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Opinion September 2017

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Getting the Edge

By Anne Ashley

Not only am I too old for such a costume – I mean, whatever would I look like wearing a pair of slim-fit jeans resplendent with holes, rips and zips meant for youthful girls without the slightest clue what cellulite is (not to mention that these designer rags cost $60), but are women my age really buying such things? I can’t be the first to object to wearing outfits that look like Madonna’s discarded tour costumes.

Growing older is liberating. There are so many things I do now that I never dared to do in my youth for fear of invoking peer reprisals or letting down my entire sex because I didn’t recoil in horror when I was complimented … by a … man! As well as being braver and more self-assured, being older means I get into events cheaper and pay slightly less for purchases when I invoke my senior discount. I can also breeze right by racks of ridiculously expensive outfits and head straight for the cheap-n-comfy section when I'm shopping for me and His Royal Highness, with nary a concern that the style police might disapprove of my preference for a more relaxed look.

In fact, just lately, I've even taken to browsing the racks of charity shops for casual wear, such is my release of all sense of Kardashianitis. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can dust off the old frock and don a pair of high heels for special occasions with the best of them. But this age means I give myself permission to look how I feel – and that’s comfortable.

This last reckoning came about due to a slight altercation I’d had with a smug shop girl when I was desperately trying to find something to wear that wasn’t being endorsed by the latest 12-year-old fame-chaser. I inquired where the “normal” clothes were hidden.

Now, fair enough, I do have shoes older than the slight little thing that was attempting to help me and I'm pretty sure her paycheck relied heavily on her selling anything to anyone – but when she insisted that pre-torn, pre-faded, pre-grubby jeans were intended for any age, I lost all composure and sympathy for her youth! Not only am I too old for such a costume – I mean, whatever would I look like wearing a pair of slim-fit jeans resplendent with holes, rips and zips meant for youthful girls without the slightest clue what cellulite is (not to mention that these designer rags cost $60), but are women my age really buying such things? I can’t be the first to object to wearing outfits that look like Madonna’s discarded tour costumes.

Furthermore, while I sifted through the racks, I noticed that there’s an entire range of clothing for a size 0. That’s zero. Nil. Nothing. Presumably for those who don’t eat solids?

Anyway, there is a myriad of behaviors I get away with now that would have seen the younger me tch-tched into a shameful retreat. I allowed a gentleman to open the door of a public building for me as I approached without admonishing him for offending my feminist views on such gallantry (Honestly, I’ve never seen myself as a feminist – even when it was cool to claim to be one. If truth be told, I’m not sure I even know what that term means).

Where was I? …

Oh yes, just recently I accepted assistance from a young man who noticed that I’d dropped some of my shopping bags. Not even for a second did I consider admonishing him for insinuating that I couldn’t lift a packet of noodles without his male assistance. I flushed coyishly when a mature man complimented me on a “lovely dress” I was wearing. Insulting his compliment was the furthest thing from my mind. None of these events caused me to feel objectified or demeaned.

If growing older means that I become invisible to the nonsense, then so be it. If growing older means that I’m considered a size 0 when it comes to fads so ridiculous that I'm still not entirely sure it isn’t all a huge joke being played on consumers to see just how gullible they are, or appreciation for appreciation sake, then I'm happy to have achieved zero-status! If I'm to be considered a nil, a nothing, when designers are planning their next assault on clothing lines and attempting to sell apparel that would have been relegated to the rag bin in my youth, then I will wear my 0-badge with pride!   I'm here, I'm senior, get used to it.

 

Be sure to follow me on twitter@anneashley57.

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