I subscribe to over six hundred fashion blogs on Bloglovin. No, I don't read all of them every day, but I do scroll through my feed and hit the ones that interest me. And one topic I notice that seems to keep coming up over and over again in my feed is "Women Over Fifty Shouldn't Wear Shorts". This advice is not just coming from young bloggers, but from women-over-forty fashion bloggers as well. I find this disturbing for many reasons.
First and foremost is body shaming. I've seen the Plus Size Fashion Industry and Plus Size Fashion Bloggers start to really break stereo types and become quite popular in Blog Land. That's great! But while it's now a social taboo to criticize someone for their weight (as it should be), why is it still o.k. to criticize a person's appearance because of their age?
Secondly, I don't like to be labeled, put in a box, or given a rule to follow based on my age. The phrase 'age appropriate dressing' has become very popular and although I see some bloggers use that phrase a lot, I also see a lot of bloggers state how much they hate that phrase. It's a very shameful, snotty sounding phrase to me. When I hear a blogger or someone say that phrase, I feel like they are shaming me if I wear something they would not choose for my age group.
Thirdly, I truly believe that everyone should have the freedom to wear what they feel reflects THEIR personal style, what THEY feel comfortable in, and what THEY feel beautiful in, and NOT what others tell them they should wear.
And finally, and this is the big one: reading all these articles and comments caused me to critically look at my own legs and wonder "Are my legs too old and ugly to wear shorts anymore?", "Do my knees sag like everyone says old people's knees do?", and "Am I really repulsing people by showing my legs above the knee?" These thoughts were never in my head before I read these posts. If it was hot out, I put shorts on, that was it. I never considered I might be offending someone by the sight of my old legs! And that's sad. It's sad that I lost that innocence. It's sad that now every time I put on a pair of shorts, I have to worry about what someone will think.
So since I've seen so many of these posts, I started to really pay attention to other people's legs this summer. (Another thing I never did before reading these posts: critically examine other women's bodies). I looked at twenty-something legs, older people legs, heavy legs, skinny legs, beautiful legs, really hairy legs, and even children's legs. And you know what I discovered…there's a lot of ugly legs out there. It doesn't matter if your young or old, over-weight or skinny, you can still have unattractive legs. So if a young person can have unattractive legs and still be allowed to wear shorts, why can't I? Why can they exercise this freedom, and I can not? And who says if you have unattractive legs (to other people, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder ), you shouldn't show them to the public anyway? It's body-shaming, pure and simple.
Truth be told, I rarely wear shorts out in public. But it's not because of my age, but because I detest air-conditioning anywhere but inside a car. At home, I live in cut-off denim shorts everyday of the week. But when I leave the house, I usually wear cropped pants. I literally 'freeze' every time I step into a store (I need a winter coat to step into the freezer aisle of the grocery store), go to church, or step inside a restaurant or movie theater. I do not understand for the life of me America's obsession with air conditioning. My word, we literally freeze nine months out of the year here in Wisconsin, and the three short months it's actually nice out everyone wants to huddle inside with the air on.
However, on the rare occasion when it is over ninety degrees here in northwestern Wisconsin (hasn't happened yet this summer) I do wear shorts outside the house. I have completely fallen in love with what is called 'The Soft Short' this season. They are usually made of linen or cotton so they are breathable in hot temperatures, and they are sooooo comfortable.
My peasant top is almost as old as me. It is one of those classics you never throw out because it never goes out of style. It has a very pretty and flattering neckline, an elastic waist line, and princess cap sleeves. My seashell necklace I made myself from a seashell I found on a beach in Pensacola.
If you'd like to read another over-fifty fashion blogger's thoughts on this issue, I invite you to visit Karen's Blog. She is another beautiful fifty-something blogger who also wears shorts and has a great summer color post to share.
Have a great day,
from an old lady who still wears shorts, Amy
Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE:
Very well written, Amy! I couldn't agree with you more. By the way, you look fantastic in shorts and should wear them all the time!ReplyDelete
There are so many people to tell us what we should do and I really don't like it! I am over 40 and I am wearing shorts almost everyday during the summer. I agree with you totally that should not put us in a box.ReplyDelete
Take care and keep in touch!
You are not old!! And you look great in shorts! There should be no age limits. There are plenty of age appropriate choices for us too! Love the soft shorts!! Very chic! SusanReplyDelete
I see lots of women in their 50's wearing shorts and they look great! Plus, it gets HOT in the summer, why not wear what is appropriate for the weather? You look great and I love this entire outfit on you. Those white shoes look so comfy yet chic, love them!ReplyDelete
Although I am not quite 40 yet, I think shorts are appropriate for any age. (Of course some shorts they make these days I wouldn't have worn when I was in my 20's, but that is another story :-) These look great and I also love the shirt. I completely agree about the air conditioning in this country. And comfortably cool isn't even enough, it has to be turned on to the max, so we can freeze!ReplyDelete
I love your outfit and I love this post!! I will be 47 this year and I will forever continue to wear what makes me feel good :-) You look beautiful XO!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for sharing with #LINKUPWITHLISA @ http://www.beauty101bylisa.com/2015/07/linkupwithlisa-24-boho-chic-knitted.html
Amy, Thank you for saying what has been on my heart for awhile. In fact, I have a similar post partially written - I've have all the thoughts swirling around in my head! I think when I do post it, I'll share a link to your post! So my legs don't look as good as a 20 something - so what. My skin has wrinkles and sags a bit. Does that mean it's not appropriate to show my face in public?? Ok. I'll get off my soap box. Your shorts are so cute and l love that you made your necklace from a shell you found on the beach!ReplyDelete
And you look great in them too! Thanks so much for sharing with Fun Fashion Friday!ReplyDelete
I agree with everything you said! As another over 50 blogger, I hesitated to wear shorts or even sleeveless tops. Well, now I am wearing whatever I want!ReplyDelete
Bravo, couldn't agree more. As someone who'll be 50 next year, I hope I'm wearing shorts well into my dotage. It's sad that you've lost your 'innocence' re wearing shorts. We really shouldn't be worrying about that should we. After all, shorts are fun, practical, can also be very pretty and flattering as your lovely outfit demonstrates.ReplyDelete
You're rocking the shorts, girl! Everyone should feel comfortable wearing shorts at any age.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for linking up with Friday Favorites last week! Hope to see you back again this Friday!
The Closet by Christie
UGHGHG!! It's such a complex issue, isn't it! My thoughts are that people should do and wear what makes them feels comfortable and STOP JUDGING OTHER PEOPLE for doing the same. You have nice legs BTW...ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing at Friday Finds last week.. I hope to see you again this week!
No reason to stop wearing shorts because of age - you look great in them!ReplyDelete
Would love for you to stop by & join TBT Fashion link up.
Age is a number and I am 46. I don't feel it so I am certainly not going to dress like it!! I have always been fairly conservative in my dressing but I do wear shorts. In the Northeast, it gets quite humid as well as hot. Shorts are how you get through it. Going outside in anything else (besides a dress and the kind I like are hard to find. I will not go without a bra at my age!!) is crazy. You look so cute in your outfit. I love those shorts!!ReplyDelete
First let me say that you look "GREAT"!!!! in shorts!ReplyDelete
I am way older than you and Yes, I still wear shorts. It has been so hot this week where I live and it's the only way I can bear the weather...(since I don't have Central air) and I mind the heat (and humidity so much!