Why are women shamed about aging?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-26-2002
Why are women shamed about aging?
Mon, 07-07-2014 - 12:16am

It's not as if getting older is our fault, but sometimes you'd think it was.

I am dieting my a... off, and the weight loss is slow, but I'm trying to get down to a weight that always made me look and feel my best in the past.  I admit though, there is that magic thinking of "I can diet the years away".  As if you will lose 20 years along with 20 lbs. There is that fantasy that the right diet can make you young again and everything will be ok. Well it does help a bit, but I still have 5 or 10 lbs to go. While in the process of dieting I look haggard and older---always did on a diet. But when the diet's over you get your glow back.

Today some stupid young male supermarket workers made insulting remarks to me ("would you do that; no she's an old lady"---I'm not that old by the way)  I don't know why I get targeted like that. I haven't cut my longish hair in months (hair salon phobia) so maybe it looks worse than I thought. There are no mirrors anywhere in NYC. I don't even know what I look like. I'm in a sublet with minimal mirrors. I don't dress like a tart or too young (except maybe when I wear skinny pants, but I don't think so).

I used to be quite a knockout but I've gotten older. Back then of course the harrassment was painful. At least I usually don't have to deal with that now. But it's hard not to have that beauty naturally anymore. I'm still not too bad, but... I don't want to look like these women after plastic surgery, so I'm not sure that's an option. It's just that our society still treats women in these limiting ways.  If you're young and gorgeous you will be hounded and made miserable. If you get old you will be shamed and/or disregarded.

I suppose I should get to a damn hair salon (kicking and screaming) and hope that the ghastly salon mirror does not make me look worse than I thought. Oh no more bad news please!  Where's the hope and optimism and the feeling that good things are going to happen?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-02-2008
Mon, 07-07-2014 - 12:27pm

Women are shamed about aging because men make us feel shameful. Men are driven by looks. To believe anything else is just plain lying to yourself. No one finds sagging breasts, bulging bellies and fat rear ends, cellulite and wrinkled skin as attractive as a firm 20 year old.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-04-2004
Tue, 07-15-2014 - 7:51pm
i don't think it's men - i think it's messages that we get from the media (magazines, hollywood, etc.). i don't know where the media's obsession with youth comes from and i don't know why so many of us choose to accept it but i don't think it's a good message. i like getting older; i have gray hair and wrinkles but i also have a ton of great stories and i've learned A LOT in my life. i personally think it's experience and what's on the inside that counts. just my two cents :) why are you afraid of getting your hair cut?