Love the skin you’re in…


Why do men like their wine old and their women young? It’s a conundrum we sixty year old females laughingly discuss over many a glass of vino, because we know full well we’re a bloody good vintage.

New data backs this up. Researchers from Australia and New Zealand asked 15,264 people aged between 18 and 94 to rate how happy they were with their body image during a six-year period. The study published in the journal Body Image reveals that self-esteem and body confidence grows as women age. While young women are riddled with body insecurity, women in our sixties are much happier in our skin.

Why? Well, for females, life is in two acts – the trick is surviving the interval. Menopause, that horrible hormonal intermission, is discombobulating. I sweated so much, I thought the Gestapo were trying to get a confession out of me. Hell, I was having my own weather. It was like being a moody teenager again, only this time with wrinkles instead of pimples.

But once you come through that ordeal, a blissful contentedness sets in. I suspect its mostly to do with no longer caring about the male gaze. Once you’re wise enough to realise that you wouldn’t want a fella who only wants you because you’re wrinkle free from tonsils to toenails, well you no longer give a damn.

I can’t believe how much time I wasted as a young woman angsting over butt buoyancy and boob size. As a teen, anxiety about weight led to an obsession with exercise, mainly skipping; skipping breakfast, lunch, dinner. Once, I kissed a stray cat in the hope of catching worms. I avoided mirrors with such obsessional fervour that my family must have started to suspect I was a vampire.

Of course, I look back at photos of my slender teenage frame with bewilderment. I should have just worn a bikini everywhere – to the office, parties, functions – winter, summer and fall. And I bet you were all in similarly good nick. And yet our self esteem was limbo low as we constantly compared ourselves to the airbrushed women on billboards.

Sadly, social media has only exacerbated the pressure on girls to achieve the perfect body. Young women today are so thin, I wonder where they keep their internal organs? In their handbags? They live on cups of skimmed air; avoiding pastries as though laced in plutonium.

But we older women have worked out that if Mother Nature had wanted to see our skeletons, she’d have located them on the outside of our bodies.

And, talking of appetites, being relaxed in your skin also makes for much better sex. My female friends in their sixties, or sexties, as I prefer to call it, are having the best time in bed. Good sex is about letting go. And for relaxed, confident older women, it’s oh, OH! OHHH!!!!! What a feeling!

It’s time to rewrite The Graduate ensuring Mrs. Robinson gets to keep her college boy. After all, we mature females have biology in our favour. The male of the species hits his sexual prime in his late teens; a woman? Post 50, especially with the rocket fuel of HRT. When I see young women like Kitty Spencer marrying men older than their fathers, I think – come on. You don’t have to be Einstein to do the math. Put it this way, 19 goes into 60 a hell of a lot more than 60 goes into nineteen. A toy boy’s vocabulary may be small, but who cares, when he ends every sentence with a proposition? Liberated from periods and pregnancy fears, all that’s left is fun. Sex with a younger man is also a very effective way to keep fit – a case of having Your Beefcake and Eating It Too.

For women in our sixties, this latest age-positive research is the wind beneath our bingo wings. So, sexagenarians, embrace those crows’ feet, let the world read between your laughter lines and just go forth and be fabulous. And to younger women, please take some advice from an old chook – you’re gorgeous. Just love the skin you’re in and avoid any bloke who expects you to be thin enough to hang from your own charm bracelet.

Believe me, there’s nothing charming about a bloke like that.

Love, Kathy xx

Photo by Monika Kozub on Unsplash

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