One of my secret vices is that I just LOVE to watch What Not to Wear on TLC on Friday nights. I'm always impressed by what they can do and how nice the people look when the stylists are finished with them. And I love the show even though I look like (and dress like) one of the "before" people. There's no hope for me.
BUT, there is one thing I've heard repeatedly on the show--so often that it is beginning to really bug me. I cannot tell you how often the women (the makeovers are largely done to women, though they do makeover men as well) say, "Well, I just don't want to seem grown up and frumpy." One woman on last weeks show said, "As long as I keep my hair like this I can fool myself into thinking I'm 18 forever." To their credit, the stylists are big on saying, "You can dress age appropriately and be stylish. You are NOT going to look frumpy simply because you choose to dress other than as a teenager."
What is wrong with this picture?
When did it become so wrong to grow up?
Am I weird? (Don't answer that!) Why on EARTH would you want to be 18 forever? Why would you want to LOOK 18 forever?
This became the topic of discussion in my painting club last night. As short a time ago as 50 years, there was no immense pressure on women to look 18 forever. Bodies, and modes of dress, were expected to change as you aged. So far as I know, neither of my grandmothers owned a bathroom scale. Both aged beautifully, but without trying to maintain a facade of "youth." And neither of them wore those nasty polyester stretch pants that people point out as "old lady" clothes. But they didn't wear their daughters' styles of clothes, and they certainly didn't try to look like their granddaughters.
What's happened to the good-looking older woman? How come she doesn't exist any more--unless she's trying to dress like Jennifer Aniston or Britney Spears?