Am at that stage where I dye my grey roots brown to make it look like my hair regrowth is growing through its natural colour..the one of youthful pigment. Lets make no bones, getting older as a woman is crap in many ways and great in many ways. I have the immeasurable wisdom of a life of adventures, dramas and experience to impart to my eagerly waiting offspring. I bare the scars of childbirth, one varicose vein removal, a scar behind my ear where i had my eardrum repaired. I have laughter lines, alot of frown lines, crows feet, a dodgy knee and several tattoos. I have a bit of a tremor in my left hand, I take medication for anxiety and depression and a ‘women over 50’ vitamin everyday. I brush my teeth with whitening toothpaste. I smother myself in coconut oil and have hardworking hands. I have never had a manicure. I love makeup and I love clothes. Though the media tells me what clothes I should be wearing. They send me catalogues with sensible length viscose and sleeves to cover those troublesome bingo wings. Greying models with elasticated waistlines and comfortable and durable shoes. Their pretend husbands in slacks and loafers with a jumper strategically placed over their shoulders. I cant relate. As the old cliche goes, inside you still feel young. I feel very strongly that women are defined by their age. I hate telling people how old I am as that comes with suppositions, assumptions and stereotypes. I would much rather be defined by myself, how i present myself, and search desperately for role models and others to relate to who have similar experiences.
Since I turned 50, which was marked with a Blue Hawaii themed party and too much Bombay Saphire, I have felt the expansion of my waistline, the extra hairs in places they weren’t before and god,oh god the onset of the menopause. I no longer have a monthly reminder that I am fertile. just an infrequent and random abdominal cramp. Hot flushes. ‘is it me or is it hot?Is it hot?are you hot or is it just me?open the n window..no, close it..nope…where’s me fan? Am going to Lidl to hover in the frozen aisle, its close isn’t it? the weather..no?must be me then’.
My doctor informs me I am ‘peri’menopausal and advised black cohosh or Prozac. Yup. apparently it stops you sweating.
Introducing Perry Menopausal. world famous star of burlesque with her sweaty hair-slightly thinning at the front, her renound Mood Swing extravaganza and songs of baron wombs and extra midriff. Yup, she is unpredictable, crazy and flippin gorgeous.
My daughter; beautiful and amazing, i pass the baton. We always joke that she will keep me in the style i am accustomed to when she is a high flying career woman. I can have a holiday extension to her canary wharf apartment and drape myself in chiffon and Chanel no.5 and look after the grandchildren.
I do believe that as you age you become invisible in many ways. It makes it even more important to maintain your identity and integrity and wallow in the joy of not being ruled by the laws of biology and genuinely caring so much less about what people think of you as actually it really doesn’t matter one dot. All my life I have battled with body image. What a massive waste of time that has been. It frustrates me at the amount of time I have wasted poking and prodding my body, finding fault and starving it, or finding comfort in whole packets of hob nobs in the bath. I wish I could rise above that, but I still berate myself over cake love and not being able to do the jeans up that I optimistically bought a size too small.
This body has produced two magnificent human beings. It has worked long hours and walked many thousands of miles. It used to smoke 30 Malboro reds a day but now has renewed itself and can get up that hill in meersbrook park without stopping for a wheeze. This body hasn’t eaten meat for 43 years and is healthy and strong. This body has stretchmarks from my childrens’ incubation, keeping them safe while they grow there beautiful and perfect little bodies. I fed and sustained them both til they were over a year with the perfect food produced by my body! My body has given me my greatest gifts and yet still I look in the mirror and focus on the fat and the cellulite. What does it take to be free from that? I wish I knew the answer!
Self love is a great achievement. i dont know if I will ever get there. I hope so but I am my own worst critic.