Mirrors. Like men. You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. Mirrors are the ultimate check of your comfort level with body image. In my new book, Sexperienced. Guide for the Seasoned Women seeking new possibilities, I dive into body image – how we can handle and conquer our attitude about the impact of time on our bodies. I truly believe that self assurance, sexiness, and allure are all in our ‘tude, and win out (most of the time) over youth and tight skin (ok, some of the time).
On Sunday, I tested that theory with retail therapy of my own. There I stood, in my skivvies – just me, the personal shopper, and the mirror – all in the same dressing room. Who is that woman in the mirror (referring to me)? Seriously, omg, that isn’t my body! I don’t really look like that, do I?
I’m not talking about my forehead, in case you were going to comment on how firm and taut that is. I am talking about everything below that. The problem is (I found myself explaining this to the personal shopper), that I have not been able to work out since I fractured a vertebra last December. That’s why my arms look like my grandmother’s. Cringe. It’s true. That dimpled sagging skin. I remember thinking how comfortable those arms looked, as a child. Now? On me? Let me put it this way. Not even my old boyfriend, now a good buddy, could say anything other than, “It will come back really quickly when you are able to work out again”. Even he couldn’t negate it! The personal shopper told me to go get it spray tanned.
The truth hurts. Or does it? Turns out it wasn’t so much about the clothes as it was about my brain, the thoughts I was thinking, and my attitude. I was letting stereotypes of our youth culture, and other peoples opinion (and the story I was attributing to them – not necessarily what they were intending) make my day of delightful shopping into one big pity party.
Not necessary for any of us! My advice to myself and to you? Stop the pity party right now. Find clothes you love, and don’t settle for less. If you don’t feel absolutely beautiful in it, don’t buy it. A little harsh, perhaps , but it’s the truth. Do yourself a big favor and get on the discount list for the book, in the right hand column of this article, so that you’ll be in the discussion about body image for the Boomer plus age group. Tomorrow, I’ll have more details about how to handle life in the fitting room. Stay tuned.