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
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