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I miss that past, where looking your age was not considered a crime. Your Mom was perfectly okay with her little protruding tum and made no efforts to detoxify, fold herself into half and raise her toes to the ceiling, to get her long lost figure back. You thought your parents were cool, not because they looked good and squeezed their bums in Armani pants, but for the things they did. Your Mom didn’t try to fit into your clothes and pretty much did what she liked, without the accompanying guilt trips. If she wanted to feel young, she simply reached out for a bottle of Godrej hair-dye.
Alas, her daughter is living a present where not looking your age is not an exception but the norm. We read motivational soliloquies about how proud we are to embrace every new candle that props up on our birthday cake and then preen inwardly when someone expresses outrage that you are actually above 40! As if living beyond 40 is a crime. But…but…how is it possible that you have an 18 year old daughter! Of course, you are tempted to retort that you picked her right off the supermarket shelf. But, you must act your age.
I must act my age, not look a day above 30, claim that its love and Dove that keeps my skin smooth as a baby’s bottom and pretend that I’m aging gracefully. Funny thing is, my male counterparts are allowed to flaunt their paunch in their tight tees, have bags under their eyes big enough to fit my wardrobe, crack juvenile jokes and still pass off as distinguished. But I’m still expected to have a waist, bottom and energy of a 30 year old! And if my waist tries to embrace a tyre or two or my eyes dare to droop, I’ll be lovingly called a hag!
Well, I’m not denying that the hag in me feels great to be in her 40’s. She’s past the nappy, school projects stage. Her daughter can pretty much take care of herself. She can finally stop pretending to be a domestic goddess and not feel guilty for not cooking three course meals. She can speak her mind and be accepted for what she has become.
Faulty, precocious, moody as hell – but everyone around you has learnt to grin and bear with it.
All your life you were busy being the daughter, wife and the Mom. Now is the time, when you can finally be the woman you always wanted to be.
And just when have finally reached that stage of acceptance of all our flaws and strength, comes this crap hailing the 40’s as anything but 40. Why, may I ask is it so shameful to feel and look your age? Why burden those scores of women terrified of losing their taut skin and tauter bums at the altar of aging, with expectations of looking good past their expiry date. Let’s face it, at 40 fucking four, my knees hurt when I walk in heels for too long. I wake up looking like a racoon after a night of partying harder than I work. I still may not need specs, but my eyes hurt after too much reading.
I may not look my age but I certainly feel it.
So why do we have to bear with these unrealistic expectations? Will people love me less if I sprout a few more greys around my temple? Will my friends make fun of me because I have too many lines under my eyes? Of course not! And if they do, they don’t deserve your love and companionship.
So next time when someone tries to prep you up with the 50’s is the new 20’s, spiel, ask him/her to just shut up! We have learnt enough math to know, 40 is not = 20 and 50 can never be = to 20.
Aging is not a crime but making you feel guilty about it, is.