Aging does not mean a person does not want to look reasonably good. Everyone cares how they look, though we might be limited by factors such as age, illness, body features. Please, don’t tell me you are only exercising for your health. I won’t believe you. You might try to say you “don’t care” what other people think, but that is probably over-stating it. It is good to care less than many people do, but we all choose how to present ourselves on a daily basis, one way or another. I do recognize that some people appear to have given up some aspects of their grooming, but experience informs me that it is usually from frustration rather than real lack of caring at all. Also, even with that supposed mindset, people do something to either fit in with a certain social group or express themselves with their choices.
When it comes to being an over 50 year old athlete, for so I presume to categorize myself since I engage in regular exercise, one is somewhat freed from the pressures of youth, but while facing the realities of aging. There is no chance of looking like a fresh-faced model, so one can give up worrying about it, but one has to be ready to accept the decline that comes with that. That doesn’t mean you have to concede when your friends start talking about dressing “appropriately,” which I think means attempting to hide as much expanding girth or sagging skin as possible. It also usually includes
boring conservative styles and colors – as a sign of humility. Or something.
Some people over the age 50 even go so far as to limit their activities, because to attempt movement with much energy might embarrass them. They say it is so they won’t break anything, and I know that we have to be more careful with the aging body, but lack of use actually makes it more brittle. Plus, I have a suspicion that most of them put on the brakes well before there is any danger, being more concerned about “decorum.”
Not me. I aim for a very comfortable combination of carefree abandon and overtly cheerful in both my movement and my attire. I am going to be active, so my clothing must adequately accommodate that, but color and form are meant to be enjoyed; and I enjoy them with what I wear. It is not my aim to shock people, yet neither am I concerned if they choose to be shocked. At my age, things are shifting and wagging, but there is no logical reason I should be dressed to hide it for someone else’s visual “comfort.” I have weather, maneuverability, and fun factors that are much more important to me than whether or not someone sees my over 50 year old belly or has their own “standards” for appropriate. There are so many opposing standards….
Really, I want to be a good role model. However, I want to be a role model who is content and happy with who I am and the effort I am making. I want others, old and young, to be encouraged to “fly free” as well. Free to look less than 20something photoshopped. Free to post photos where they are laughing so hard their face is contorted. Free to wear functional and fun short skirts and spandex pants. Free to dance barefoot for both maximum stability and twirling. Free to be so full of joy that people are inspired to wonder why and how. Let function and fashion meet in a blend that fulfills personal needs and desires without unnecessary self-conscious concern for what can’t be changed or how the self-appointed fashion police are looking at us.