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To want to be able to grow older without being made to feel shit

(89 Posts)
QueenofWishfulThinking Tue 22-Nov-16 08:35:30

I'm 53. Everyone on MN claims to look at least 5 years younger than they are but I have no idea what age I look. I have crows feet and other lines; not because I've smoked or sunbathed but that's just how my face has aged. I get my grey hair highlighted, dress in a way that I hope makes me look good then just go about my everyday life quite happily


The media tell me that being in your 50s is a huge turning point for a woman - not a man! - and that I should be trying to look younger. Threads on MN tell me (and other woman who had children in our 40s) that we'll be an embarrassment or a burden to our children.

MNHQ classes us as Gransnetters - my DD is 12! Anyone else fed up about being made to feel shit about getting older?

ginorwine Tue 22-Nov-16 08:43:39

Yes I agteee !
I felt I had to disappear . It took me a year or so to regain the confidence to dye my hair the colour I want it ( will go grey if it's a fab grey but as yet there is too much mouse not enough white ) and wear what I like . I have been treated as if I'm odd and felt a pressure to look more elegant and grown up . I do tire of now being seen as quirky now I'm older rather than just who I have always been .
My dc are 19 and 18 and I do wish I'd had them a bit younger . My dd worries about her children not being able to see me if she has children later in life and actually gets quite upset .

ginorwine Tue 22-Nov-16 08:46:05

I had my dc at 34 and 35
The village I come from originally folk have babies in 20 s and are often grandparents in their 4o s - that's why I feel different at times. It's a traditional village - where I live now it's different . My neighbour is 60 and her son 20 .

Truckingalong Tue 22-Nov-16 08:47:22

Whichever way you look at it, ageing is shit and has nothing going for it.

QueenofWishfulThinking Tue 22-Nov-16 08:49:56

I do tire of now being seen as quirky now I'm older rather than just who I have always been


You don't go to bed aged 49 and wake up a different person just because you turned 50, do you? I'm still the same rather wonderful QueenofWT that I've always been - in fact I'm better as I suffered frequent bouts of depression when I was younger.

Thefitfatty Tue 22-Nov-16 08:53:01

Younger, thinner, fitter, more stylish. The list of what women should be is pretty endless. And you'll definitely find people to push that idea here.

Whatnot65 Tue 22-Nov-16 08:53:20

Ageing is not shit, it has a lot going for it, not least not caring as much what people think.
I'm in my 50's, dye my hair as I have done since I was 30, mainly dress in jeans and hoodies and have far more fun than I did in my 20s/30s.
Yes there are aches and pains to contend with but they are balanced by a growing confidence in my own opinions and an increased level of tolerance for the world in general.
At work I find more people come to ask my advice, and actually listen and act on it. For me ageing is 75% positive.

ohdearme1958 Tue 22-Nov-16 08:53:32

Im 58 and the opinion and action of others will only bother you if you allow it to.

Ignore Ignore Ignore smile

Gatekeeper Tue 22-Nov-16 08:55:06

snap Queen...I'm 53 and my ds is 12. I look every year of my age but what the hell- it's better than the alternative of not being alive at all !

I agree though that women come in for some increasingly unpleasant bile regarding their temerity to become old and therefore less attractive to men which for some seems to be our sole purpose (apart from cleaning up after them). I loathe the fact that wisdom and ageing is totally dismissed and that women have to be seen as 'babes' with unlined skin and pert tits

I have crossed over to the 'old bag' stage it appears judging by comments I got from some teenage girls the other day . Battleaxe, old bag, etc etc

Arseholes to that

ElleLondon Tue 22-Nov-16 08:56:37

I agree OP. I am 52 and have primary age DC. I look and feel better now than I did 20 years ago. Yes I'm a bit stiff in the joints sometimes but I can still keep upsmile I don't want funeral insurance or a stairlift yet. I think society has yet to notice that most women in their 50s are full functional human beings with jobs and busy lives.

QueenofWishfulThinking Tue 22-Nov-16 09:05:17

Thanks for all replies.

My mother died in her mid 40s so I'm not under any illusions but for now I'd like to enjoy my job (which I'm likely to be doing until I'm 67), my DD, renovating our house, watching Netflix, planning trips without the media (including MNHQ) making me feel that I should feel invisible. I don't!

Camomila Tue 22-Nov-16 09:07:14

My DM is a bit like this, she's 60 but a very 'cool' 60...when we go to yoga together she's bendier than I am! She's let her hair go salt and pepper but always has funky coloured nails and more funky outfit than I do.

Err not much point to that post other than to say I hope I'm similar at her age <waves to DM as I know she lurks on mumsnet>

Shiningexample Tue 22-Nov-16 09:11:19

I think men are just as bothered as women are by the loss of youth
Comes to us all
Those teenagers will also get old

Squeegle Tue 22-Nov-16 09:12:08

It's not so bad! I'm 50, and I do have stiff ankles and a plump waist! But I am calmer and more confident. It is something that happens to all of us and the arrogance of young people has always been despised by the older ones! The circle of life I suppose.

QueenofWishfulThinking Tue 22-Nov-16 09:15:00

<waves at Camomila's DM>

One thing that interests me is how every single female celebrity is asked if they've had cosmetic surgery or if they'd consider it. I think it's a bloody rude question - they never ask famous men! "Tell me, George Clooney, have you thought about getting your crows feet attended to? Same question to David Beckham and Hugh Jackman!"

Fairenuff Tue 22-Nov-16 09:29:18

Men definitely feel it. That's what the mid-life crisis is all about.

And plenty of men are asked about and even ridiculed for their plastic surgery, or in Trump's case, wigs.

I haven't seen posters on here telling people they are an embarrassment to their children though. Where have you seen that?

There are some aspects of being older that I like. I genuinely don't care what other people think about the way I look. I like staying in more than I like going out most days too grin

I think physical health is more important. I'm not as agile as I was and I miss things like jumping off walls, etc.

Personally I don't feel the kind of pressure you're talking about OP so maybe it's different for different people?

Floisme Tue 22-Nov-16 09:31:23

Tell me about it - I'm a 60 year-old who hangs out on Style and Beauty where 'old lady' and 'granny' are shorthand for 'ugly'.
I regularly think 'that's it, time to walk away' but keep going back cos some posters are lovely and because I like chatting about clothes .

ppeatfruit Tue 22-Nov-16 09:31:26

It doesn't need asking though does it? Everyone can SEE the bloody botox and or plastic surgery in Celebs. which makes it more difficult for those of us who want to grow old naturally. I am 65 and due to following a particular way of eating have no aches and pains. I 'm not ignored either.

Ladymoth Tue 22-Nov-16 09:33:17

I'm 47 and I agree with some OPPs, the way forward with this is not to give a flying crap. I have role models for my ageing process - Vivienne Westwood, Iris Apfel, Judi Dench and others who don't care that they look their age, but maintain a creative, colourful attitude, wear what they want, stay engaged with the world, work and their interests. There's a woman in my fitness class who's a great-grandma – but she's so vibrant, loves her clothes, has great moves, she's witty and smart - she is incredibly attractive and magnetic, and it's nothing to do with wrinkles.

I've recently ended my relationship because I didn't want to spend the next 40 years being dragged down and stressed. I see this as a time to grow and do interesting stuff. Whether I have a few lines really isn't the most important thing. And yes all of us can see wrinkles in the mirror and think "oh no" - I don't like my nose-to-mouth lines for example because I feel like I can see my mum in the mirror (not a good thing) - but I try to make myself snap out of it.

I know what you mean about the media OP and no one should be using 50 as some kind of cut-off point, especially not for gransnet (my kids are in primary). But I think it's possible to over-state the media's obsession with age. Actually, there are plenty of actors, singers, people in the public eye who do transcend what they are "supposed" to look like and no one holds it against them at all.

Be proud OP, and we wont be invisible if we all remember to acknowledge and admire each other.

Shiningexample Tue 22-Nov-16 09:34:45

I don't feel under any pressure, of course I'm aware that men pay attention to young attractive women, it was flattering but now I dont really have any use for men so why would I care?

humblesims Tue 22-Nov-16 09:38:13

I read an article recently by Karen Franklin (not sure of spelling that - fashion journo) about how women in their menopause years are made to feel bad by younger women and men for 'letting themselves go' as if that was a derogatory term. She points out that there is much to recommend 'letting yourself go'. I am fifty now and there are many things I am letting go, including listening to the opinions of others as to how I should look or be. Embrace your age and dont try and deny it. Youth is not all its cracked up to be in my opinion.

MrsJayy Tue 22-Nov-16 09:40:23

Before I agree with you mumsnet doesn't regard you as grans net fodder there just so happens to be grans your age using grans net. Ageing is regarded as ugly and something to hide I'm not talking about dying hair or whatever but actually getting older we as women are expected to.act younger look stunning and if we don't we are invisible it's quite sad really

ppeatfruit Tue 22-Nov-16 09:40:53

Ladymoth The media seem to have finally come to terms with the fact that we don't all keel over after 50 ! I love that Mary Berry and Anne Robinson are still being used (even if AR is a little 'helped').

ShowMePotatoSalad Tue 22-Nov-16 09:41:48

Botox and fillers seem to make people look even older IMO.

There is nothing wrong with having grey hair and crows feet. TBH I'm not yet 30 and I get greys and I've definitely got crows feet. I've had laughter lines and forehead wrinkles since my late teens.

I wouldn't have fillers or botox...I may not be a supermodel but I'm not one so why would I need to look like one?

I think in recent years men are also being told they need to look younger. There are a lot of adverts directed at men for anti-aging, hair dyes to get rid of greys etc.

MrsJayy Tue 22-Nov-16 09:45:04

One of the phrases that gives me frothy rage is "she looks fab for her age" usually said about Helen Mirren whay does that even mean?

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