Extracted from: Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry
Many years ago the British Calendar Girls displayed the beauty of their older bodies on a calendar. And, they were a success. Who would have thought? To some they were controversial as they expressed pride in aging physically. A pictorial characterization. A dare. Their images defied the norm. They pushed the collective envelope and went against the current. In fact, they boldly made statements through images of older women and their bodies respectfully naked. The prudish, uptight, anxiety ridden was nowhere to be found on them. No constipated images of aging. The body was being applauded.
We are of an era where people are considering themselves, maybe even insisting in a resistant or defensive way, to be younger and more vibrant that in previous eras. This is a tricky attitude and a possible denial. Do you look like your mother or grandmother in their housedresses and shapeless garb? Do you act like your mother or grandmother who gave up self-development long before they were as old as you are now? Like in the old song, the times, they are a changin’. Again, this could be a sign of progress and more consciousness or maybe another iteration of the old denial. Awareness makes us watchful that we live age consciously.
We do not have to just comply with some image but be willing to shape the present and future to be congruent with whom we are now. This attitude depends on not trying to be different, and entails being considerate and respectful of age. Paradoxically, this older time of life contains the capacity for change. We know what we desire and need, clearer about what fits and what does not.
And, aging signifies a definite loss of control; or maybe it is giving up the falsity of being in control. The scale, the numbers, the quality of production, and the amount of stress – all number driven, wrapped in linearity rather than the circular patterning that is more commensurate with nature. There is something valuable about the indirect way, a sinuous and circular flow leading we know not where. It is a winding and focus around the center.
The time for conformity and fitting in just to be accepted is over. Real forms of selfexpression derive not from a false front or to superficially conform, but arise from the real self, a more complete woman self. As we age, the need to define and express our essence becomes more insistent. The image of the older woman as frumpy is not true. Voice, artistic writing, style, intellect comes in all these numerous garments and more for expressing her soul.