Opinion Post by Richard Bleil
A female friend on my social network page posted a meme about getting older. I don’t remember the exact wording, but the gist of it was that she was becoming comfortable with no longer being a young, skinny, beautiful young woman and becoming a middle-aged cantankerous feisty older woman.
This breaks my heart.
I met this young woman many years ago when she was a singer in an act at a renaissance fair. She is gorgeous; beautiful dark hair, a with a gorgeous contrast to her dark eyes, beautiful body, very sweet voice, just drop dead gorgeous. I immediately fell in love with what I saw, which was a very stupid thing to do. I and also about twenty years older than she is, so I never kidded myself into believing that she could be interested in me. I respect that, so the most “effort” I made was to friend her on my social network.
Then I got to know her. I came to adore her heart and mind, and realize that she was a real person, with opinions, thoughts, worries, loves, hopes and dreams. But now, roughly fifteen years later, as far as her looks are concerned, she’s still drop dead gorgeous. Seriously. I fall in love with her again, every time I see her. Quick caveat here to say that nothing will ever happen, and I would not want it to. She happens to be married to a man who is also my friend (I met him at the same fair), who happens to be a great guy, very intelligent, extremely gentlemanly, and just a really superb person. I cannot express how happy I am that they have found each other.
But the reason she posted this meme has nothing, and I mean nothing, to do with her. Even with the progress we have made, our society is still very much male oriented, and women are the brunt of so many unfair societal standards that pander to the male ego. For some reason, our society defines beauty as young and skinny, which is exceptionally superficial. Skin is an organ. Honestly, it’s like finding kidneys hot. But this is where we are at.
I honestly wish I could say that I’m somehow different, but I’m not. I’m still attracted to women who, frankly, are far too young for me, but the interesting thing is that I recognize this flaw, and the more I catch myself falling for this, the less profound the attraction for youth really is. Sometimes I manage to actually become involved with somebody quite a bit younger than me. My last girlfriend, in fact, fell into this category, and I noticed several things.
First of all, she wasn’t nearly as intelligent or talented as she believed herself to be. She used to enjoy bragging about how well she could cook, but the few times she made supper for me, it was frozen food put into the oven, and usually overcooked at that.
And our experiences never did match up. She had a music degree, but somehow never learned who Fleetwood Mac is. I can’t blame her, but the point is that when I spoke of experiences from MY life, she couldn’t relate. When I discussed the proposed wall on the Mexican border with the German wall, she looked at me like I had just eaten a night crawler.
I wonder if she knows what night crawlers are. And if she would burn them.
Maybe it has something to do with a natural instinct for procreation. But whatever the reason, it loses SO many levels of beauty that are, sadly, overlooked. Even today. And we refuse to see the beauty of those things that should be heroic. We see stretch marks, but don’t tend to think of the torture she put her body through for the sake of having a child. We see “floppy” breasts, but miss that she nursed children and provided nutrients for them to live.
Have you ever really looked at women as they age? They’re GORGEOUS.
With age they become smarter, and more self-confident thanks to their experiences. They become less focused on themselves, and they tend to become far more concerned with others.
Naturally, I’m generalizing; there are always exceptions. But I’ll be honest; I would rather spend time talking with an older woman, sharing experiences with them, and looking at them. Their physical features tend to be less sharp and rigid, and far softer and warmer. What we find attractive is a choice, and it’s time, in my opinion, to begin to see experience, warmth and maternal instincts the definition of modern beauty.