Last month I became a semi-centennial. I’ ve been asked, ’how does it feel to be fifty?’ No different to being 49 actually. However, what I will say is that in reference to my blog about nearing that milestone, many ladies have emailed me/sent me messages about how relatable the blog was, so it got me thinking (no snide comments please 😁) about a recent funny I posted about menopause belly. It’s real and boy don’t the algorithms know it. For the last year, my social media has been inundating me with adverts for diets/exercise for menopause belly, accompanied with images of 50 somethings with bikini bodies. Marvellous. Anyone of a delicate disposition/insecurities or even has an unsupportive other-half could make themselves ill over it. It’s like the pressure that young women and girls are put under, to look a certain way, but for older ladies. Admittedly, there have been times that I look at said pictures, read what they do (work out 4 times a week for two hours a session) and eat healthily. Great. That’s that then, problem solved— not however in my world. You see, I’m by no means overweight or even voluptuous but I do have a tummy and I do enjoy eating what the hell I like (mainly chocolate). I admire these ladies and their dedication, but I can’t be those women, I’m afraid. If I embarked on these regimes, I would invariably fall off the bandwagon and go back to eating what I enjoy. Surely, in an era where mental health is prevalent, making women feel inadequate and shitty about themselves is counterintuitive, no?
Which brings me to the subject of men. How is it, a man’s paunch is deemed an endearing sight and accepted as a “dad bod” yet we are under pressure to look amazing even if inside we feel like poop? It’s gone on throughout history…if it’s not wrinkles/lips and lines, it’s our bodies….and in the 21st century we’re still yielding to the hallowed tips to look twenty years younger. Obviously, it’s a personal subject and every person has their hang-ups who then decide how far to take it. I’m still baffled as I write this, as to how it’s cute for a guy to have a gut and yet it’s unappealing for a woman…although, to be fair, some guys don’t care about a woman’s physiological changes that she has to go through and finds it as sensual to look at just as if she looked like a washboard. Then there’s the actual menopause— blimey, womanhood is the gift that keeps on giving. No matter, as with everything in a woman’s life, we take it on the chin and keep marching forward, whether we like it or not.
Approaching middle-age really has been an epiphany for me. Liberating, in fact. As a woman, I feel that I’m at the helm of my life (finally) and I have a confidence that I never knew I had. I’m not talking about my appearance but I am talking about not being a people pleaser. I’m at the stage where I think, ‘ok, if you want to do/don’t do/say this, then knock yourself out.’ Those who matter won’t mind and those who are affronted by it, well, that’s okay too. This comes with experience and age. I am however, determined to guide my kids into this confidence at an earlier time in their young lives. We make mistakes, yes, and to feel the mistake is a lesson learned, but the main thing is to share those pearls of wisdom in a way that will help them through life’s peaks and valleys.
© Eva x