To Swimsuit or Not to Swimsuit??

Here’s another line that has passed into folklore without a shred of evidence: men can carry their middle-aged weight gain better than women. Seriously? Why have we, uhm…mature ladies, decided to accept that? We have even stopped going to beaches due to the dreaded fear of something much worse than jellyfish or even shark attacks – SWIMSUITS!!!!

If we do go, we shroud ourselves in beachwear or huge old fashioned swimwear with built-in tummy binding and thigh hiding skirts. All the while, men frolic about enjoying the sand and surf with their bellies hanging over their swimwear like a child’s inflated pool buddy!! Is it that they just don’t care? Do they know something that we don’t? Or maybe, just maybe, they accept themselves for who they are and are not bound by society’s image of how they “should” look. Ding!!!!, but thank you for playing. I believe the answer is: all of the above! Men NEVER try to mimic supermodels, our society does not look down upon them for their weight gain, and frankly, they just don’t care what others think!

If you’ve ever been to any beach in Europe, you’ve seen quite a few men’s enlarged bellies hanging over Speedos. Now, that’s just not attractive – I don’t care who you are, royalty or not!! To be fair, I’ll admit I was lucky. I didn’t give up bikinis until my mid-forties. Until just a few years ago, I was perfectly comfortable in a one-piece. After menopause and it’s inevitable weight gain, I am no longer up to a so called “fun weekend” at the beach. Insecurity factors in here, certainly, but more prolific are the ideals we have had hammered into our brains since childhood (can we say thank you Barbie doll and Twiggy?).

It’s time for us to stop thinking of ourselves as “not swimsuit ready” and just roll (no pun intended) with the tide and enjoy being alive and active.

I’m about to say something that will shock all men, especially my own husband – we could learn something from men. Oh my, did I just say that out loud?! I did, but, for the sake of us all, don’t tell them! The pleasure is in being at the beach, enjoying the summer, sand, and sun – not caring about how we look in our outfits. As we baby boomers are aging, are we to be the first post-Twiggy generation of post-menopausal women to declare our independence from “ideal bodies” and just enjoy a day at the beach? Let’s post that up – sorry, felt like I needed to say “post” one more time!

Now, to swimsuit or not to swimsuit – that is the question.

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All ages, all body types, all sizes. They’re having fun and making memories!

Fifty, Fashionable, & Fabulous! Really???

I keep reading that fifty is the new thirty. Honestly, I feel about thirty most days, but I can promise you fifty is definitely NOT thirty! In my late teenage years, I spent eighteen months under the tutelage of Miss Prentiss learning the social graces a young Southern lady is supposed to possess. Most of what I learned has helped me in both my private and professional life. 20140527-220843-79723721.jpg However, as I’m aging apparently more rapidly than I ever imagined, one of the things I learned is troubling me – “women over forty should dress their age.” What exactly does that even mean? Well, back then it meant matronly suits, low chunky heels, long sleeves, loose trousers paired only with loose, long blouses, and by all means no cleavage or even décolleté! Admittedly, I’ve seen women who could benefit from that piece of wisdom and some of them were in their twenties! When I was eighteen, I agreed with said notion. Now that I’m staring fifty-three smack in the face, I’m thinking that saying has passed into folklore without a shred of evidence!!

Shouldn’t fashion be more about what we like, how we feel in it, and how we look rather than a number? I think so! Am I destined to loose trousers and blouses just because of my age? God, I hope not! Some of the most fashionably dressed, and beautiful, women I’ve seen are over 40, 50, even – dare I say it, 60. Just to be clear, I am excluding Hollywood’s elite for we mere mortals don’t have their stylists, trainers, chefs, dietitians, plastic surgeons, and such.
So, what are we do to – us older ladies? Bow to the rule of “dressing our age” or dress as we want? My vote goes to dress for confidence! Find your own personal style and enjoy it. In the end, all that matters is that we had a good time while we were here, so ladies over forty – let’s unite and debunk the myth!