For the past few weeks, the discussion of “How old is too old?” has come up a lot for me. Well, not necessarily for me per se, but in reference to celebrities and even everyday women who wear and do certain things after a certain age to the chagrin of others. Writer IndigoBlack did a slideshow a while back about that wretched half-shaven hairstyle that stars like Cassie and Rihanna like to wear, and in it, she pointed out that even Jada Pinkett Smith had tried the hairstyle. While she looked pretty cool in it, it seems that for the 41-year-old mom, some felt she was doing too much at her age (including the author). To that, a reader disagreed with a very interesting comment:
“I think it’s ridiculous to say anyone is too old for anything, except maybe breast feeding. that’s what’s wrong with society. people turn 40 and assume they and everyone else their age are growing old and stale, and the closer they get to their expiration date, the more boring they have to get… do what you want, wear what you want and live your life exactly how YOU want to, who cares what year you were born?”
I kept this comment in mind after checking out the old post. Less than a week later I was surprised to find that on a popular fashion website, they were asking “How old is too old to wear a crop top?” plastering the image of Evelyn Lozada and LaLa Anthony with their stomachs out. Toned with tummies looking even better than my stomach at ages 37 and 33, I thought to myself, “Hell, if their bodies are in shape and looking better than most young women’s bodies, what’s the harm?”
Fast forward to this past weekend when Madonna came out with a Chinchilla fur and no pants on, and Jennifer Lopez performed in a red leotard (booty all out) and thigh-high boots with a boa at the Billboard Music Awards, everybody had a lot to say on social media. Folks were all over Facebook saying that Madonna looked a fool at 54 in her fishnets (though those legs of hers are envious), while others were claiming that despite her very entertaining performance, Jennifer Lopez was too old to be dressing like an extra from the Broadway show, Kinky Boots. Pair that with the fact that even my mother scolded the singer through the television during the Grammys for wearing one of the highest slits I’d ever seen at the age of 43, and it’s clear that many believe that as your age goes up, your levels of rachet should go down.
So now that I have all that straight, I guess I just need clarification from someone about exactly what age I’m supposed to turn in my tight jeans and my crop tops, and start wearing muumuus and mom jeans, because clearly their is some unwritten rule that when you pop out a few kids and get around your late 30s, you’re supposed to start shopping at Dress Barn and wearing dresses more fitting for a character like Madea. But we all know that’s complete bull.
While I can for the most part agree that as a mother, you shouldn’t be out here behaving recklessly (i.e., at the clubs all night, booty shorts on at PTA conferences and rocking belly shirts at graduations), I think we can all be a little too hard on our fellow sisters who would rather dress and act how they feel, and not by what their age relegates them to do. And I’ve found that it’s so easy for either younger women, or older women who’ve turned in their hot pants, to point the finger at the J.Los and other brave souls with banging bodies to say, “Have a seat,” but nobody wants society, especially not strangers on the Internet, telling them what looks appropriate on them because of their age.
I will say though, there is a difference between expressing yourself how you want and being thirsty for attention. If this attire is all you wear, chances are, you’re crying out for help. But if your body can look as right and tight as Madonna’s at 54, why not show a little leg? If your stomach, despite a kid or two, or three, is washboard worthy, why not put on a crop top occasionally? Our bodies are our own, and just because motherhood and older age comes, it doesn’t always mean that you have to dress like Bea Arthur on Golden Girls (love that show!). Life’s too short to start living a dull existence because people you don’t know tell you that’s what you should do. As Kevin Hart would say, “Do you boo boo, do you.”
Oh yes, but let’s keep the hot pants and leotards to a minimum ladies, especially if you want to stay in good graces with your kids. Everything in moderation…