You’ve all seen him. He has his shirt unbuttoned to his belly button, with his chest hair showing under his thick gold chains. Midlife-man also has a comb-over that flaps in the wind while he drives his convertible. This is what we picture when we hear mid-life crisis. But what does it look like for a woman?
I’m 48…well I think I am. I usually have to think of my husband’s age, which I can always seem to remember, then I subtract three years from it to find my age.
Maybe I’m in midlife crisis. I’m not sure because we have no definition of it. I wonder if it even exists at all.
When Vance and I went to Northern Italy for our fifteenth wedding anniversary, I noticed something quite unique about their culture. Their women, especially elderly women dressed like those half their age. They had similar hairstyles, clothing, jewellery and makeup. The only difference was they had more wrinkles.
They didn’t necessarily dress sexier, they were just up with current trends of clothing.
In my North American culture, we tend to categorize women and expect them to stay within their age-groups guidelines. If you are sixty-five, you are supposed to have a white perm, stretchy pants and a floral button-up top. If you don’t, you may get labelled as being in a midlife crisis, even though you are beyond those years.
Which may be what is causing many older women to shy away from the clothing racks they love and move on to the “old” section.
My mother is in her early 70’s and has beautiful white hair. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The other day when I picked her up for lunch, she had on a jean jacket and a pretty top. She had also grown her hair out a bit, and it was soft and bouncy. I complimented her on her outfit and hair. I love that she’s not staying within the “old lady” standards and is wearing clothes she feels beautiful in.
It caused me to wonder how many women like myself, as we approach 40, 50, 60 and beyond are wondering where we fit in with fashion and beauty. My answer to you would be, where do you feel the most like you?
Do you like your hair coloured, grey or white? Do you love lipstick and big sunglasses? Is your style bohemian, hipster or classic?
I’m a shabby, chic, bohemian type of girl. I love my scarfs, long sweaters, ripped jeans, floral tops and sneakers. I am also almost fifty. For a while, I thought because I was ageing I needed to let my clothes age with me.
Who made that silly rule up and why are we following it?
My husband would love nothing more than for me to feel beautiful every day of my life even if I was the only person who believed it beside him. Most husbands want that young bride to still be there. The girl they remember doesn’t need to get lost in ageing styles and outdated hairdos. Unless of course, that is the style she loves!
Men love to see their wives in pretty clothes and are delighted when their bride feels carefree and young. If we look in the mirror and like nothing in our reflection, not even our clothing, because we are trying to follow society’s standards, we have lost ourselves.
This can apply to younger girls and women as they are pressured to dress in ways they don’t even like. You will hardly ever see me in black, and if you do, I’m probably at a funeral. I have a few friends who love black, but I love colours, and neither of us would dress like the other, and we shouldn’t.
I remember Oprah Winfrey talking about the day she wore her hair in a ponytail, and her friend Gayle told her that style was too young for her. Well, Oprah said to her that she liked it, and wore it anyways. I remember thinking, “Well good for her, she’s being herself and not letting anyone dull her sparkle!”
Maybe we have become overly concerned about what other women think and it’s not really supposed to be that hard. We shouldn’t be labelling each other as going through midlife crisis, but as remaining true to who we are and what we genuinely like.
So get out that scarf, those sunglasses and your hot pink lipstick and drive your convertible with the top down or wear black with a tight bun and do a crossword puzzle. Neither is right or wrong…just different.
It’s our hearts we should be working on, not so much our clothing since that should be the simple part.
Be beautiful you and no one else💗
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
1 Peter 3: 3-4 NLT
Believing and hoping,