zondag 28 december 2014

The ONE thing we (40plusfashionbloggers) must never mention again in 2015!

Please, please, please! Could we all stop using the phrase 'Hiding a multitude of sins', please? ( I know, this sound strange coming from a woman wearing a mask but bear with me)

It's a standard phrase often used in ladies magazines and I have seen it numerous times now in fashion blogs. It is originally a Biblical expression meaning compensation for numerous evils. Being able to compensate for your bad qualities with good deeds is an absolutely fine thing to me. However, in fashion terms it refers to bodily imperfections that need to be covered/compensated with loose fitting clothes. I know it is lightheartedly said in most cases but I find this saying hugely offensive. I will tell you why I find it damaging that over 40 fashion bloggers use this (humorously intended) line when describing themselves.

Sins (a multitude of)
To stick with Biblical references; ever since Eve took a bite out of the apple, women are perceived as sinners. This carries on in most aspects of our lives, only think about the heated debates still going on about working mothers.
In connection to fashion and style our sins (plural!) consist of having normal (i.e most common shapes & sizes) bodies as opposed to the rare tall and lean figures. Most women over 40 show signs of having lived that amount of time. Signs, not sins. Signs we have gone through pregnancies, childbirth, disease, laughter, a lot of booze, fags, too much food or too little of it, gravity, anxieties, work, trauma, exercise, moving house, redundancy, love, education, divorce, friendships, family, operations, car crashes, sunshine and bad haircuts  The list is not by far conclusive, but you must have guessed  by now what I mean. We are real women and to me the attraction of over 40 fashion blogs is exactly that. Here I can see women I can relate to because frankly to the models in fashion magazines and some webshops I can't. You must have had this experience too, that you cannot for the life of you asses whether a piece of clothing you like on a model will look good on you. And that is not because you have such an weird bodyshape, no. It is nearly impossible to asses a garment because the model's shape is too different from average, she has the rare shape. You are made to feel like the odd one out but really, YOU ARE THE NORM! What I would really like for (web)shops to do is show clothes in actual sizes. So a photograph of a pair of jeans in size 14 on a women sized 14 and so on (I have just gone through the excruciatingly experience of buying white boyfriend jeans online. A fraction better then trying a hundred pairs on in a shop, but still, equal to the Spanish Inquisition)

Colleague blogger (although a lot younger then 40) Franziska pointed something simular out in her blog about editing your pictures to look like the apparently desired figures. Admittedly I like the look of tall and slim figures but is this liking a product of the media or is it pure, really me? I really couldn't tell. Franzeska counts herself lucky that she didn't grow up with social media. Well , I certainly didn't but I was still heavily influenced by the printed media to have a cast iron image in my head of how a woman is supposed to look. Where does that leave me as an 44 year old woman who does show indeed signs of having lived?! Do I have to cover myself up in shame? Not an option. We are simply with too many  to ignore (safety in numbers).
I refuse to see signs of life on bodies and faces as sins and will refuse to hide them. This is not a pledge for wearing see-through white leggings or just nicking your daughters clothes and let it all hang out. There is still such a thing as good taste. And it is a joy to dress myself a stylish as I can after all. And I always seek room for improvement (brush my teeth an so on) and like a good grooming, of course! I am to old to worry about whether my...........(fill in as appropriate) fits the perfect picture. I have resigned myself to the fact that I am not miss Pretty although Mother Nature has been kind to me in other areas. If I had to hide my multitude of sins, if I couldn't accept my non-perfect face, I would have to walk around with a paper bag over my head (or a mask) In this regard I think it is also harmful to refer to upper legs as having 'saddle bags' or upper arms as 'chicken fillets' or speak about muffins in a non culinary sense. Jokingly chastising yourself is still chastising yourself full stop. And as we are no sinners for having lived there is no need for punishment. We have to be gentle and respectful to ourselves because if we don't who will?

Now we have established that the so called sins are in fact signs (of having lived) we do no longer have the need to hide them! This leaves us free to enjoy dressing in flattering, colourful, inspirational, creative or boring (if you choose!) ways without having to worry about bulging or sagging parts. At least I try and that is one of my New Year Resolutions for 2015. We are worth to be visible, as Patty from Not Dead Yet Style has pointed out many times.

This picture was taken this afternoon on the beach with my favorite men (sons & husband) It was a lovely afternoon!

Do you have any new year resolutions regarding your appearance? Let me (us) know in the comments below!

See you next time,


8 opmerkingen:

  1. Brava to you for this post! Wonderfully said, we can't all be "silicone Barbie dolls" to quote the pop song. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday and happy new year.

    1. Thanks! I've seen that this post gets a lot of traffic. I guess there is something ''in the air'' with so many mature bloggers giving rise to their irritation about the standard images of women!

  2. Yes, my resolutions are to be Body Positive in the New Year and the years to come.

    Popped by from Vis Monday

    1. Very good resolution! I'm sure you have seen this:

  3. Your mask photo is brilliant! I always joke about my body, but I almost always joke about EVERYTHING. I found you at Patti's.

    1. Funny that isn't it? I expected clay in the package but out came that ridiculous cloth!

  4. So nice to meet you, Irmin! (Like Mel, I found you at Patti's.) This great post was a fine introduction. I agree with every point, and I applaud you for saying it all. We do sometimes reference the elements that make up our shapes as sins, and we should stop that instantly. I'm only 5' tall (probably less, but won't admit the loss of even part of an inch) so aspiring to any cultural ideal, the tall and willowy, has always felt like a fool's errand to me. Never even remotely possible, but I have my own aspirational demons. Thin was theoretically doable, but I rarely managed it. Classically pretty faces still fill me with admiration and self-loathing if I'm not quick and catch my own stupidity in the act!
    Advanced age (65 next month ... officially elderly!) helps a lot, and is freeing. I can still love my clothes and heels and boots and jewels and act on my long established taste. And I can continue to refine and redefine it and myself without every worrying how I stand up to the norm because I'm not now and never will be even close! That's an aspect of ageing that I never imagined, and I'm enjoying the freedom from old critical voices in my head.
    I prowled around on your site just a bit, and found we share a long standing aversion to being photographed. Good for you for tackling it in your middle years, instead of waiting until you were much older, like me! Blogging is good strength training for the healthy ego, and vanity management!
    Looking forward to seeing what you decide to think and talk about in 2015! Happy New Year to you and all yours.


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