I set out to write a tongue in cheek post about advice for women over 40. I thought it would be fun because quite frankly women over 40 don’t need advice. Well, that is they don’t need any more advice than they did when they were in their 30s. It’s not as if you’re 39 and wake up 40 and turn into a hot mess with no direction. My experience has actually been quite the opposite. Any who, when I was thinking about writing this piece I reckoned it would be a good idea to hit the google and see what sort of things people have already written in terms of “advice” for my age bracket. It was, ummm, interesting. Apparently people think women need a whole new set of rules once we hit the big four zero. There were literally 100s and 100s of articles written for the over 40 female audience but they basically all read something like this:
- 5 must know tips for dating after 40
- Dating mistakes women make in their 40s
- 7 essential eye make up tips for women over 40
- Midlife makeover – style tips for women over 40
- How to dress after 40 and still look hip
- Where to meet single men if you’re in your 40s
- Better sex tips for women over 40
- 7 weight loss tips for women over 40
- Worst hairstyles for women over 40
- Online dating profile mistakes women in their 40s make
If you are over 40 I’m sure I don’t have to point out to you how all but maybe one of these topics are just ridiculous. And I’m really, really hoping that if you are a young lady that hasn’t hit 40 yet you also realize this is just a load of garbage. That life – your body, your hair, your ability to have relationships doesn’t just go to hell because you’ve hit a new decade. Let’s break this down a bit…
Now I have to tell you that I haven’t dated in my 40s, you know since I got married in my 30s. But I have no reason to believe there should be any significant difference. At the very least any changes that might exist most likely are not negative ones. There’s a good chance you are more confident and comfortable in your own skin now then you may have been in your 20s. I know I am. You may be less likely to put up with crap you did when you were younger. You might be better at expressing your needs. You are probably better and recognising the warning signs of a relationship that is headed in the wrong direction. Basically, you’ve got this.
Ok unless you have a specific issue, and that happens to people of all ages, women in their 40s do not need your sex advice. In fact maybe you should sit down and take some notes from us. Seriously.
Fashion, makeup, hair
Here is the only advice that you need – wear whatever the hell you feel like wearing. Sexy, comfortable, short, long, revealing, modest – if you like it, if you feel good in it, please just wear it. You don’t need to cut your long locks off if you have them. You can sport a pixie cut. You don’t have to cover greys if you don’t want to. You can rock pink hair if you please. There are NO RULES. Just keep on being you. Take a look at this little gem I found in an article (the midlife makeover style tips):
Before we even begin to talk about clothes and accessories, let’s get the most important detail out of the way: impeccable grooming. After a certain age it is essential to look polished. That does not exclude a certain nonchalance, but it definitely rules out sloppy and careless.
I just, what? I mean seriously what? Sure if polished is your thing then go ahead and keep it up, but it’s not a RULE for ladie’s over 40. Or for anyone really. Obviously dressing “appropriate” for wherever you may being going is a consideration. Like I need to brush my hair and not wear pajamas to work. Ok I kid a bit I actually enjoy getting somewhat “done up” for work but I always have. When I turned 40 I didn’t think holy shit I really need to polish up.
This actually is the one area that I can get on board with seeking out specific tips for women over 40. And that is simply because of biology. Hormones, metabolism, these things actually do start to change around this time. If what you are already doing is still working for you then that’s awesome. But if you start to find it a little more work than it use to be then there are actually some really helpful resources out there to help you tweek things. Just don’t buy into the woo. Find yourself someone qualified. I was pretty grateful to find the fabulous Tamara over at FitKnit Chick that helped me get back on track with my fitness goals. PS this in not a sponsored plug, she’s just really great at what she does.
Look times have changed. Thank goodness. But there is still a lot of social conditioning out there when it comes to women and ageing. And let’s face it, there is a lot of social conditioning relating to women period. So maybe it’s fitting that us gals in our 40s and beyond be the ones to continue to lead the way in breaking those norms. And part of that means shutting down the ridiculous advice that puts us in some kind of well coiffed, midi skirt, polished box.