Farewell to my face
March 7, 2016 7:48 AM   Subscribe

If you’re expecting me to end this essay on an uplifting note—“I’ve come to appreciate my inevitably middle-aged face, which shows proof of hard-won wisdom and a well-lived life”—you can forget it. I will never not blanch at photographs showing the accents grave and aigu on either side of my nose, not to mention my multi-circumflexed forehead. That’s decrepitude, not character.
Nell Beram: I’m Middle-aged and I Look It — But Don’t Ask Me to Like It
posted by The Gooch (133 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
You know, every time I see one of these articles where the woman (and it always seems to be a woman) is all "oh I have lost teh sexxiness" or "I am so much uglier than my husband, who is a god" or whatever, I freely admit that I immediately google them and I can never see what the hell is wrong with them. I think they may run with the wrong crowd; they'd still look fine in my social circles.
posted by Frowner at 7:57 AM on March 7, 2016 [20 favorites]


I'm actually enjoying looking middle-aged, a little grey in your beard, a belly and a deep voice and people get out of your way quick when you merely say "excuse me." Plus, you know longer have to mainatain the pretense of 'keeping up.'
posted by jonmc at 7:57 AM on March 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


I mean, everyone looks more attractive with glasses, there is that. Everyone should get glasses and I will go out with you.
posted by Frowner at 7:59 AM on March 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


I can never see what the hell is wrong with them. I think they may run with the wrong crowd; they'd still look fine in my social circles.

I once mentioned to a younger co-worker how sexy I thought Susan Sarandon is, and he begrudgingly agreed, but added "but she's so old."

I don't understand either.
posted by jonmc at 8:00 AM on March 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


I’d heard of this happening to other people. “That’s around when she started losing her looks,” I remember an old boyfriend saying about Mary Tyler Moore while watching a rerun from the third season of her show.

What a horrible typical-man aside-as-an-insult. Mary Tyler Moore was 35 when the third season of the MTM Show started.

I guess I can counter that Leonardo DiCaprio started "losing his looks" around the time of Inception? No? Or that George Clooney started "losing his looks" around the time of One Fine Day?
posted by blucevalo at 8:01 AM on March 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


I literally remember having to be taught that a woman was old and ugly. I remember leading ladies on sitcoms getting jabs for looking old and wondering: what on earth am I seeing? She's beautiful. Is that old? (This happened with weight, too. I would never have realized that poor Lisa on You Can't Do That On Television was fat if the others hadn't been helpfully pointing it out all the time. I remember the watching and wondering.)

But it worked, on me. It worked after all. And I loathe my neck. I even posted an AskMefi question about what the hell to do about it once. To pretend I didn't get dinged by this cultural conditioning would be to claim that I am not getting pissed on, but rather that it is raining.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:03 AM on March 7, 2016 [45 favorites]


I literally remember having to be taught that a woman was old and ugly. I remember leading ladies on sitcoms getting jabs for looking old and wondering

That's very true! I remember the same thing! It really is this very intentional, very ideological training process.
posted by Frowner at 8:05 AM on March 7, 2016 [13 favorites]


I don't mind the wrinkles and various other visual evidence, but I admit the first time I went to put on sunblock and realized the skin around my eyes felt like crepe paper, I recoiled. GAAAAAAAAAH. It's a combination of irrefutable evidence of old-lady skin and I am not ready to be old, and a serious horror movie moment of your own skin not feeling ONE BIT like your skin.

I could also do without the daily reminder of my creeping mortality from my creepy, crepe-y skin. I have knees for that.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:07 AM on March 7, 2016 [17 favorites]


You know, every time I see one of these articles where the woman (and it always seems to be a woman) is all "oh I have lost teh sexxiness" or "I am so much uglier than my husband, who is a god" or whatever, I freely admit that I immediately google them and I can never see what the hell is wrong with them. I think they may run with the wrong crowd; they'd still look fine in my social circles.

That is a nice thing to say in each individual case, maybe, but seems to miss the point.
posted by beerperson at 8:07 AM on March 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


So, it took me 16 selfies to get the just the right pic of me at 50 minus 17 days. I liked it so much that I selflessly shared it with everyone I knew.

Yeah, the natural light, the jowls, the whatever ... otoh I never felt so good about myself. So where's the tradeoff? you, internally feeling good, or what rando media informs you? Rando media informed me at 35 that I was over.
posted by infini at 8:07 AM on March 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


That is a nice thing to say in each individual case, maybe, but seems to miss the point.

It does, except the author so relentlessly depoliticizes her piece - oh, it's not about gender, it's just about how men and women equally and naturally are only attracted to those under 30. If we're going that route, then I'm happy to say that it's only "natural" and universal in certain social circles.
posted by Frowner at 8:09 AM on March 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


You know, every time I see one of these articles where the woman (and it always seems to be a woman) is all "oh I have lost teh sexxiness" or "I am so much uglier than my husband, who is a god" or whatever, I freely admit that I immediately google them and I can never see what the hell is wrong with them.

Ah, thank God I'm not the only one who does that.

Everyone gets old. Fretting and worrying about it is just...sad.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:09 AM on March 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't mind my 50 year old face but I do get a start when I see a picture of myself from my twenties, I really look like a different person entirely. Obviously being a guy makes my face much less of an issue culturally than if I were female but I do worry about my continued employment prospects in tech as I look older and older.
posted by octothorpe at 8:10 AM on March 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


"She's so old" is definitely a taught thing, and thus a geographic and cultural one. See the French concept

Reached in San Francisco, Dr. Rubin, whose book indicates she is now in her early 70's, was surprised to learn of the long English history of the phase because "it has a long history in French, where it refers to women of fortyish and thereabouts who are able to initiate boys and young men into the beauties of sexual encounters. The early use in English seems to be about spinsterhood, but the French meaning has nothing to do with marriage."

In French, the phrase has erotically or sexually charged overtones. "It comes from a society where sexuality is freer," Dr. Rubin notes, "and more understood as an important part of human life."

The phrase in French is femmes d'une certaine age. The term, however, can apply to either sex. Without the certain, the phrase un homme d'un age translates literally as "a man of an age" and is defined in the Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary as "a man of advanced years."

And now to the point: is that certain age getting older?

posted by infini at 8:12 AM on March 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


I have the benefit of age making me look increasingly supervillainish, which pleases me.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:13 AM on March 7, 2016 [18 favorites]


My spouse will often say "wow, what happened to her?" when it's obvious that someone has had plastic surgery to make them look younger. I'm all for empowering people to look however they wish to, but I'm glad that I'm with someone who thinks looking natural is pretty, no matter what age they are.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:14 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I mean, I admit that I google them to see how they look in relation to how old I look.

Because I've never been good-looking and because I always read as queer, aging hasn't hit me nearly as hard as it might - I was never getting the extras or the creeping-on that conventionally attractive young women so often get, so I have gotten neither the disappointment nor the relief of aging out of them. Once I started being less gender-conforming, I did have a weird leap-into-visibility, which has mostly sucked.

I worry about aging and employability, mostly, and am sort of waiting to see whether I am going to go toward "striking white hair" or "beigey-grey" - it's a little early to tell, my hairs are coming in as fairly thick and stark white, but my baseline haircolor is medium brown. If I get striking white I'll leave it - there's a woman here who looks very youthful and peppy with totally white hair - but if it's not, I'm going to dye it in a couple of years because I have a public-facing pink collar job.
posted by Frowner at 8:16 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


My wife - who is gorgeous, regularly gets told she looks young for her age and is fully aware of all the social conditioning and sexist double standards - is nonetheless starting to struggle a bit with this sort of thing. It sucks, and knowing that it's based on a truckload of sexist bullshit doesn't seem to help much.

> it's obvious that someone has had plastic surgery to make them look younger

I can only speak for myself, but never in my life have I looked at a man or woman who has obviously had plastic surgery and thought "Wow, they look so young!" Most of the time it looks like your real face is trying to burst through a mask of your face.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:19 AM on March 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


If you are not enchanted by crow's feet you have no soul.
posted by srboisvert at 8:21 AM on March 7, 2016 [21 favorites]


I can only speak for myself, but never in my life have I looked at a man or woman who has obviously had plastic surgery and thought "Wow, they look so young!" Most of the time it looks like your real face is trying to burst through a mask of your face.

Sorry, that was my point.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:22 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Halloween Jack: "I have the benefit of age making me look increasingly supervillainish, which pleases me."

I've been taking photography classes for the last couple years and cast myself as a Hitchcock villain for my final project last semester. Turns out, I can look pretty scary.
posted by octothorpe at 8:22 AM on March 7, 2016 [19 favorites]


I'm in my low 40s, and I remember the recoil and revulsion of my male friends when I described the age range I was willing to date as extending up into the low 50s. I'd like to pretend I've been somehow immune to the overwhelming cultural conditioning on the topic, but no, it turned out that when I was actually evaluating dating prospects, I found myself drawn more to the 30s than the 50s. I've tried to go with my second, more considered reaction, and ended up dating some women older than me, though not (yet) in their 50s.

Older people rule.

Meanwhile, I love everything about being in my 40s. Well, I wish my hair were a bit thicker, but I'm loving the gray appearing in my beard at last. I wish we lived in a world in which everybody could be happy at the age they're at.
posted by pwinn at 8:24 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean, everyone looks more attractive with glasses, there is that.

TESTIFY!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:25 AM on March 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


I happened to see a picture of young Madonna the other day, in her first fame, and I caught myself thinking: wow, that's actually Madonna! It was a strange thought to have; Madonna has never actually gone anywhere, fame-wise. But it wasn't the same thought I ever have when seeing Carrie Fisher or Susan Sarandon. It's as if the face of the current Madonna is an idea of the face of the younger Madonna, instead of the actual face, taking on human years.

I don't mean to judge. Madonna is exactly what she said she was -- a material girl, living in a material world -- and she couldn't do what she does without intense personal maintenance and attention to brand. It was just a moment I had.

My mother tells me if I got Botox it would actually help my depression. This may in fact be true. Nevertheless: fuck that.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:29 AM on March 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I mean, everyone looks more attractive with glasses, there is that.

I've only just started wearing them and they make me look vaguely psycho, I think.
posted by jonmc at 8:31 AM on March 7, 2016


I have something better than youth. I have self-acceptance. Beach body? This is my beach body. It's the body I take to the beach, which is the same body I take everywhere else. On the one hand I have the luxury of being a man, which means I continue to exist as a sexual being into AARP years if I don't completely let myself go. On the other hand I work in an industry where youth is extremely prized and age is viewed with confusion. People marvel at "how young" I look, but I live in fear that the potion will wear off and I'll stop getting gigs.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:32 AM on March 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


You have to wonder if fewer people would get plastic surgery if we had a better social safety net.

I have a lot of trouble disapproving of youthifying plastic surgery because looks are such a big part of the ability to earn a living, though more so in some industries than others. It's a pretty big deal to expect women (usually women) to put their own livelihood at risk if getting work done is common in their field.
posted by Frowner at 8:34 AM on March 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


I don't mind too much my 58 year-old face, but gawdalmighty is the body starting to succumb to gravity.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:35 AM on March 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


What's interesting to me is how age-blind I am to my own face (mostly), but it's totally obvious to others, especially younger others, how old I am. When I do YouTube videos about hair care, the younger set is all, "Your hair looks fantastic for such a geezer," and I wonder if I'm just really thick about how my own face looks.
posted by xingcat at 8:38 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


The answer.
posted by Lyme Drop at 8:38 AM on March 7, 2016


I'm 42 and so far the only physical feature about my adult body I really could do without is all the hair on my back and shoulders, but I went through the five stages of panic about that in my mid-'20s and the battle is long since lost.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:39 AM on March 7, 2016


I have something better than youth. I have self-acceptance.

Hey, that's awesome! We're happy for you.
posted by naju at 8:40 AM on March 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I am middle aged if being in your mid 50s is that. I dated a woman for 8+ years in college and after before we went our separate ways and married other people. We went no contact for about 10 years then I stayed in vague contact with her for another 10. At some point a few years ago we both got divorced. We now hang out as friends pretty often for two middle agers who live 400 miles apart. Anyway, I bring this up because we have both aged differently. I have added 40 pounds and am more on the salt side of salt and pepper. She, and I just told her this this weekend, looks as good if not better than she did when we were in our 20s. She was really good looking back in the day and now she has added a "I am in a good place in my life" look to her eyes, she dresses with confidence and she just does not care what others think about her looks which somehow makes her look that much better. Confidence is sexy I guess or at least to me it is.
posted by AugustWest at 8:41 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I do think about this, because on more than one occasion, other women have asked why I don't color my hair. Thanks to genetics, I started graying at about age 20, and am now noticeably salt-and-pepper, increasingly running to salt, in my mid-40s. (Come to think of it, I'm the only woman in the department who has any gray hair at all.) That being said, I've always been more amused by the graying than upset by it--there's a balance between saying "yikes!" every time I get my hair cut (where did all that gray hair on the floor come from?!) and joking about the physiological effects of too much reading.
posted by thomas j wise at 8:41 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


What I've noticed is how young people in their twenties look to me now. Mere infants! No offense or anything; get a nice pair of glasses and you'll look a lot better.

I can't understand why more people older than 35 (let's say) don't want to see movies about the middle-aged, though. I look at popular contemporary film and think "why do I want to see random movies about twenty-somethings?" It's one thing if there's a particular point to the movie being about people in their twenties, but I'd like to see some movies about people my age. For preference, these movies should not default to being about infidelity, cancer or a parent dying. Or to finding love when one had resigned oneself to hopeless spinsterhood, etc etc.
posted by Frowner at 8:43 AM on March 7, 2016 [39 favorites]


I posted this because this article felt like it was being written specifically for me. I am someone who has had a very difficult time accepting that I've hit middle age and all of the associated indignities that come along with it. Whenever people say stuff along the lines of "I just love my gray hair, it makes me look so dignified" I always assume they are trying to convince themselves as much as anyone since it is just so foreign to my own way of thinking.
posted by The Gooch at 8:51 AM on March 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


What I've noticed is how young people in their twenties look to me now.

I look at everyone under thirty and see adorable cute puppies...that will be dumb as hell and probably shit and piss all over and need to be housebroken.
posted by srboisvert at 8:52 AM on March 7, 2016 [24 favorites]


I'm a sexagenarian now which means everyone looks sexy to me cuz they're all younger than me (except at the theater and the symphony). The only thing that bothers me is that most people I meet--as in people selling me stuff--call me "sir" instead of "man." I take that back. It bothered me last year but now...fuck it, I'm an old guy and I decided I can't do anything about it, anyway. (As far as my face goes...it's like hearing yourself on an audio recording...I'm aware that I don't really look like I think I do, anyway, so I ignore whatever I tell myself about my appearance.)
posted by kozad at 8:56 AM on March 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


In terms of accepting middle age, in my case it helps greatly that my teens and twenties are not a time in my I wish I could go back to.

> I look at everyone under thirty and see adorable cute puppies...that will be dumb as hell and probably shit and piss all over and need to be housebroken.

My wife is back at our undergraduate alma mater starting her PhD, and when her female friends joke about her running off with some young, hot dude she admits that some of them are cute and all but that the fantasy breaks down when she imagines having to actually talk to them.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:57 AM on March 7, 2016 [15 favorites]


I can't understand why more people older than 35 (let's say) don't want to see movies about the middle-aged, though.

Probably a lot of us do. But Hollywood is marketing to young people who are more willing to spend money on crappy movies, instead of older people who have become increasingly aware of the level of crappiness of many movies and increasingly unwilling to spend money on it.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:58 AM on March 7, 2016


So far, getting older is totally awesome because I can now do whatever I want without reproach. Up to and including unflattering lipstick and comically large sunglasses. Also, for example, at the beach: wearing a caftan and reading books all day? YES PLEASE. No more pretending to enjoy myself in a bikini on a boat. Grumpily ducking out of social engagements when everyone gets too drunk? No regrets! Because I know what happens at the party after I've left and it's bo-ring compared to snuggling with dogs at home.

The main downside, I guess, is realizing how much going along to get along I did in my teens and twenties. The whole time I could have NGAF!! Making up for lost time by super-duper NGAF now. What do the kids say now? On fleek? Salty? Can't be bothered.
posted by witchen at 8:58 AM on March 7, 2016 [15 favorites]


I have a couple of friends who are professionally good-looking (as in, 90% of their ability to do what they do for a living is predicated on them looking youthful and gorgeous) and conversations with them as we hit our mid-30s have been very eye-opening. The level of fear they have, and the sheer magnitude of perks and privileges they can expect to lose, is incredible.

I actually came into my looks, for whatever that's worth, in my early 30s. Which is kind of fun -- I still read as "too old" for most of the creeps, but I seem to have a lot of pull with 22 year old baristas and 45 year old bartenders. For the first time, I might get a drink comped or a free upgrade on a latte, or a show of faux-surprise when carded. But while it's enjoyable, sure, I can't help but think how terrifying it would be to depend on it, to have it occupy enough of my life to become a kind of identity that I would have to contemplate losing.

When we were younger, one of my professionally beautiful friends said, "listen, Blast, you'll just never know how hard it is to be the most attractive person in the room!" At the time I was naturally insulted. As we get older, though, I'm starting to see her point.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:59 AM on March 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


I don't mind too much my 58 year-old face, but gawdalmighty is the body starting to succumb to gravity.

Yeah, same here. At first I thought I was gaining weight, I wear different size clothes. But really I'm just getting . . . . kind of dumpy, I guess. Things are just sort of shifting. But that includes bigger breasts -- I thought teh mens all love big breasts? Will I be popular now?
posted by JanetLand at 9:00 AM on March 7, 2016


Safire is wrong— the French expression is "femme d'un certain âge." Dude needs to check his French dictionary more.

I saw a French-Italian movie a few years ago, and I was struck by the fact that the main actress looked fortyish. I.e. what people actually look like in their 40s. I don't know if Europeans actually have good attitudes about aging, but it made it clear that Americans don't. An American movie would have made sure to cast an actress 20 years younger than her husband.
posted by zompist at 9:03 AM on March 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


People used to (not so much any more) tell me I looked young, or didn't look my age. I stopped saying "thank you" a few years ago, because I really don't think it's a compliment. Or I don't want to think it's a compliment. I'm so tired of young/thin/pretty being the ideal.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 9:07 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Here is a tip for you lads and lassies who fear you may be losing a bit of your looks. You will one day arrive at a point, if you are lucky, where you are not longer someone with a sexual presence, that is, you will be ignored, stand aside, not get glances of interest in your possible sexuality. In short: you will become invisible. That will take place if you are still working or at a mall or at a gathering of any sort. You are out of the game!

Till that time arrives, you will be worried about the sorts of things in this post. Worry of course will change little, though there might be some temporary fixes for this and that developing mark of age.

So if you are at this stage, count your blessing. Soon, you will move on the end state, the one that knocks you off the sexual monopoly board.
posted by Postroad at 9:08 AM on March 7, 2016


I'd rather look my age (low 60s) than feel my age, given the choice. Too bad I'm not being given the choice.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 9:09 AM on March 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


For years, I've told myself that I didn't mind. The grey is distinguished, I haven't gained that much weight, my jowls aren't that big, etc. Then, my sister posted a picture of me from my 20s on Facebook for Throwback Thursday, and I realized I was kidding myself. I miss looking like that. In an odd way, that's still how I think I look.
posted by Area Man at 9:10 AM on March 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


So many people my age still look fine to me (if not "young" anymore). But they've gotten so stodgy and boring! As I get older (in my mid-50's now), I find myself preferring to socialize with people 10 to 20 years younger than me because at least they have some gusto and sparkle.

What is it about society, or Life in general, or something, that squeezes all the juice and verve out of so many of us in the over-40 crowd? Have we gotten caught up in the necessities of creating a career and raising kids, and in the process forgot how to be goofy and enthusiastic and child-like? Do we get so disappointed about not keeping the bodies and energy of our youth that we just give up? Does the burden of the awareness of encroaching mortality suck out whatever liveliness is still left in us? Is it the death of childhood dreams? Is there some reason that many of us stop learning and being surprised and constantly delighted by new knowledge?

I think about all those things too, but my approach to them has been to try to continue to keep my enthusiasm and silliness, as a defense against becoming a fuddy-duddy. It's not my looks I fear losing, so much as my will to stick around and keep having fun.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:13 AM on March 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


Like kozad I've been getting "sir" for a while now, and I always tell those cute young baristas that they would have gotten a better tip if they hadn't addressed me thusly... (laughing).
posted by twsf at 9:17 AM on March 7, 2016


I started losing my hair in my early 20s. For the most part, I feel more like my numerical age is catching up with my looks rather than the other way around.

Every once in a while I stare at my fingers and wonder when they got so damn wrinkly, though, and it's getting harder to deny the occasional white beard hair.
posted by Foosnark at 9:19 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't really regret my youthful looks, but I sure do regret my youth. It wasn't, for the most part, very fun, and it wasn't fun for kind of stupid reasons (self-hatred, homophobia, childhood garbage, inability to stand up for myself even about really important stuff) and I do regret that many opportunities are forever gone.

I think about all those things too, but my approach to them has been to try to continue to keep my enthusiasm and silliness, as a defense against becoming a fuddy-duddy. It's not my looks I fear losing, so much as my will to stick around and keep having fun.

For me, some days I wish I could live forever so that I could keep reading and thinking. Other days, what has changed for me is that I have lost my belief in a better future - not just for me but for anyone. I look at human history and it's just greed and cruelty all the way down, and I think about all the millions and millions of people who have suffered horribly and who are suffering horribly, and how it would be so easy to look at history and at the very least try to be different, but as a group we don't, it's the same greed and self-interest forever. And then I feel like what's the point - be young while you can, kid yourself while you can, but I can't anymore.
posted by Frowner at 9:20 AM on March 7, 2016 [16 favorites]


There is a man who attends my church whose nickname is Crow. He has recently been having some medical problems with his feet.

This turned into a bit of a debacle not yesterday, but the previous Sunday, when someone gave the pastor a piece of paper requesting “prayer for Crow’s feet”. My pastor was, understandably, a bit confused as to why we should be praying for someone’s eye wrinkles. You know, pray for that yourself if you must, but maybe asking the entire congregation to pray about the issue on your behalf is not entirely appropriate. Prayer requests are read out loud to everyone at the beginning of the service, so we all got to watch with great interest while this misunderstanding was sorted out.

Anyway, Crow introduced himself more formally during yesterday’s service, and in the future we will all be praying for his feet. But not his wrinkles. Or anyone’s wrinkles.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:23 AM on March 7, 2016 [23 favorites]


Ya know, it's mostly the ultraviolet that causes aging of the skin.

There's a simple fix.

People who want to look young when they're old, should wear buckets over their heads until then.

Or the improved variety of tinfoil hat that pulls down to the shoulders.

You can't get those admiring glances at _all_ ages, unless you never go outdoors.
posted by hank at 9:24 AM on March 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


I actually am one of those hippie "signs of aging are beautiful because wisdom" types, but I do admit it's easy to be like that when you are from genes like mine; all of the women in my mother's side of the family all look ten years younger than we actually are. I just turned 46 a week and a half ago, and I barely have any wrinkles, only a little bit of a saggy chin; the boobs also aren't as perky, but on me that's manifested as "I used to be an A-cup and never had cleavage at all, but now it's all run down to the lower half of each boob, so I actually now look like I have boobs to speak of."

I do have gray hair; though; I started getting that about 8 years ago. But my natural color is a sort of ashy blond so they sort of blend in and look like highlighting, especially since it's all in through my bangs and the hair framing my face. In fact, I've only just recently realized that all that hair is gray.

But I actually kind of like my grays for aesthetic reasons as well, anyway - they're a pure silvery white, and they actually kinda sparkle. And i really like that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:26 AM on March 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Other days, what has changed for me is that I have lost my belief in a better future - not just for me but for anyone.

I came to cynicism before I was even 20, and I gave up years and years ago on the idea of reforming humanity. I mean, I do my best to treat everyone with respect and courtesy, live lightly on the Earth, and enjoy my own life as best I can, but I don't pretend it'll make any real difference in the long run.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:28 AM on March 7, 2016


I actually am one of those hippie "signs of aging are beautiful because wisdom"

This can be fun. When people believe that you are 'wise,' you can tell them the most fantastic bullshit, just to see if they'll follow along.
posted by jonmc at 9:32 AM on March 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


Wrinkles around the eyes and mouth result from laughter and squinting in the sunshine. How is that not beautiful?

I have had some experiences that you'd expect to manifest as frown lines. Therefore my crows' feet and laugh lines are all mine and I am grateful for them. Only since they've arrived have I seen beauty when I look in the mirror. I never did when I was younger.
posted by headnsouth at 9:42 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


This can be fun. When people believe that you are 'wise,' you can tell them the most fantastic bullshit, just to see if they'll follow along

My kids are now at an age, early 20s where they are starting to believe me again after a long time during their teens where they called bullshit on everything I said. I now tell them some fantastic bs and they nod like. "Pops is wise and he knows this stuff". In about a decade or two they will start calling bs again because I will be senile.
posted by AugustWest at 9:48 AM on March 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think they may run with the wrong crowd; they'd still look fine in my social circles.

Changing social circles is easier said than done. And we know that appearance can be an employment issue, not just a social one. I think we need to be trying to change the standards, expanding those circles in which her appearance would be considered fine or attractive.

I don't know how to do that. Maybe it's helpful for lots of people to say, "Hey Nell Beram, I think you look great"?

One thing I realized early in my marriage is that it's never necessary for me to comment (positively or negatively) on another woman's appearance in front of my wife, or now in front of my daughters, or to anyone, really. I tell my wife she looks beautiful, because I think she does. And I have opinions about how other people look, but most of the time nobody else needs to hear what I think. My wife hardly ever complains about how she looks or how her looks change as she gets older, so maybe it helps?

So maybe that's something we can do? Especially guys? Just stop talking about it. Don't voice your opinions about how someone else looks unless you're giving a compliment to someone in your life that you know wants to hear that you think they are beautiful.
posted by straight at 9:53 AM on March 7, 2016 [20 favorites]


I don't mind my 50 year old face but I do get a start when I see a picture of myself from my twenties, I really look like a different person entirely.

One of my late uncles was genuinely movie-star hot as a youth and ruggedly handsome as an old man, but remarkably unattractive as a rather portly middle-ager. It was as if he was three different men, the middle one having the least in common with the other two.

I've only just started wearing them and they make me look vaguely psycho, I think.

(In my humble and presumptuous opinion, it's the frames and the goatee. Different frames or a full beard would diminish that. Unless it's what you're aiming for in which case rock on.)
posted by octobersurprise at 9:54 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Don't aim for beauty; aim for healthy, and beauty will find you on its own.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:55 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I had a lot of trouble with aging through my 40s. I did think of myself as a pretty girl, I got used to that particular knapsack of privilege and when I lost it I was sad. 10 years of angst over the last of my pretty years, my last chance to catch a man, nobody notices me anymore, I'm not having more kids, what am I good for, put me on the ice floe, my world is ending. And then on top of that I gave myself a lot of grief for being so vain, so shallow, thinking of these things at all and not embracing the wisdom and inner beauty of my emerging crone. Etc. There was some other awful and very real shit in there too, loss, poverty, family stuff and it all got tied up in my head with the changes to my face and body.

But! My 40s ended. I went on a road trip and realized hey, it is awesome to be invisible, nobody sees the heavy middle aged woman, I can do what I like. I don't have to worry anymore. And then I thought, well, now I am in my early 50s, and I never did find a man and... It's okay! IDGAF! About much of anything! And so I think my 50s are going to be better than my 40s were, which is, granted, not a super high bar. Jowls & 40 extra pounds & wrinkles & hands that look like my mothers are not too high a price to pay for this curious new freedom.

You can try to pry the hair dye from my cold dead hands though.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:58 AM on March 7, 2016 [24 favorites]


Full beard + sunglasses. No face required.
posted by colie at 10:02 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Actually, there is one bit of graying hair that threw me -

I hadn't really comprehended that all the hair on your body can go gray, not just the hair on your head; that lead to a moment of some mild shock one evening in the bathtub.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:05 AM on March 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


I feel sad when I read things like this, and I don't nod my head knowingly about myself or anyone else that I know. I don't want to belittle other people's perceived pain, but it is just so in contrast to how we should be perceiving beauty. Don't get me wrong, I like attractive people. But my wife keeps getting better looking as she gets older, and it's not because she's staving off wrinkles and other features of middle age. There's a broader calculus for beauty, and it's not just objectively determined by facial dimensions and what sells a magazine. There's a package deal that infuses an appearance with attractiveness and it includes things like poise, being comfortable in one's own skin, being kind and having genuine virtue, which makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts (even if some of those parts aren't what they used to be). I know that it's hard to see those traits in one's self (I can relate, actually), but when they are totally eliminated from the equation, it depresses me once again that people I love are going to have to grow up in a culture that strips those things of beauty from them, as if they aren't important, and it's going to have an impact on their psyche. It's a serious social problem, and one that I'd like to send on a one way ticket back to the warm place from whence in came.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:05 AM on March 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


There's a package deal that infuses an appearance with attractiveness and it includes things like poise, being comfortable in one's own skin, being kind and having genuine virtue, which makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts (even if some of those parts aren't what they used to be).

Amen, SpacemanStix.
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:08 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't really regret my youthful looks, but I sure do regret my youth. It wasn't, for the most part, very fun, and it wasn't fun for kind of stupid reasons ... and I do regret that many opportunities are forever gone.

I can relate to this. If I were to go back in time, it would be to tell my 1990s-era self, "Girl, you have a full-time job that requires you to work only three days a week. Here's what we're doing with our four-day weekends for the next 14 months."

God, I squandered so much time. I could have been exploring the west coast, playing outside constantly, instead of being all, "ooh, I can freelance with that extra time! Or worry that I'm lame because I really don't like going to bars or brunching. That sounds like a great way to spend the time I'm inexhaustible, single and childfree."

(That said: The great thing about not ever having been beautiful is I don't miss my 20something looks. The metabolism, yes. The ability to eat pizza after 8 p.m., yes. But I basically look like me, only with laugh lines and a spare tire now.)
posted by sobell at 10:09 AM on March 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


What I've noticed is how young people in their twenties look to me now. Mere infants! No offense or anything; get a nice pair of glasses and you'll look a lot better.

I work at a university, and this gets pronounced every year. It used to be that when I was that age, people in my peer group felt like adults, and everyone above 30 felt old. Now, everyone feels young. Youngsters are even younger than they used to be, and people who are older seem much younger than they used to be, as they are now peers.

What gets a little bit trippy for me is when I think about my parent's wedding album that I used to look at all the time when I was little. For years and years, they looked like old grown ups. Now I look at the album, and they look like they are barely old enough to get married, the same age as incoming freshman at the university. I now have thoughts about how it is that I managed to actually survive to adulthood, as I know how hard it is to be a parent, and I can't imagine doing it at the same age.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:11 AM on March 7, 2016 [15 favorites]


I work at a university, and this gets pronounced every year. It used to be that when I was that age, people in my peer group felt like adults, and everyone above 30 felt old. Now, everyone feels young. Youngsters are even younger than they used to be, and people who are older seem much younger than they used to be, as they are now peers.

When I started graduate school at 31, I had this mental picture of myself as just a little older than I was in college, but not old-old. The first time I stepped on campus surrounded by what looked like children in completely ridiculous outfits (Who wears a deer-stalker hat in August?!) I realized that I was older than I thought, and that I was completely ok with it.
posted by antimony at 10:19 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm taking care of my mom, who had a stroke several years ago. She's lost the ability to walk, and the ability to speak, and the ability to decide when to empty her bladder. And the ability to remember where she was going long enough to get there. She can't read because her eyesight is terrible and her language abilities are damaged. She can't keep a dog or put her own pants on or remember that she has to wear a diaper or do, in fact, the least thing for herself; her life is, basically, waiting for someone to feed her and clean her.

I do not believe that there is another life waiting for us when this one is over. I believe that when you die, whatever you had and whatever you were is lost for all time. And I don't know how to deal with that, really.

But I do know that I have no sympathy at all for what I would characterize as relatively young, relatively healthy people whining about their looks. If you can't hack a few wrinkles, you're in for a nasty shock when you realize what's really coming down.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 10:20 AM on March 7, 2016 [24 favorites]


The trouble with my particular birth year is that my benchmarks are Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and Michael Jordan. Well, and Whitney Houston, so I have that going for me.
posted by PandaMomentum at 10:29 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you can't hack a few wrinkles, you're in for a nasty shock when you realize what's really coming down.

I haven't seen anyone on this thread or in the article being unable to "hack" a few wrinkles. People are wistful about them precisely because their existence reminds us of how very extremely horrifying and awful our lives are soon to become. (And for folks my age, how very quickly we will descend into grinding irretrievable poverty because hahahahaha what the fuck is retirement even?)

I can feel weird and sad about that without becoming somehow unable to function or appreciate my not-yet-entirely-forfeit life.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:33 AM on March 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


I do think about this, because on more than one occasion, other women have asked why I don't color my hair.

I turn 40 this year, and I stopped dying my hair last year. It's basically all grey now, with some funky natural pure white streaks at the front. So I've spent a year deliberately waving goodbye to my youthful looks - I was always being told I looked really young with my long dark hair, now I think I look my age. And I'm ok with that. I've lived a life of joy and pain like everyone else and I feel 40. And there is something so liberating about knowing certain men will not look at me now and I'm ok with that too. But the people around me took a looong time to get their head around it. Why would I give up on myself?? Why would I willingly look older?? My sister's MIL told me I was so brave and she'd love to do the same but she couldn't. Just for some perspective, she beat cancer a few years ago. She survived cancer and I'm brave for not pretending I don't have grey hair. What the actual fuck society?

My partner is 59 and I like that I'm not mistaken for his daughter any more and I know from being with him that people who care about you don't really see the outsides. Like, I have basically no lines yet (good genes) but I see my future in his wrinkles and it's not that I see past them, I love them because they're his. (Although the Universe is a fucker because he's handsome now but oh my he was a stone cold fox in his past and I never got to know that version of him.) I'm older than a 20 something and younger than a 60 something and fuck it I'm so tired tired of caring so I just don't anymore. It's great!
posted by billiebee at 10:34 AM on March 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


What I've noticed is how young people in their twenties look to me now. Mere infants! No offense or anything; get a nice pair of glasses and you'll look a lot better.

I notice the same thing! To contrast with this, when I look back at my old yearbooks, I notice that everyone in the higher grades still looks so much older to me. I'm in my 30s now and I can't help but think how old the 5th graders in my 4th grade yearbook look. And the seniors in my freshman yearbook? They're like middle-aged adults! And yet I'm nearly twice their age at this point.
posted by phatkitten at 10:39 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


There's a whole mess of famous attractive people who were born the same year that I was: Keanu, Monica Bellucci, Sandra Bullock, Nic Cage, Russell Crowe, Rob Lowe, Don Cheadle, Famke Janssen, etc. They all look better than I do but they're paid to look that way and I'm sure that it takes a lot of money and time to keep that up. Oh and CGI Facelifts.
posted by octothorpe at 10:41 AM on March 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Someone write this article from the point of view of a corpse
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:42 AM on March 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


Early thirties here. Entering wrinkles + acne stage of life. The emotionally hardest realization for me has been that I am not going to diet + exercise my way into a completely different body shape. That this body and face I have is probably "the best" it's ever going to be. Now my self-acceptance and gratitude, that I can improve!
posted by CMcG at 10:42 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


"9 Ways That Learning to Love My Worm Sockets Made Me A Better Partner"
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:44 AM on March 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


There's a whole mess of famous attractive people who were born the same year that I was

Ooh, this is actually fun! I share with Uma Thurman, Tina Fey and Simon Pegg.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:47 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I started going grey in my late teens. I'm 36 now, and you just can't really dye white, especially as it overtakes your whole forehead. I gave up dying it by the time I was 24.
posted by Windigo at 10:54 AM on March 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


I looked up my birth year on IMDB and almost everyone listed was best-known for a superhero movie, which seemed weird until I realized that those are the only movies made anymore.
posted by beerperson at 10:56 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


What made me feel really old recently was rewatching American Beauty. When it first came out I saw it in the theater. I was in college, just a couple years older that the teenagers in the film. Of course, I identified with them. So watching American Beauty for the first time in years, I thought to myself, "Man, how old was Kevin Spacey? He looks so young."

He was 40! I'm 36! My husband is 39! The Dumpy Sad Dad went from being an impossible thing that existed somewhere in the nebulous future to the here-and-now, my cohort. My mind still hasn't wrapped itself around that Lester Burnham is now us.
posted by Windigo at 11:01 AM on March 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


Early thirties here. Entering wrinkles + acne stage of life.

*snerk* Yeah, that can keep on into the next decade. I turned 40 in January and my 11 month post-partum amenorrhea ended not long after. I haven't had zits like this since before I discovered I was allergic to hairspray back in my teens.

I have my bad days, usually after a string of sleepless baby /toddler nights, where I'm all "Fuck you, Aging." But right now it's pretty much "Fuck you, Crazy Hormones" all the time.

I figure I'm getting in some solid practice in cursing alternating imaginary personifications for the menopause years.
posted by romakimmy at 11:08 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


The hardest aspect of middle age for me to deal with has been middle age paunch. I've maintained a regular gym routine since my mid-twenties. I get that it is superficial, but it is something I've always taken a lot of pride in. I've liked knowing that while I may not be the best looking guy in the room, I could take comfort in knowing that I was in noticeably good shape.

I've definitely found since hitting forty that the same diet and exercise routine I've been doing for years no longer has the same effect at fighting off weight gain. It's been weird having to adjust my thinking from, "What shirt will best show off my pecs and biceps" to "What shirt will make me look less pregnant".

Part of the problem is that how I look in my head has not quite caught up with how I actually look in the mirror so when I get a reminder it really stings. A couple weeks ago I ran into an old work colleague who I've known for the better part of twenty years at the airport. Joking around, he mentioned, "It looks like we've both put on a little bit of weight, huh?". This is a genuinely nice guy; I honestly don't think he meant anything hurtful by it (and he wasn't wrong on either end). But he had no idea he had just completely ruined my weekend.
posted by The Gooch at 11:13 AM on March 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Re: famous people my age - I look way better than Jeremy Clarkson or Sean Penn, but not as good as Colin Firth or Stanley Tucci. So...whatever that means...
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:22 AM on March 7, 2016


Adam Sandler? WTF

Helena Bonham Carter, I can live with that

Salma Hayek, Oh hell yeah

Halle Berry!!

Cindy Crawford?? whoa... lets stop right here folks
posted by infini at 11:26 AM on March 7, 2016


I love you all. I love this thread. Reading it in these last 17 days before I reach my 50th birthday is the most Metafilterish birthday present I could receive. An Ask couldn't have done better I think.

I'll be back with more relevant comments soon. Right now, I'm just smiling and hugging all of you very tightly.
posted by infini at 11:27 AM on March 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


In a weird way, I think I was lucky to get my first wrinkle (between my eyebrows) when I was just 19. For the longest time I thought it was just another scar (I have plenty of those, was always bashing my head open as a wee kid) until someone pointed out it was actually a frown line. I still felt like a baby and had no worries about aging, so it wasn't a big deal, but ever after all new wrinkles had a BTDT feel to them and were easy to just ignore.

I literally remember having to be taught that a woman was old and ugly.

This reminds me of when my eldest was 4, and we were once sitting at the IKEA restaurant, and suddenly I saw her eyes grow wide and she gasped: "Look Mum, what a truly beautiful person!"

So I turned around, expecting to see some kind of model walk in, but all I saw were just your average everyday people. And she whispered urgently: "Over there," and I realized she meant the older lady at a nearby table. She was at least sixty or seventy years old, grayish, wrinkled and bespectacled, had some hard lines on her face like someone who had taught German to teenagers for decades and was thoroughly fed up with it. She was wearing a luscious black fur coat, topped with a matching fur hat.

My daughter kept whispering about how stunning she found her. And how she would want to look just like her when she grew up, and to have the same kind of elegant coat and hat, and to sit just like her at the IKEA restaurant being all gorgeous and amazing.

Oh my little girl. She's a teenager now, and just the other day she informed me that she has a weird, elongated face (she doesn't) and stupid ugly hair (nope) and that she doesn't like her chin (which is perfect). So, the bastards got her, too. The memory of her innocence at 4 makes me a little wistful.
posted by sively at 11:32 AM on March 7, 2016 [36 favorites]


The Gooch, I am 35 and just starting to reclaim the body I had in my early twenties, which I didn't much appreciate at the time and am trying to "surpass" now through strength training.

Just found a way to manage weight gain consistently over the last several months and if it stops working in my forties, I will find it hard not to consider testosterone replacement therapy. So much of our aging process is tied to hormone levels...I believe strongly in the power of ZMA (zinc, magnesium, D-aspartic acid) as a natural testosterone "boosting" supplement as I notice marked increases in libido and androstenone smell (in my pits through exertion) since I added it to my daily routine.

Nothing gives my ego a boost more than going to the grocery store after a workout and picking up on attention from women and men of all ages. Seriously, random guys are nicer to me and greet me randomly in strange ways after a workout. I've learned that old sweat oxidizes and turns into an off-putting smell, so if I really want to pique my wife's interest I will shower and then do just snough exercise to break a sweat and get the pheromones flowing. Then watch TV at least 18" from wife and be cuddly. Hormones are a constant source of drama for men and women--I am 100% certain men have a 28 day cycle too, it just takes ages and research to realize what's going on. For women there's a corresponding drop in progesterone and testosterone that leads to an estrogen imbalance and the symptoms of menopause and periomenopause. The ultimate enemy for aging men and women's sex hormone levels? Alcohol
posted by aydeejones at 11:35 AM on March 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


I know I sound weird and aging will do that to ya. At 28 I was sure I hit a wall where I'd never drop weight meaningfully again. Now after dropping 70 lbs there's a new sort of terror at the prospect of fighting it off for the rest of my life. I am increasingly certain that a high fat and cholesterol (hormone precursor including HgH) and high protein diet and barbell training is of immense value to many women and men who feel the incoming decline of age, but I will chime in again after getting my cholesterol checked, LoL, and am decidedly a cave man of sorts so what works for me probably doesn't work for many.
posted by aydeejones at 11:40 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


who cares how I look? my feet are killing me.
posted by philip-random at 11:46 AM on March 7, 2016 [14 favorites]


I work at a university, and this gets pronounced every year. It used to be that when I was that age, people in my peer group felt like adults, and everyone above 30 felt old. Now, everyone feels young.

Do you also find that, among the larvae that show up every year, the ones that are hardest to tell apart are the white boys? Or is that just some part of my own personal brain dying early?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:48 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


The body is holding up OK, but I worry more about what middle age is doing to my soul. Whatever the spiritual equivalent of cellulite and chronic lower back pain are, I've got them.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:48 AM on March 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


Someone write this article from the point of view of a corpse

I’m Dead and I Look It — But Don’t Ask Me to Like It!

The ultimate enemy for aging men and women's sex hormone levels? Alcohol

Yabbut you can live without sex hormones.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:01 PM on March 7, 2016 [4 favorites]


Okay! I didn't like this article at all! Repeat after me: Age, weight, skin color, height, hair color are not in any way inherent indicators of beauty, or lack thereof. I hate how we make looks, especially women's looks, so intertwined with/dependent upon aging that people don't even realize anymore that it's not just a social construction - they think it's an objective fact. The result being that we have articles like this and people like my mom who believe in their heart of hearts that people somehow "lose their looks" or that beauty fades just by virtue of getting older.

So there are a few things here. The first is that women's worth and value is so heavily tied to how she looks, which includes age, race, weight, height and a bunch of other things. Ideally, we could get past that and really (as a society) judge people's worth on the kind of people they are. Since we don't really do that now, and I don't see it ever happening (at least in my lifetime), that brings me to the next thing - we absolutely do not need to have such narrow parameters of beauty that no one but a very small minority can fit into.

This is where we have people like my mom, who says - hey, when you get old you just lose your looks, that's the way it is and I accept that. Which is bullshit. Not that you might start to have thinner hair or put on a few pounds or whatever - but that these things are objectively unattractive, which is 100% socially constructed. Women over x age are just as gorgeous and cool as women under age x. Example 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. The same could be said for any other category that women might fall into that is associated with a lower level of attractiveness by society and I could give you a thousand example within any of these categories as well, because I've been seeking out "alternative" examples of more diverse beauty standards for decades now and this has changed my perception of beauty.

So, I hate, hate this cultural conditioning we have that says that we must lose attractiveness as we grow older and this article plays right into that. I mean, I totally sympathize - it's super hard for women to mentally and emotionally deal with this, because how we look has such huge real-world impacts on us and there's so much really low-level, almost subconscious messaging that we get fed over and over and over again. But I think we need to be really cognizant of it and do what we can to counteract it. Things have been getting better with regard to the media showcasing more diverse forms of beauty, but we have a long way to go when we still have 30-something women being turned down roles in Hollywood to play the wives of older men, because they're too fucking old. For men in their 40s and 50s. BUUUUULLLLLSHIT. The way to start to change this is through broad representation in the media of women who actually look like the rest of us. And I think we can do that by actively and enthusiastically affirming women who fall outside of our current narrow beauty standards.

And I do kind of think that while everyone should do this, it is something that women in particular (as the main targets/consumers of a lot of these things) need to push back on. Because for example, when advertisers use normal-looking women to model their stuff, they see sales drop off. So while women say they want better representation, they don't like it when they see it, so why would advertisers show it? They give us what we want and what will sell their stuff, and right now, a lot of women don't want that, whether they know it or not.

We can also do it by not negatively commenting on a woman's looks. Like, ever. Even women who get plastic surgery, or women who wear certain things past the age that we think is "appropriate" or comments like this from the article:

the best that even Marlo Thomas can achieve is a face that—forgive me, dear Marlo—looks pinched and pulled, like a taffy mask

Stop this. We have got to work on changing our own internal bias that favors younger/thinner/taller/whiter/whatever so that we can accept a greater variety of women to exist on the beauty spectrum. Because once we actually feel that way we'll then start responding enthusiastically when we see women like this represented in movies, ads and TV shows, and we'll start seeing more of them; and broad representation is the kind of thing that really changes cultural mindsets.

No more pretending to enjoy myself in a bikini on a boat.

Bikinis aren't something only young women can wear! I didn't start wearing a bikini until I got into my thirties and immediately regretted not having done it sooner. Now, you can hardly get me out of one in the summer. Helen Mirren and this 50+ year old swimsuit model would probably agree!
posted by triggerfinger at 12:14 PM on March 7, 2016 [17 favorites]


I looked "younger than my age" for most of my adult life and it was mostly annoying... carded at 27? Ugh. I started catching up with my age when my health started to decline, then my partially-successful weight loss (still 60 pounds to go) has made my goofy double chin turn into wrinkles (not to mention other areas of sagging skin) and my worst nightmare is now coming true... I look in the mirror and notice how I am starting to look like my father. AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHH.

Of all the topics to 'face' on a Monday, this is the worst.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:23 PM on March 7, 2016


BUUUUULLLLLSHIT.

Amen to that, too.
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:24 PM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


What is it about society, or Life in general, or something, that squeezes all the juice and verve out of so many of us in the over-40 crowd?

I don't know about everyone else but once I crossed over that 40s barrier the best in thing in life was realizing that my juice and verve is for me to use how I want and not for wasting on entertaining others. There is a deep quiet joy in my life that I would not trade for being young again.
posted by srboisvert at 12:55 PM on March 7, 2016 [18 favorites]


I do not know how I look to others, but I do know that my son pointed out to me that I am probably closer to death than to college now that I am in my mid 50s.
posted by AugustWest at 12:58 PM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


once I crossed over that 40s barrier the best in thing in life was realizing that my juice and verve is for me to use how I want and not for wasting on entertaining others.

Obligatory Wanda Sykes routine on how women over 40 just don't give a fuck.
posted by sobell at 1:08 PM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Time is such a subjective thing. I went to an exhibit called "1968" last year, and realized that although the year feels like yesterday to me, it was actually almost 50 years ago. And in 1968 it was just 50 years after the end of WWI.

Other people my age? Grace Jones, Vladimir Putin, and Pee-Wee Herman. 63.
posted by kozad at 1:17 PM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


triggerfinger: "Stop this. We have got to work on changing our own internal bias that favors younger/thinner/taller/whiter/whatever so that we can accept a greater variety of women to exist on the beauty spectrum."

Do you know what I don't need? I don't need YET ANOTHER PERSON telling me how I should feel about my body. I get that you mean well, but you don't really sound much different than the scolds in glossy magazines telling me to lose my mummy tummy. NO! you say. LOVE YOUR MUMMY TUMMY! YOU'RE STILL BEAUTIFUL!

How about I'm allowed to have my own complicated relationship with my own body? My feelings about which have less to do with cultural beauty standards and more to do with the poignancy of aging when you have children and you know that every day you get older is a day less with your kids; and looking at your saggy boobs in the mirror reminds you of two rounds of pregnancy and breastfeeding and the havoc that wreaks on your body and your ambivalence about the wonderfulness and awfulness of the whole experience, and the sweetness of the scent of a tiny baby head and the soul-scorching post-partum depression that came with it.

I know that middle-aged women are everyone's favorite cultural group to scold because whatever we're doing we're doing it wrong. I'm not pretty enough for mainstream Hollywood culture, and I'm not comfortable enough with my body's aging for you. I get it, triggerfinger; you, just as much as Hollywood, want to tell me that my relationship with my body is wrong. My body is a map of MY life, not yours, not Hollywood's, not anyone else's. And I will feel about it however I want to, thank you very much. And my relationship with this body that brought life into the world twice and now is inexorably carrying me towards leaving it is FUCKING COMPLICATED and seeing my stretchmarks is a reminder of that and I'm not going to let you take the complexity of my relationship with my body away because it makes you uncomfortable that I'm not super-delighted by everything about it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:20 PM on March 7, 2016 [53 favorites]


From the outside it seems like there is this relentless pressure to forge solidarity between All Women Everywhere which results in the Mummy Tummy Paradox.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:38 PM on March 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


ugh, please

*cheers Eyebrows*


There's an irony in chasing youth in a society where the demographics clearly point towards an increasing bulge in the older segments of population.

It really can feel different in different continents and cultures, is all I'm saying. The sad part is that MSM is exporting it. Its a crafted thing, an artificial construct.
posted by infini at 1:43 PM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've written and erased a few comments on this because I don't know how to frame it without it sounding like an idiot.

One of the first things I noticed when I first moved to Finland back when I was 43 was that suddenly I was visible again. Somewhere along the line, probably around age 36-38 I'd become invisible in the US - in the media, in social circles, on the street. It was the media first.
posted by infini at 1:55 PM on March 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


There's an irony in chasing youth in a society where the demographics clearly point towards an increasing bulge in the older segments of population.

There's money in chasing youth in a society where the demographics clearly point toward an aging population.

So long as the idea of youth as beauty is promoted to everyone, you can condition consumers when they're too young/broke to buy, and then ... tick tick tick tick tick -- FORTY! The (typically) much-more-solvent consumer's conditioning kicks in and she or he is primed to buy.
posted by sobell at 1:58 PM on March 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


That it! Thank you for framing it so well, sobell.
posted by infini at 2:02 PM on March 7, 2016


1. don't trust anyone over 80
2. beauty is only an outer thing
3. if you can still get laid from time to time you are still in the game
4. photoshop your selfies
5. when you begin to read the obits first in your local paper you are a goner
6. everyone looks older than you remember them as being. Except you
7. when someone tells you you have not changed after many years they are lying
8. if you look in the mirror and don't like what you see, then stop looking in mirrors.
9. your shoes got old and worn. so too your shirts, socks, coats. So why not you?
10. if you think AARP is new disease from mosquitoes in Africa you are still young in mind in not in body.
posted by Postroad at 2:09 PM on March 7, 2016


Yeah, I find myself conflicted about my menopausal aging. On one hand, I rather enjoy having aged out of the male gaze when it comes to being harassed in public, but I had my son when I was almost 40, so I'm old enough to be the parent of the parents of his friends, which makes for some awkwardness in some social encounters.

I'm letting my grey grow in, because I have waist length hair, and I don't have 5 hours to get my hair colored, because I just don't really care if my tresses are dark. I kinda like the silver twinkle in my braids. But do I look at old pictures sometimes, and wish I had known how beautiful I was as a youth, instead of always worrying about meeting absurd beauty standards. I admit, I still hide from cameras, there's probably less than 20 pictures of me in the last 15 years, but ya know what, this round Mediterranean cook isn't getting any younger. Damn the shutters, full speed ahead.

Also, I love that we're all growing old together. I've been a part of mefi for like 16 years now...I've know some of y'all longer than I've known my kid. (16 years includes the pre gamergate username which had to be abandoned until they forget about me.) I love that so many of us have grown up here, raised each other into good people, become parents and grandparents, and world travellers, and universe creators. We've changed culture, both ours and the world's. We've raised consciousness, and funds, and spirits .

My point is, I'm getting older, but because of all of you, I've grown wiser and more compassionate towards others and myself. I'm not going to age like Sophia Loren, but at least I'm not likely to be as daft and cranky as I might have been without mefi.

Crone island forever!
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:10 PM on March 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


it's just about how men and women equally and naturally are only attracted to those under 30. If we're going that route, then I'm happy to say that it's only "natural" and universal in certain social circles.

I find it interesting how expectations of attractiveness can be defined by social constructions. In my profession, there's distinction that comes with gray hair and age that you don't get when you are in your twenties, and perhaps barely in your thirties, and it's often attractive to a particular subset of people. I had a friend whose dad was a professional Santa Claus. This is really a thing, and there's a lot of pride for those who are in the guild. For them, attractive is gray/white hair and being a bit overweight. I think who we care about and the values they project has a lot to do with the impressions we have of our own attractiveness. Unfortunately for my daughters, our culture as a whole, with many of its misguided values about self-worth, is the primary "guild" in which they find themselves. I know I said this already, but it bugs me to no end that the pressure is as pervasive as it is to identify worth based primarily on appearance, and it's hard as hell to create new values that promote healthy notions of self-identity in smaller subcircles called "family" when distorted values in society keep chirping in an unrelenting fashion.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:11 PM on March 7, 2016


I'm not going to let you take the complexity of my relationship with my body away because it makes you uncomfortable that I'm not super-delighted by everything about it.

I'm not sure how we're in disagreement? I'm not uncomfortable if you're not super-delighted with your body. I'm uncomfortable that society doesn't allow for a broader range of women in what is deemed to be okay. I may have framed it wrong, but I was talking about how we, as in society, view and judge other women. Each woman's relationship with her own body is her own business which (in my mind anyway) is a separate and distinct issue from what I was trying to say, which is we need to allow more room for all women to exist as they are (from a beauty standard perspective) and not write them off or discredit them based on their age, weight, race or whatever.

Women can feel however they want about their bodies, and I get that it's very personal and complex for everyone. I have been battling my own fucked-up self-image since I was seven years old and it's led me to some dark places. And it's also changed for me, over time, in complicated ways and not all for the better. What I'm saying is that society tells us that higher age = lower physical attractiveness as an objective reality, and it follows that, by societal standards, women who are less attractive have less value in almost every way. I obviously strongly disagree with this and, from a purely superficial standpoint, I also don't think it's an objective reality, that we're just confining ourselves to narrow parameters that don't allow for much else. This does not mean that I think all women should feel delighted with their bodies, that's the last thing I would say because I understand that each woman's own feelings are complicated. It means I would like for a wider range of standards to be considered when we're talking about what is acceptable (for lack of a better word) for women. And I was also addressing superficial beauty standards only, which of course is only a very small slice of the whole picture. I don't know, I'm not seeing how we're in opposition here, as it seems like two different things in my mind, but I guess I'm not articulating it as well as I could, so I apologize.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:12 PM on March 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


The cult of crap. If you are over 30? 40? 45? 50? that's it you cannot possibly be an attractive person. Hooey.
I'm 65 and my girl was 58 at the weekend and she is so cute she makes me go weak at the knees.
Fuck the mirror. Get someone to look into your eyes and all the beauty that lies within will brim to the surface. What a shallow fucking society we live in.
posted by adamvasco at 4:07 PM on March 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


I've always looked older than my age. I ordered a Tia Maria and milk at the pub at 14 and no-one raised an eyebrow. I played Amanda Wingfield in 'The Glass Menagerie' when I was 28 and I asked the director whether I should put some grey in my hair and put some aging makeup on and he said 'oh, I wouldn't worry about that'.

I've never been conventionally attractive and that caused me some angst when I was younger but now I'm very much 'meh' about the whole thing. I've got one spectacular wrinkle forming on my forehead which is a large diagonal line, most likely caused by my having a huge mole removed from my eyebrow when I was about 30 and which I got sick of colouring in with eyebrow pencil. That combined with a deep vertical wrinkle between my eyes caused by having been severely short-sighted since about the age of 7 and some amazing muscles around it has made me decide that I'm just going to go with the whole 'I'm actually a Klingon' thing if anyone ever dares mention how old I look (I'm 48 btw, 49 in June).

The only thing about looking older that really bugged me was when my children were younger (I had them at 34 and 37) and people would compliment me on my grandchildren. I hated that. Really, really, really hated that.

I don't like the grey in my hair because my hair is naturally red and curly and the grey hairs are coarse and straight and I look like I've got cobwebs in my hair. I'm at the stage where I dye it (home box-dye job) every now and then but I'm pretty much at the point where, like shaving my legs, I mostly just can't be bothered anymore.

The grey in my eyebrows really gets me down, though. That's pretty much the only thing I'm really hating about aging.

Today, in the car on the way to school, my 10 year old asked whether I would take a potion that made me invisible and I said 'ha ha I already am' which he raised an eyebrow at. He thinks I'm a star, which I'm hoping will last for at least another couple of years.

So, in summary, I've always looked old even when I was young which allowed me to play some great character roles at an earlier age (which I probably didn't do justice to because I didn't have the life experience to pull off playing 60 something at 30 something (yes, I'm talking about you, Eleanor of Aquitaine), I always wished I was as beautiful as my mum but I never was even though she said I was, and I hate it when people tell me I look good in photos where I look like a troll. And I'm mostly invisible except to my children who think I'm a star. And I'm a Klingon. I'm okay and not okay with all of that.
posted by h00py at 4:42 PM on March 7, 2016 [8 favorites]


Oh man, you know the thing I hate the most about menopause? The beard. What the hell is that all about? And no, body, having grey chin hair does not make it less visible. Good Lord, I feel like I need to join the freak show some days... H00py, I feel your pain with the grandmother comments. That's just such a sinking feeling, and I can't really define why.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:08 PM on March 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I had a lot of trouble with aging through my 40s. I did think of myself as a pretty girl, I got used to that particular knapsack of privilege and when I lost it I was sad. 10 years of angst over the last of my pretty years, my last chance to catch a man, nobody notices me anymore, I'm not having more kids, what am I good for, put me on the ice floe, my world is ending. And then on top of that I gave myself a lot of grief for being so vain, so shallow ...
I've done the gay version of the same arc, though with the twist that I blossomed late - I was gangly and socially awkward until my late 20s, and then finally fleshed out. And I can vouch that being with the hot crowd is indeed a particular (and strange) knapsack full of privilege - and that ageing out of it is rough. And it's not even the ageing of my body so much as watching myself slowly become invisible again.
posted by kanewai at 5:12 PM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]



Someone write this article from the point of view of a corpse


"A couple of years ago, my cryptkeeper took my photograph just outside the mausoleum , and the pictures showed a couple of scarabs running down and out along either side of my nose cavity. “The light’s bad out here,” I said, so we moved to the fresh graves. She snapped more pictures. The scarabs were still there. I rotated 90 degrees and lost several rib bones. Still there. I think you know where this is going."
posted by thivaia at 5:45 PM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


(Thanks to this thread, I just found out that I am the same age as both Rashida Jones, Cillian Murphy and Benedict Cumberbatch. HAPPY FORTIETH BIRTHDAY, FELLOW HOT PEOPLE).
posted by thivaia at 5:53 PM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't mind my 50 [60+] year old face but I do get a start when I see a picture of myself from my twenties...

With me it's the other way around. Ever so often I pass by the mirror and just expect to look like I'm in my 30s. Who is that older person? That can't be me, I haven't lived long enough to do half what I want to do yet!

Mentioning going grey all over? That I expected. One of the biggest shocks was realizing I'd never have to do a bikini wax in the future--Not that I'd ever done one or had wanted to do so. Even the leg hair has gotten thinner. So far, no problems with my head, but I suppose there could be a possibility of more hats in my future.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:59 PM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of over the valorization of "complicated relationships with our bodies." If you have one, great. That's your deal. I'm getting older and paunchier and a little bit crepe-ier every day and I'm not going to act like hating my body isn't going to affect how I treat and talk to my nieces and daughter. I'm completely fucking over listening to anyone, including women, reinforcing shitty female beauty standards. It's crap.

Yeah, I have stretch marks on my boobs. I have a tummy and wear trapeze tops so I don't have to think about it. I have a newfound appreciation for flat shoes and sweatpants. Do I miss feeling young and thin and hot without a care in the world? Sure, but I don't miss the crippling insecurity, or the shitty things I did for validation back then, or the terror I had that I might get fat or lose my looks.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:45 PM on March 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


[One comment deleted. This needs to not get personal from any side. People have strong feelings on this stuff, that's fine, let's step back and give each other a little space.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:01 PM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Do you know what I don't need? I don't need YET ANOTHER PERSON telling me how I should feel about my body. I get that you mean well, but you don't really sound much different than the scolds in glossy magazines telling me to lose my mummy tummy. NO! you say. LOVE YOUR MUMMY TUMMY! YOU'RE STILL BEAUTIFUL!

You do realize triggerfinger was talking about criticizing women for their looks/plastic surgery/etc., right?

I'm not sure that criticizing women for feeling good about their bodies (and disliking looks policing, whether it's fat-shaming or plastic-surgery spotting) is really justified, regardless of how you feel about your own.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:31 PM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey, that IMDb thing is fun. I got Uma Thurman, Rachel Weisz, Matt Damon, Charisma Carpenter, Izabella Scorupco, and... Sarah Silverman? Well you can't have everything. Also, I got Melissa McCarthy! And Minnie Driver!
posted by tel3path at 3:37 AM on March 8, 2016


It's so hard. We were all born innocent, and were indoctrinated with not only standards of beauty but also the idea that as women, they are central to our worth as people. And we internalize that objectification, and objectifying ourselves becomes a second nature. There are entire industries built around it, keeping it alive and salient in our daily existence.

So, if you look at the whole culture of pervasive objectifying and judging, and then turn around and tell individual women it's their duty to not be affected by that, it feels really unfair. Kind of like telling victims of oppression or abuse that it's their job to either ignore or change that.

But that objectification is perpetrated and propagated on an individual level too, internally and interpersonally, by us. We do it to ourselves and to other women, and if there are kids around, that's what they'll absorb. So while I can't solve the entire problem on an individual level, I can look at how I'm contributing to it and if there's something I could do differently.

I would never admonish another woman for feeling like shit about her looks, because I've been there, and it's really not our fault. But at the same time, I do feel like self-acceptance is a revolutionary act. It's rebellion against a shallow and shitty culture, and I want to be part of that, and to encourage that in anyone who can participate.

Not that it's an on-off switch for most of us. At least I had to work hard to get there.
posted by sively at 3:38 AM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


My stepdaughter is getting married this summer, and it's giving me a whole new set of (I think mostly healthy) (I hope?) perspectives on this... Having to choose a dress to walk down the aisle with so many extra rules attached - everyone will be looking at me, but of course no one will be looking at me, wanting to look my best but not wanting to look so much my best that it looks like I'm trying to pull attention away from the bride, wanting to look my best but not wanting to wear anything that might compete in any way with what her mom is wearing (we're friendly enough that we've had some conversations about coordinating, so it's not an issue, but there may be people from the groom's side of the family out looking for gossip and I don't want any of my choices to feed that...). Do I want to get my makeup done for this? What about my hair? How much putting-myself-second do I want to do when I'll have those photographs forever?

It's like being simultaneously invisible and highly visible, with a gigantic YOU DON'T MATTER overlay on it, which is fantastic from an "I don't give a fuck about my body aging" perspective, but also contains a non-insignificant amount of YOU ARE IRRELEVANT AS A WOMAN HERE, NOT TO MENTION ONE STEP CLOSER TO THE GRAVE which makes all the overt signs of aging that much more painful to me.

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to look pretty. And young skin is more elastic - there aren't all that many ancient statues of gods or goddesses who are aging that I'm aware of - it's not just our current culture. But I do think that having more people using the word beautiful to describe beautiful people who are outside the perfectly-photoshopped mold is really important, and I see that happening more and more.

Anyway, as Bette Davis said, "Old age ain't no place for sissies." And I know I'm not ready yet.
posted by Mchelly at 3:51 AM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


And I am angry about menopause approaching - I have secondary infertility, we have tried every intervention we could afford (and a few we probably couldn't) and I am not ready for that final NO, there will be no more children for you. But do I want to be the stepmother who walks down the aisle pregnant? Hell no. But I may only have a handful of months left to try, so ouch. Aging sucks. It sucks. All the Crone Islands in the world won't fix that for me.
posted by Mchelly at 3:59 AM on March 8, 2016


I don't know, I can't help but feel that some of the comments that have turned this into yet another rant about the beauty industry, while well intentioned, have missed the point of the article. This isn't an article about "I cannot keep up with the impossible beauty standards of our society!". It is a much more personal essay about "I have access to photographs when I was younger, and access to a mirror today, and eyes to notice the difference between the two, and it makes me kind of wistful".
posted by The Gooch at 6:54 AM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


This isn't an article about "I cannot keep up with the impossible beauty standards of our society!". It is a much more personal essay about "I have access to photographs when I was younger, and access to a mirror today, and eyes to notice the difference between the two, and it makes me kind of wistful".

I think that's a good point, but at the same time when I see pictures myself as a 10 year old, and looking way happier than I was in, say, my 20's I don't feel the same wistfulness that I do when I compare my current looks to where I was then. I don't know if we can fully dissociate ourselves from this culture that values youth and defines beauty as being young-looking. But we can work to help change how we see aging as beautiful, and I think (or at least I hope) that someday that can make a difference.

She mentions losing the magical power to turn heads, and that is something that a changing standard would fix - if people are allowed or even encouraged to visibly admire older / heavier / nonsymmetrical people, it will happen more (not that I'm encouraging more overt ogling, thanks). Feeling invisible isn't about beauty standards, it's about cultural value and worth. It's how you get passed over for promotions and ignored at meetings. I don't know how we can ever achieve real equality if we also buy into the whole "men are good looking into their 70s but women aren't" mythos. No one wants to lose their vitality. So I see wistful and circumspect, sure. But I also think anger at what gets us there isn't such a derail.
posted by Mchelly at 7:58 AM on March 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Yeah, this piece was personal, and I get that, but it's not like the details of what she discusses are completely separable from artificial and awful standards of female value. Nearly everyone gets sad about aging, but for women it is just different.

It's one thing to say "I'll never be Kim Kardashian" as a rejection of female beauty standards, but the invisibility of middle-aged women isn't even about beauty standards, really, it's about female value. The details of the beauty standards are irrelevant; the point is that we just fall off the face of the earth once we're not deemed sexual anymore.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:58 AM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


she says "but I don’t like food all that much"..really? Clearly that's the problem...
posted by judson at 9:56 AM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


This thread is incredible and I wish there were more of it.

When I was 12, I got my first pimple. I freaked, and rightly so, because it blew up into full-blown adult acne with boils and such that I still have. I gave up and said "no one will ever love me". Turned out not to be the case. I actually managed to bluff my way into a few (conventionally attractive even! (because that was very important to me then)) girlfriends. Then when I was 18, I started noticing the thinning hair. I said, "Hey, I pulled it off with zits, fuck it." I shaved my head and still do. I've gone through my entire adult life without hair and with a crater face.

Two years ago I was in a full-page spread in FHM for work (and I'm a measly translator!). I get called routinely to go on TV and audition for movies (I've even been in a few!). My ex was a model, and I'm maybe almost dating another one. My actual physical advantages are that I'm slightly above average height (6ft even), and that I've maintained my weight since high school (I'm not cut, but no manboobs or stick arms). Proximity to media and film puts me right in the path of some of the most attractive and most appearance-obsessed people on this planet.

I'm 32. My age cohort is freaking out while I feel like a god among men. It doesn't matter what you look like. It never mattered for me. I was playing with a bad hand from the beginning, and I made it into the hot people club anyway, and getting here, I realize it was never about turning heads. It's about being funny, having good stories from a life well-lived, and most importantly, putting in the effort to show romantic partners you care more than anyone else. When I "lose" to competitors in the dating pool, I am usually told why, and most of the time, I hear the reasons and think, "Yeah, that guy tried way harder than me. Fair, and best of luck to you both." "He's more my type" comes in dead last. And I'm way more attracted to people who have interesting things to say than I am to a pretty face.

I don't earn a living from my face, but that's because I haven't done the promotional work or made performance my career focus. But one of my best friends, a 60+ Australian with horrible teeth, is having a brilliant post-retirement career playing villains on TV. He does it with sheer gravitas and pavement-pounding. Dude's dating a boy 40 years his junior too.

Go on time, ravage my face, ravage my body. I dare you. See if you can stop me. I was born old.
posted by saysthis at 9:24 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


It doesn't matter what you *men* look like.

FTFY.

And I'm way more attracted to people who have interesting things to say than I am to a pretty face.

And yet:

My ex was a model, and I'm maybe almost dating another one.

Wrong thread, saysthis.
posted by headnsouth at 6:19 AM on March 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


So today I got a letter from the state (the govt/healthcare/thesystem whoever tracks this stuff) with my official y'all old come for your pap smear two days before your birthday invite.

I discovered it made me feel good - I belonged, they cared, they noticed.
posted by infini at 9:05 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


« Older how many hot dogs should i eat within a given week   |   Fan made beats Phantom Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments