Somewhere in our forties, we begin to recognize what we care about, who we like, how hard we’re willing to try to make and keep friends. We develop our own ideas as to how we plan to grow older — gracefully or otherwise.
1) Wear neutral, classic colors. Or wear whatever the hell you want.
By now we know how how to dress. Declutter your closet of everything you don’t love, or that doesn’t fit, and relax into your own established style. My elegant friend Maria, still gorgeous at 82, offers great beauty and fashion advice in this EmpowHer article.
Watch the documentary, “Advanced Style,” available on Netflix, to see older ladies who dress to kill.
2) A little nip-tuck?
Participants in a 2013 study by Dr. Joshua Zimm rated facelift patients as appearing an average of only three years younger than their actual age. Experts in the beauty field know that plastic surgery makes you look better, not younger.
Let the innumerable celebrities known more for their plastic surgery than for their careers serve as a cautionary tale. Realistic expectations and clear communication with your plastic surgeon are critical.
3) Walk — and not just for exercise and Vitamin D.
Walk to the grocery store, in the park, at the mall, down Main Street. Use walking as an opportunity to school teenagers in proper manners, to flirt with strangers, and to dish out unsolicited parenting advice to young mothers.
Once, as a young mom pushing a baby stroller through the neighborhood, I was stopped by the neighborhood matriarch, Regis. “Put some socks on that baby!” she said. “His feet are cold.” You know what? They probably were.
Those Internet lists — 10 Perfectly Normal Things to Never Say to Oversensitive People, and the like — they don’t apply to women of a certain age. The older women in my life say what they’re thinking. I know where I stand.