As we are emerging from our long quarantines and putting away our sweat pants and pajamas in favor of more grown up clothing, our mirrors may not be our best friends. The 19 in COVID 19 doesn’t only refer to the scientific identifier but the number of pounds the average American put on during the months sheltering in place and there is certainly a new pudge on me. Although a protective mask is hiding my puppet lines, there are other things that are showing my age and I am put in mind of a blog I wrote last year
There are three things that I can do right away to look less like a recently discovered island castaway and more like the younger, peppier, confident woman I am.
In the summer of 2019 I had an unique opportunity to unabashedly watch over two thousand women, mostly menopausal and post menopausal, over a ten hour period. I was working as an election teller for the world’s largest women’s service organization’s election. I was tasked with standing stony, like a chess piece, at an election machine in a room of 16 election machines, watching to make sure that no high jinx or hanky-panky happened. I watched the women come in, somber and sober, as they cast their votes.
After a short time I began to notice three very distinct ways women looked younger or conversely older.
They have nothing to do with fashion sense, those with impeccable fashion sense could look ancient, while those who were clueless could radiate youth.
They had nothing to do with weight.
They even had very little to do with age.
To employ these three things you won’t have to join anything or buy anything— but you will have to change a little.
* Thing to do number one – Smile.
As we age our faces sag. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent every year to fight the sag, but you know what, no matter how much money is spent the evidence is still there. In repose our faces often look stern and dour. Many of us look angry and forbidding, even if we feel light of spirit.
I saw women with expensive skin and expert make-up look as though they were ready to step on a puppy, when in fact they were just standing. It’s as though the universe has challenged us to wear our years proudly, resolutely smiling into our future or risk looking like a hag.
However, even with the most casual smile, the years fall away and our youthful spirit shines out
*Thing to do number two – Posture
Our mothers were right when they told us to stand up straight.
I watched healthy women walk with a slight forward bend at the hip, or with shoulders stooped, or a lumbering waddle. Its the style of countenance that no matter how slim or fashionable the woman will tell the world that you are old, old, old.
Stand up, suck that tummy in, rotate your pelvis forward and glide as though you have a book on your head. Oh I know, you might say that your knees ache, your back is sore, and your feet hurt.
Did you know that doctors agree that good posture alleviates the aches and pains of bad knees, bad backs and arthritic feet?
Only a fraction of us have maladies that can’t be helped by better posture. Good posture also helps strengthen our core and …tightens our bladders. Good posture corrects a wide variety of ills that we blame on age. AND – IT MAKES US LOOK YOUNGER.
*Thing to do number three- Hide the jiggle and squish.
I’m not fat shaming.
I don’t care what size you are. If you are happy and healthy great but there is no reason to show the bulge.
I can’t tell you how many woman, of every size, wore dresses, pants, and shirts, that showed off the belly overhang, the underpant crease, the multiple bra bulges- front, back, and side, the muffin top that spills over the pant top. Again, no matter how expensive the dress and slender the woman, these jello jiggles distract from everything else. Eyes gravitate to wiggle and spill as though looking at a car wreck. If spanx fixes it then wear spanx, or better yet buy clothing that doesn’t cling. Please don’t tell yourself that you’ll suck in your tummy or that no one will notice, we don’t suck in our tummy and everyone notices.
So there they are, my unofficial three ways to look younger and brighter.
I saw elderly, out of shape, fashion challenged women look vibrant just by walking tall, smiling, and wearing clothing that fits. While the woman who lets her face drip into a scowl as her expensively cut outfit shows her underwear indentations as she lumbered across the floor looked ancient, foreboding and helpless- every darn time.
So stand tall, suck it in, smile, wear clothes that don’t show everything, and you’ll be showing the world what a hot, young mama you still are.
As I cast my sweats away,