“I bet you were gorgeous when you were young,” I was told recently, via message, like that was supposed to be a compliment. Yes, I was gorgeous, ish, for a while, and self-absorbed, and shallow, and inexperienced, and over-sensitive and dull. You’re right, mate, you’d have much preferred me then.I just think it's funny that she genuinely appears to believe she isn't still self-absorbed, and shallow, and over-sensitive, and dull. Basically, she's no longer attractive, but she is experienced. And she wonders why men don't look at her?
I’ve been thinking a lot about this. What does it mean to us, as women, to be told that we’re worth less than we used to be? No man I know has ever been told that his powers, his allure, his charm have faded, and that he has to face up to that redundancy. Many women I know in their 50s talk about their invisibility in public places. I’m sure a case could be made for invisibility as a liberating force in a woman’s life, but I am not the woman to make it, not this week at least, when I’ve been dissed or else flatly ignored by all the men I’ve said hello to.
It’s making me a bit rebellious, I admit. It’s making me want to look 50, and talk about 50, and stand firm with a whole movement of women, rejecting the pressure to try to look 35 for ever, throwing away our foundation garments and hair dye. I get these impulses and then I buy another stupid snake-oil anti-ageing cream.
It’s true that men don’t see me any more. It’s sobering to walk down the street observing how the 50-year-old men behave, paying attention to what they’re looking at as they stroll along. They are not looking in shop windows. They are not looking at me. They are looking at women half their age.
This is just another exhibit of Steve Sailer's Law of Female Journalism: "The most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that the journalist herself be considered hotter."