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To hate getting older

231 replies

Unrulyheat · 21/06/2017 08:48

I am 36 later this year.

I don't want to turn 40.

I know, it's ridiculous. But (this is really vain) I used to be quite pretty. Not model-like and stunning but just passably pretty.

I wonder if a lot of pretty, rather than beautiful, girls grow into women like me where the prettiness turns into frumpiness.

I don't want to feel like this. My mum valued appearance over anything else and I don't want to pass that to my girls - but I do feel sadness that I no longer look nice.

OP posts:
Unrulyheat · 21/06/2017 10:52

I hate seeing myself in shop windows too!

OP posts:
TheSparrowhawk · 21/06/2017 10:53

You're in the process of learning a very important life lesson - that life is short, very short and nothing lasts forever. You can take that lesson and be angry about things you can't control and waste the time you have left or you can accept it and change the things you can control so that the rest of your time is even better than what you've already had.

grannytomine · 21/06/2017 10:54

terry that isn't a good impression of the 50s. I'm in my 60s and yes my hair is changing (I have the curse of the red head and my hair is getting darker, don't know what happens but the red is going and it doesn't suit my skin tone at all. I've never had my hair professionally coloured but thinking I might.) A young relative complimented me on my skin the other day and I think I am lucky as my mum never got sagging wrinkly skin and I seem to be going the same way. I can certainly sit for more than 10 minutes before getting stuck, don't have a beard. Did have a bit of dry fanjo trouble after a hysterectomy but that has sorted itself out. Oh the joy of no more periods, no PMT and a good enough pension to enjoy life. I do find the being invisible thing a bit strange, no one even seems to notice if I buy new clothes anymore which was why it was so nice to be told how wonderful my skin is.

The thing I hate most is having to wear glasses.

Turquoisesea · 21/06/2017 10:55

I actually really like being 47. This year is the first time in years I have worn a dress in this nice weather. I would have always covered my legs up before, not because they are hideous, just because they aren't toned and a bit pale. This year I've slapped on some fake tan & thought stuff it & do you know what it feels great. I actually don't care what people think now, Im a lot more comfortable in my own skin & Ive never been a head turner so maybe that's why I don't mind aging as much.

I don't think I'm frumpy, I try to eat healthy (most of the time) get my hair coloured and cut fairly regularly & don't think I look too bad for my age. I was far more insecure in my 30s & looking back at old photos now I don't know why.

I don't think I have ever been more comfortable with myself, not because I'm doing anything different except really not caring too much what other people think. I think I'm good fun to be with, still haven't lost that spark that I had when I was younger & I actually like myself which I think brings with it an inner confidence.

Unrulyheat · 21/06/2017 10:55

I can sympathise with that Niki, my marriage is unhappy, I wish I had known what someone loving me feels like.

OP posts:
coldflange · 21/06/2017 10:56

Freeniki . I met my lovely DH when I was 38.

Don't write yourself off just yet!!

Thornyrose7 · 21/06/2017 10:57

What hilbo said. When the insecurity hits about looks and ageing, it does you good to read some women's literature, feminist books. I got over a lot of things including a bad relationship with food by reading Susie Orbach.

PovertyPain · 21/06/2017 11:00

When I was in my 20s I felt under pressure to look attractive (fucking ingrained teachings). In my 30s I didn't know how I was supposed to dress or look and in my late 30s early 40s some of my boys' friends would blush if I spoke to them or get stupid crushes on me. 🙄 I've never been a particularly pretty female, and from my 30s rarely bothered with makeup, so haven't a baldy why this happened. I'm 48 now and although I now look my age and of course, I sometimes would like to look younger, there's a lot to be said for it. I don't get the creepy comments from men or leered at in the street. I also have the confidence to put people firmly in their place if they suggest that I should get my hair cut, buy 'nice' clothes, or any other comment regarding my appearance. I 'know myself' now. I lost my dear husband to cancer when he was 54, so there are a lot worse things than getter older.

PovertyPain · 21/06/2017 11:03

I forgot to add, my boys' friends now view me as an auntie and often visit and ask for advice. I love being an 'auntie' to so many and watching them develope into adults, get jobs, families, etc.

JaneJeffer · 21/06/2017 11:11

My role model.

To hate getting older
Blueflowers2011 · 21/06/2017 11:17

those saying 40 is nothing etc are right but to the individual it's a big thing. Of course we know it's not 60, 80, etc but it is the turning point of not being in the teens/20's/30's zone, things begin to properly change and it's a personal matter of accepting things.

those that dont understand preoccupation with appearance - well for me it's not to please others but it's the way I used to wear things and look great. Now I can wear the same thing and look terrible.

Its just a change which I need to accept.

And not having any more children also hugely upsets me too each time I hear of babies being born (yes unfortunately I will hold a massive grudge with DH for the rest of our dear lives for that one).

But I do LOVE not giving such a shi* anymore about a lot of things I worried endlessly in my youth. Best thing ever.

unlucky83 · 21/06/2017 11:19

I am ageing rapidly -now 50 I catch sight of myself in the mirror and am shocked by the old woman etc...
BUT if you look at really old women -they just look old because they are - they don't look ugly. There is a lot to be said about growing old gracefully.
I think the ages 40-50 are probably the worst as you realise everything is sagging etc - and it is - before you achieve true wrinkled comfortable old age.
I would rather be Wendy Craig or June Whitfield or Judi Dench than Joan Collins or Madonna or any of those celebrities who have tried to stop looking old through the surgeons knife.
They might delay things for a while but in end they don't look young -they look like they are old - old with lots of plastic surgery...
(I am 'disappointed' with Madonna -I thought she was one celeb who would grow old naturally - to buck societies expectations).
I saw a TV program that visited a retirement complex for rich people in America. All the women had the same stretched face, plumped lips and check bones, widened eye look - they didn't look attractive, they didn't look young - just fake. They might not look 70 - they might look 50 or 60 - they don't look like they are in their 20s or 30s.
There are advantages with age - not caring so much about what others think being the main one.

streetface · 21/06/2017 11:21

I am so glad someone else has posted this. I wanted to but didn't fancy the abuse you can get on here. I was a full-time glamour model and dancer in my late teens and up until I was 27. My identity was based around my looks. I actually used to hate the attention outside of work and got fed up with the constant sexist abuse and harassment of men.

I am going to turn 40 this year and have really really struggled. On the one hand, I love being less visible. I no longer get leered at constantly. On the other hand, it has made me very aware of how men 'really' are and it has made me very jaded. A woman's worth in the eyes of a man is all too often based on their looks.

I have developed my academic and professional life though, so my self-worth comes much more from within. I get respect from other females now and have great friendships which are more deep and meaningful. I am very happily married, having made a better choice second time round as the wisdom that comes with age kicks in.

But I am so much more aware of my mortality. The first 40 years has flown by so I think to myself "that once more and it's pretty much all over" I hate the way the elderly are treated and viewed in our society. I am afraid of losing my mum. I am worried about how long I will have with my husband and if I will outlive him.

I suddenly realise how damn short life really is. I am DREADING my birthday this year.

FreeNiki · 21/06/2017 11:30

But I am so much more aware of my mortality. The first 40 years has flown by so I think to myself "that once more and it's pretty much all over"

Yup that's exactly what I thought too.

Want2beme · 21/06/2017 11:42

OP everything you're saying, most of us have felt. I remember having a meltdown approaching the age of 30. I'm now 50 and know that there's nothing I can do to change things. Overall I'm ok with aging. You go through stages where you really notice the changes in your face and body, but that's just life. You have to accept that you're aging. There are so many unfortunate people who die young and would love to have lived on. I just tell myself, I've had my time of being youthful, it's now time to be a wise "old bird".

PleaseStopCompeting · 21/06/2017 11:42

Just nodding vigorously. 37 here, also was/am(?) attractive with a good figure but no Monica Bellucci.

You start to realise how much previous interaction/friendship with men was actually based on physical attractiveness (when you really thought at the time that they wanted to hear your views on politics...).

When you try to discuss this with men, I think they invariably seem to say "Oh, but I find older women really sexy". Who, I ask? Loads, they say: Nigella Lawson, Monica Bellucci, Twiggy.... It's never Doreen from across the street - and I know who I am (and realistically, most of are) going to look more like in 15 years time.

ohforfoxsake · 21/06/2017 11:43

Ahh this has made me quite sad. I was pretty, but I never knew it: my family were pretty rotten and would take the piss if anyone ever complimented me. All my worse attributes were constantly picked on (to this day I don't get my legs out and I'm 47 now).

Now I'm going grey, my eyesight isn't as sharp, I'm overweight I don't consider myself attractive. BUT I appreciate my body (4 DCs) and how amazing it is, I can get my grey hair tinted and glasses are just for reading.

I don't think I'll ever feel good about myself, and I wish I had been allowed to, but there's a lot I like about me and I am still enjoying getting older. My DCs are turning into fine young adults and I did that. I have a lovely partner, a great home and an awful lot to be grateful for. Getting older teaches you what is important and that should be embraced. Smile

unlucky83 · 21/06/2017 11:43

This helps me but not sure if it will anyone else ...but I saw a program years ago when they were interviewing people who were 100+ yrs old. Most of them said it wasn't all it was cracked up to be - their friends, family etc had died, they knew they were really just waiting to die -but they weren't down about it - it was just factual. They weren't worried about the future -there was nothing to worry about any more, nothing to strive for - just content with where they were.
Just try and keep taking some pleasure/enjoyment from every day - you don't know what the future holds - lots of it (like getting older) you can't change - accept it and live for now.

MatildaTheCat · 21/06/2017 12:01

OP, you are 35. That is very young.

Two issues stand out and both can be changed. 1. You are overweight. 2. You are in an unhappy marriage and feel unloved.

How about setting some goals for the next few years to change those two situations? When I was 41 I lost a couple of stones and got super fit. We got a dog, made some excellent new friends and had the pleas Of watching our DC grow into hound adults.

Almost all of my female friends looked better in their forties as they had more time, money and interest in looking nice. Now in our fifties I can honestly say we look older, sure but still nice, pretty even.

As I say you are only 35. Think about changing those two things and any other life situations which are making you unhappy and I promise you will feel and look better.

Birdsgottaf1y · 21/06/2017 12:01

""On the one hand, I love being less visible. I no longer get leered at constantly. On the other hand, it has made me very aware of how men 'really' are and it has made me very jaded""

That is why older women are so despised. Younger Women think we are just bitter and Men know that we've worked out the world and we want to change things.

I was beautiful, think Ursula Andress/Sharon Stone in Casino (no exaggeration). I'm 49 and realistically can't wear the same makeup and clothes as i once did and I miss that.

It's the attitude towards older Women that you see everywhere, even on reality shows, that i struggle with.

We are something to poke fun at, ridicule, dismiss the opinions of and sometimes show open hostility towards.

I've overheard younger men make disparaging remarks and think "you wouldn't have stood a chance with me at your age and even now", but young men think that they own the World.

I find that older men are more bitter and let themselves go more than older women, but we are stereotyped.

The amount of girls and teens that have walked around in the heat fully covered because of self consciousness, that i've seen recently has made me value being slightly invisible and not giving a shit.

Watching Big Brother/Geordie Shore etc the girls don't know their worth and feel that they have to be constantly 'sexy' in a barbie doll way, it's very sad.

I felt similar because of my childhood and it's liberating to cast all that off.

I've been ill, put on a lot of weight, but my diet started this week and i'm determined to take up weightlifting again.

I want to travel to places that wouldn't have interested me at a younger age. I don't want anymore children (and can't naturally),so all that worry has gone.

My 50's+ are going to be all about me, (with time with my Grandchildren thrown in), my Parents have died, so i'm no longer Caring for anyone.

I'm finding it very exciting.

goldendaisy · 21/06/2017 12:14

But I think that's the thing. I miss the days when I could wake up, stick my hair in a bun, put mascara on and still be pretty.
That's it, oh how we take for granted that young fresh face that we catch sight of in the mirror first thing in the morning. The thing that gets me as well is my lack of photos of myself when i was young and good looking. Now it's all selfies and so easy to get loads of pics of yourself but i don't like the way i look anymore so still don't have many. Sad

seasonschooner · 21/06/2017 12:16

Men actually let doors slam in my face now!Grin I used to have several trying to go out with me at any one time in my 20s! It is a shock like pp said when you become invisible mid 40s, especially if you were quite attractive/pretty and vivacious before. I soon got over it and life has more depth now that looks don't play a part, day to day.

PeanutButterBunny · 21/06/2017 12:18

If your beauty faded with age, you mustn't have been very beautiful in the first place. True beauty only increases with age like fine wines.

^ this is full of crap. YANBU and I feel the same OP.

Catra · 21/06/2017 12:26

I had a figure to die for in my 20s (not that I appreciated it at the time) and now that I'm pushing 40 I'm overweight and everything has gone south but my face is still really young looking and doesn't match my body! Despite this I have more confidence than ever because I can afford to dress well, I have ninja makeup skills and a husband who adores me. I can't say I'm too bothered about turning 40 at all - I might not turn heads any more but it's actually a relief not to have that attention.

Blueflowers2011 · 21/06/2017 12:30

So this post has been refreshing and interesting to read so many honest feelings.

I have taken some things from it and think I must try and change my mindset to get on with life again.

But i do miss many aspects of the 'then' rather than the 'now'.

I don't know the next bit or how to do it as prior to my 40s I maintained a similar kind of life throughout my years or thereabouts.

So I think that is the issue for me - it's more the what happens now?

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