Over the last few weeks I have frequently stumbled across sponsored articles on my facebook newsfeed with blurbs and lists regarding what middle-aged women should stop doing immediately. The most recent is from answers.com and features, for some reason, a picture of Tammy Faye Baker, proving it’s never too late (or in too bad of taste) to kick a dead horse. Now I know these musings are simply ads disguised as articles, a lure to get readers to glance at and hopefully accidently click the myriad of irritating and text obscuring fluff that pays the bills. I do have a modicum of tech savvy, even at my advanced age. Here is my response, cranky old lady that I am…
Dear twenty something snarky writer,
Please write again when you have lived a bit more and gained some knowledge; as of now, this article is simply irrelevant and quite insulting.
Let me start off by stating I am not middle aged. I am 54, I doubt I will live to 108, so this article must not pertain to me. I still take umbrage for my fellow women warriors. That’s what we are, by the way. Having lived this long, we’ve navigated depths and challenges you cannot yet comprehend, we’ve handled, mishandled, cared for, lost, gained, loved… oh the journeys we have taken, the wars we have fought, won and lost.
First you tell us what we can and can’t wear, and how we should wear our make up. Most evolved women of age wear appropriate clothing that covers what needs to be covered. Those that don’t are certainly not reading facebook for advice. Here is an insight you will need to know as you grow up… With good hygiene, most people are passably attractive. After that, it comes from the inside. No mom jeans, poor make-up choices or mini skirts will change beautiful to ugly, or vice versa.
You suggest we not compare ourselves to younger women. Trust me, we don’t. If we did, we would not be the group that comes up short. Due to life experience, we are smarter, happier, sexier, more beautiful and more successful in all things except maybe boob elevation (which we gave up to suckle you).
Genius advice on the not smoking or tanning, too, but your generation seems to be engaging in these idiotic behaviors at a much higher frequency. Our age group tends to make mostly good choices, proven by the fact that we are still here.
And thanks for the exercising tip, you mean if we eat a balanced diet and exercise we can be in good shape? Wow, insightful. Perhaps you don’t know that metabolisms slow down during and after menopause. Or that it is sometimes difficult to eat a well balanced diet when you are caring for you mother dying of Parkinson’s while your father has Alzheimer’s while you son is floundering in college while your sister is going through a divorce while you lost your job due to just such ageism as this article exudes. Everyone has struggles, your turn will come. That’s life.
We should get more sleep? Tell that to our worries, night sweats and snoring husbands.
And you suggest we not resist change? We are the poster children for change! We look back at our twenty something selves, cringe, and don’t even recognize that person. We change, roll, morph, reinvent and give birth… daily.
You also suggest we not go to bars and party all night. First, we might own that bar. And yes, we still do enjoy a few drinks, going out with friends, dancing, laughing… you don’t exclusively own the rights to a fun night out. We won’t, however, be the ones puking or waking up in a stranger’s bed.
Don’t take too many selfies? Do we even own selfie sticks? Do we take pictures of everything we do, everything we eat, text instead of converse? I don’t think that is my group.
Here is some advice for you:
Don’t judge people by their exteriors, their size, their clothing, their make-up. That is just war paint and armor, it says nothing about the true person.
Don’t tell someone what you think they should or shouldn’t do. Unless the activity is personally harming you, or will cause imminent danger to the advisee, zip it.
Honor the women who came before you, who gave birth to you, opened doors for you, often took care of you as single moms and raised you with enough education and bravery to express your feelings in public, in writing.
Lastly, make sure you really have enough experience and relevancy before you glibly swipe at your superiors.