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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:
irregularegular · 21/06/2017 15:48

Maybe it helps that I was never that much of a looker to start of with? I mean, I've always been ok looking, but it's never been my main selling point!

I can see that it must be hard if being pretty is a pivotal part of your identity. Yes some older women are very attractive to men, but not as many, and not in such a straightforward way.

SilentlyScreamingAgain · 21/06/2017 15:57

I goes without saying that how a woman looks shouldn't matter. Sadly utopia would never grant me a visa so I've made the best of the world I live in.

Clalpolly · 21/06/2017 16:19

In my humble and bitchy experience, "pretty" goes off the boil very quickly. Beautiful takes many shapes, forms, ages and colours. But maybe you have to be a little older to see that is not just a cliche.

juneau · 21/06/2017 16:29

I felt like you in my late 30s - I could see lines appearing around my eyes and aches and pains and I got quite down about the whole ageing thing. All I can say is that 1) everyone ages - it's not just you - all your friends are ageing too and the celebrities you're used to seeing in magazines, etc and 2) being in your 40s doesn't mean you have to look crap. I'm now 43 and I take waaaaay better care of myself than I ever did in my 20s or 30s and I think I look pretty decent. I also know that if I eat badly and don't exercise, it shows. That's the worst thing, IMO, that you simply can't get away with the shit you did when you were younger. Then you could stay up all night partying and look fine the next day - after 40 - no way! Make up is your friend. Sun screen is you friend. A hat is your friend. And, if you can afford it, a good cosmetic dermotologist is you very best friend.

IfNot · 21/06/2017 17:36

There was a threat recently about how we relate to feminism as we get older, which dealt with the things BirdsGottaFly has talked about. This whole idea that we are invisible, less sexy, ugly etc is we age, and the way we suddenly feel bereft as we hit 40 ( the age when women start to be described as " older women") is directly attributable to the sexist society we live in. Most of the men I know have aged badly in their 40s and the women on the whole look good but it is we who feel unattractive and worth less.
It is a shock when you realise how many men were nice to you because you were young and pretty, but that actually helps you to separate the arseholes from the decent chaps.
Yes, your skin may not be as peachy at 40 but you get a better bullshit detector, and you learn to spend less time worrying what people think of you.
I also think you can still turn heads over 40! Its how you hold yourself, how you walk. If you feel sexy in yourself men will still find you sexy ( although you care less if they do or not!)
36 is a great age. Make the most of it and try to adjust your thinking to realising what really matters in life.

bakedbeansandtuna · 21/06/2017 17:40

I tend to find older women far more attractive than younger ones. Certainly in the media anyway (case in point Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Monica Bellucci, woman who plays Connie in casualty etc etc)

KC225 · 21/06/2017 18:06

Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. It's more effort but it is achievable. And you can look stylish and quirky without looking too try hard. I love clothes and always have done, I am up on modern culture (some of it toilet drain I admit), latest trends, films etc. There are many ways to stay current without relying solely on faded looks.

I have spent most of if my life on a diet or thinking about diets thanks to my Mother's obsession with appearances and yet I look back at photographs and I think 'what the hell was I worrying about'. I made a conscious effort to never mention this in front of my daughter. I praise her for being strong, sporty, arty, kind and thoughtful. Of course, I tell her she looks pretty when she is dressed up to go a party but I say the same to my son too. I do not make it the be all and end all of my attention. The fact you mention your daughter means you are rightly aware of it. Break the cycle OP.

Try to embrace your new age. Make s list to try sometime new every year you are in your forties. Go scuba diving, learn to brew beer, face paint or build a shed . Make it a decade of discovery. Start planning a fortieth festival. You have three years to organise a campsite, tents make bunting, plant trees and get up the courage to cover yourself in bodypaint and dance semi naked.
40 is young and I bet you are a knockout


seasonschooner · 21/06/2017 18:30


user1495390685 · 21/06/2017 19:48

Being pretty is not really something you achieve. I'd rather be proud of where and who I am, and of those I am responsible for. Confidence, humour and warmth make a person more attractive to everyone, not just those who want to get into bed with them. For the record, I am 41.

user1495390685 · 21/06/2017 19:51

I second that @seasonschooner. Lordy!

Zaphodsotherhead · 21/06/2017 19:56

I'm 56. Was never a looker, blokes really only went after me for my great norks. Life is sooo much nicer now, because men want to talk to me because I have spent my life cultivating a pleasant and chatty personality (on account of having a face like a barn door), whereas when I was younger they overlooked me for my better looking friends. I've had more men since I turned 40 than I ever did before!

diodati · 21/06/2017 21:31

Take care of your yourself. Get lots of sleep, eat healthily, keep your weight down, don't drink alcohol, don't smoke, slather your skin with sun protection, especially your face, stay out of the sun, drink 1.5 litres of water every day, exercise daily (cardio & weights), do yoga, meditate and take HR when you hit menopause. If you can manage all that, you'll look amazing forever.

BuzzKillington · 21/06/2017 21:35

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.

What a load of rot.

Everyone gets old (if they're lucky). Looks fade no matter how lovely we were at 20.

Plenty of time to bemoan looking old and saggy - 40 is not that age, or 50 for that matter.

fussychica · 21/06/2017 21:49

Blimey, I'm 60 and still like to think I scrub up pretty well. I've never been pretty, just reasonably attractive but obviously wrinkles now aboundGrin. I do still have a good figure for my age. I intend to try to keep fit and active as long as possible, exercising daily and playing tennis 2 or 3 times a week. I didn't take HRT because of the scares at that time but still managed to get through the menopause ok. I don't smoke but I do drink and spend a lot of time in the sun. I know I'd look younger if I didn't but I wouldn't be happy.
Being happy is the key for me not worrying about how I look all the time.

Fadingmemory · 22/06/2017 00:01

Completely arbitrary to say that you fall apart in your 50s - think that way and you will bring it on! I am way over that have no sign of falling apart. Positive attitude, 'can do' philosophy, exercise, right diet, a good moisturiser and a decent cut and colour. Even if your body let's you down your mind can remain as smart as ever.

Lunchtimeburrito · 22/06/2017 11:49

Last yea, I was sitting outside a pub on Weymouth harbour. There were a group of friends sitting there, all 40+, the men were captivated by this one woman in the group, she was'nt stunning or had a fantastic figure and she was well over 40 but she obviously loved life and had a great sunny personality and they all seemed to love her.
I still vividly remember, years ago, a lady sitting on the bus when I was about 17. I couldn't take my eyes off her. She must have been in her 70's but she was so elegant and beautiful. She had thick grey hair pulled back into an elegant bun and wore a simple black polo neck jumper and black trousers and sitting there amongst the little beige wearing, lilac bubble permed haired old ladies (many who were probably younger than her) she just stood out as beautiful to me.

MyheartbelongstoG · 22/06/2017 12:16

I'm not bothered about getting older I just don't want my face to age. But what can you do.

I'm 38, could easily pass for someone in my twenties and I'm quite good looking too.

My mother had me putting night cream on from age 12 which I will always be grateful for as I think its what keeps my skin fab.

Foureyesarebetterthantwo · 22/06/2017 13:26

Today I was driving and went past two older ladies, my guess mid 60's, and they looked ace, one had a nice black jacket, messy up hair, very stylish, the other had a cloche hat on that was really cute. Yes, they aren't turning the heads of 20 something men (neither am I) but they looked interesting and stylish.

I am glad I threw myself into a career where I'm worth something, whatever I look like!

Foureyesarebetterthantwo · 22/06/2017 14:17

I mean, look at this lady at Ascot today. Wouldn't you like to enjoy life half as much as she obviously does (despite not dressing in a conventionally young 'head turning' way)?

To hate getting older
Blueflowers2011 · 22/06/2017 14:44

No Hmm

Decaffstilltastesweird · 22/06/2017 14:51

I'm with you in principle foureyes, but that's maybe not the best example there Grin, (sorry, to the nice lady with parrots on her head).

Foureyesarebetterthantwo · 22/06/2017 14:54

I don't mean I'd want to look like her, just that she's obviously an older lady who has fun with life. You can bemoan your invisibility, you can fight it, you can reinvent yourself. It's a shame if you honestly feel less valuable as an older woman, or like you deserve less of a life, too easy to internalize societal judgements. She obviously doesn't!

Decaffstilltastesweird · 22/06/2017 14:55

I this woman is seriously cool (looking).

To hate getting older
Decaffstilltastesweird · 22/06/2017 14:55

I think*

Lottapianos · 22/06/2017 16:33

She does look cool Decaff , while not looking young at all. She looks like a good person to have lunch with

Foureyes, less so I'm afraid Smile

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