older, you have less time to fuss and begin to develop an acceptance. Sometimes you would look in the mirror and think “f*ck” and go anyway. Those moments weren’t always the best choice when you figured out later in the day that white underwear wasn’t necessarily the right choice to wear under white pants.

mirror-1138098_640Since the creation of those magical cell phone cameras, preoccupation with appearance has morphed into obsessive levels. I’m not sure I understand it since I think I have taken one selfie in my life and promptly deleted it. I’m not that excited about close-up photos. I think selfies have gone way beyond checking your appearance or sharing a moment with friends. I heard on the news that it has now been termed “Selfitis”.IMG_0195

Let’s examine that word. “Self” meaning your essential being. “-itis” as related to inflammatory diseases. So does that mean you are an inflamed being? Are you a disease that needs to be treated? With what? Your cell phone camera?! I suppose it’s better than some drug. But why would you think there is something wrong with you? I’ve read that many people have such anxiety about how they look that they feel compelled to take a selfie. Don’t you know you are a beautiful human being?

Put your phone down, give yourself a big hug and smile. . .at everyone around you. They’ll smile back and then you won’t need a device to validate your loveliness.

The Men In My Closet

I know that sounds kinky. It’s not. Not even remotely. Get your mind out of the gutter.

I confess I have an attachment to fashion labels. Yes, shallow and easily swayed by a name. There is quite a crowd in my closet and I love them all. Tommy, Louis, Christian, Brian, Marc, Manolo, Franco, Michael and some I’m probably forgetting. Sorry guys. There are women there too – Kate, Cynthia, Miucci and Anna. But it seems that men are really good at creating beautiful things for women, especially shoes. I am thankful for this.

Why do women need Men In Their Closet? Yes, we know we have fourteen pairs of black shoes. Yes, we wear them all. It’s fun and it makes us feel good. When I put on a favorite outfit, I feel like I’m getting an upgrade. I smile. I stand taller. I start my day on happy

feet. A great outfit can actually turn a sh*tty day into something tolerable. Sure I look in the mirror, but why not? If. It. Makes. Me. Feel. Good. It. Is. A. Good. Thing. And if I feel good and am happy, then it radiates out to everyone around me and they feel good. Bonus!

Let’s hear it for the Boys!

You Are Not A Samsonite

LouvreI am sure we have all seen someone who has spent too much time in the sun. Their skin has that rich, copper-brown color, but upon closer look appears thick and leathery looking. And decidedly unhealthy too. I remember when I was a kid, my aunt would coat herself head to foot in baby oil, put on a swimsuit and lay on a blanket in the backyard for hours. Then days later, I would help her peel off that sunburn.

 

Time, thinner atmosphere (yes, global warming!), pollution, stress, too many carbs, too little sleep, and whatever else you have encountered has taken a toll on your skin. But like the tires on our cars, aging will wear down the surface of the skin. Nothing ages a woman more than her skin. However, it is never too late to baby it.Vatican

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of products on the market for your skin. Face, body, feet, hands. You do not need to spend a fortune to get results. Cleanse and moisturize at the very least. The very act of washing your face is relaxing and comforting. Rubbing something creamy into your skin is self-soothing. Especially if you crawl into bed right after. Mmmm, yawn.
CuracaoSymbolically, skin is our barrier to the world. We absorb toxins on a daily basis, from our environment to those crabby, draining people. No wonder sometimes we do not look our best. Bathing gets rid of those toxins. You can even imagine all that yuck going down the drain, including those toxic people. And then when you smooth in some nice body lotion think of it as a symbolic act of putting on a protective layer to keep that yuck out. Practicing daily skin care is more than just rejuvenating the outside.London

Sometimes that yuck sticks around. Whether it is from too much sun or holding onto other people’s crap, it can fester. Rashes, skin diseases, even skin cancer. Along with going to the doctor for treatment, take a look inside and listen to what is irritating you. You will speed your treatment along if you work on your inner yuck.

Eiffel

Besides, you want to use that other Samsonite to go to Paris in the spring.

We Are Still Playing Barbie

08501960_01[1]Botox, collagen, fillers. Hair color, hair bleach, hair extensions. Waxing, tweezing, threading, plucking. Liposuction, face lifts, breast implants, ass lifts. (Ass lifts?!) It is a lot of work and expense being female.

I blame it on Barbie. Big boobs, tiny waist and those feet. Who has feet shaped like that anyway? It is really not Barbie’s fault. The shape of women has been something to fuss over for centuries.

I’m not against any cosmetic enhancements, only the overdoing of them. I have had my own share of treatments. And I did them because I wanted to feel better about myself, and they did just that. That should be the only reason you do these things – for You and You alone. Oh sure, we like having our friends and family tell us how great we look, but never, never, never should you invest the time or money in cosmetic enhancements just because someone else said you Needed it. If they cannot love you just as you are then maybe you do not need them in your life. However, it is worth looking at the core of this.

We too often attract people in our life who act as mirrors of our inner pain. If you consistently encounter people who do not love and care for you just as you are, then you might want to ask yourself if You love You. All the cosmetic enhancements in the world are not going to make you look better if you do not love yourself. Love your Sh*t and then your outer self will match your inner self and you might not need that boob job. Go get a massage instead. You’ll feel great and you won’t have to buy a bunch of new bras.