When did it become such a crime to be a little chubby, or get older; especially for women? I’ll tell you when, right about the time moving pictures were invented. Once women were up on that screen they were expected to always look good and to never grow old. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, or am I?
I think it’s great if you can get into, or stay in great shape at any age—even better if you’re for instance, past forty. But it’s gotten to the point where I think women feel obligated, even pressured to do everything humanly possible to look half our age.
I remember, growing up, seeing women of a certain age. They were a little chubby, maybe had their fair share of wrinkles, or a stray gray hair. I didn’t think they were disgusting, I just knew they were getting older and for them maybe it was finally okay to relax a little. When I was younger, I kind of looked forward to getting older. It wasn’t that I thought I’d suddenly stop caring how I looked, but that I wouldn’t feel so judged if I was imperfect. That was then. It’s different now.
Now, as a woman, I’m expected to purchase the very best face creams I can afford, because God forbid I have wrinkles. I should color my hair—how dare I have any gray, eat 1500 calories a day, or less, in order to lose and/or maintain my perfect, twenty-five year old weight, and to work out at least three times a week—preferably six, because I should be striving to have the body I had twenty years ago.
Look at Carrie Fisher. The woman is fifty-nine years old for heaven’s sake and people are giving her grief about her looks. What did they expect? That she’d look the same as she did nearly 40 years ago; no wrinkles, no flaws? Someone lock her up, she’s committed the crime of aging.
It’s not that I think women should not take care of themselves. I’m not saying go gain fifty pounds, never enter a gym, and eat that third Big Mac.
I’m just asking, why, as women, we’re expected to never age and to stay so damn perfect?