When the topic of age arises, do you skirt around the issue or do you freely tell the number of years you’ve lived on the planet? For boomers especially, this question is layered with conflicting thoughts and opinions.
Our mothers were influenced by the cultural norms of the fifties and early sixties. In addition to not leaving the house unless her features were enhanced with carefully applied make-up and her bottom was encased in a super strength girdle, she would politely refuse to address the issue of age. She knew all too well that the years past forty marked the onset of certain decrepitude. Plus, everyone was well aware that it wasn’t polite to ask a woman her age.
Then… we came along and the rebellions began. Having experienced the Women’s Movement of the 1970s and the transforming ideals of feminism, we knew that we had every right to enjoy full freedoms no matter our gender, our race, our religion or our age. (Although, of course, back then, we still didn’t trust anyone over thirty!)
So why wouldn’t we fully celebrate our maturity and truthfully state our age? After all, demurring and denying only serve to add a certain amount of shame to the aging process. A lot of us are wearing our well-earned wrinkles proudly and going grey with style.
Nevertheless, you might be surprised at the highly accomplished, successful women who refuse to disclose their age. One of them is Dr. Christiane Northrup. Her advice about age? Think twice before your tell!
According to Dr. Northrup, by sharing your age, you are inadvertently putting yourself into a “cultural box” (my words… but you get her drift). Her stance is that societal beliefs of how a sixty, seventy or eighty year-old should look/act/behave are so entrenched that people have difficulties separating you the person from you the number. Therefore, the expectation will be that you have certain—and often large—limitations on what you are capable of achieving. With enough of these external vibes coming your way, it can’t help but affect your own perception of your abilities.
So the next time the topic of age comes up, will you tell? Maybe the best answer might be that you are happily celebrating life on the feisty side of fifty!