I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Purportedly, it’s so I can keep up with my large, extensive family. There are many of us and, without Facebook, there is no way I could remember all the birthdays, see all the family photos and otherwise stay engaged with all the aunts, uncles and cousins. And really, this is a huge part of why I pass many hours on social media.
However, I am also completely guilty of getting caught up in a great deal of unnecessary ridiculousness. I cannot count the amount of hours I have wasted tearing up over dog rescues (of dogs I have no intention of adopting). They always warn you that you’ll need a tissue and I always think I’m way tougher than that. But, as it turns out, I’m not. Take a scared and injured dog, clean him up and make him smile and I’m a blubbering idiot. Blubbering. Idiot.
And don’t even get me started on soliders returning home and surprising their families. Why do I even subject myself to it? It’s not like anything shocking happens. I know the whole time that they are going to pop out of something or run out of somewhere or sneak up on someone. They tell you as much RIGHT IN THE TITLE. I am always forewarned. And yet, I see the face of the unknowing wife/child/parent/sibling and I am overwhelmed by the flood of emotion. It’s really quite embarrassing.
But probably the most embarrassing time-suck of all are the quizzes. I have learned that if I were a dog I’d be a German Shepard. If I were a character from Parks and Rec, I’d be Ron Swanson. The soothsayers of the quiz world have also said that I should really be living in Scotland, I was a warrior in a previous life and I am much more like a man than a woman.
This is, of course, completely ridiculous and totally asinine. And yet, I am not alone in my quiz-taking. In fact, I now know that a large group of my friends would be beagles living in France.
I also enjoy reading other people’s blogs. So many women share my feelings on parenting and marriage. Many more have completely different views. But all in all, I appreciate the laughs I get from sharing misery with another mom or the opportunity to see another’s thought process. And I really like when someone is even more of a wreck than me. It’s oddly comforting to know that I could sink lower.
What I really hate though are the judge-y people. I like to think that I put my ridiculous life out there, offering my personal thoughts and views, but focusing on how I interact with the world. I try not to tell you how you should interact with the world (though I’m sure I’ve made suggestions) because that’s your thing. I mean, live and let live, and all.
So when I saw a list of things that women over 30 should never wear, my curiosity got the best of me. I knew I’d be mad when I read it. I was mad just seeing the title. Because really, would you ever see a list of what men over 30 shouldn’t wear? Of course not. Right off the bat, it’s sexist. Strike one. Now, let’s examine the list.
24. Graphic Tees
23. Bedazzled anything
22. Blue Eyeshadow
21. Victoria’s Secret PINK
20. Leopard Print
19. Sparkly Pants
18. Oversized Sunglasses
17. Non-matching Socks
16. Hoop Earrings
15. Furry Boots
14. Furry Anything
13. Tube Tops
12. Short Dresses
10. Woman Overalls
9. Crop Tops
8. American Eagle
7. Booty Shorts
6. Old Sneakers
5. Cheap Bras
4. Glitter Eyeshadow
3. Platform Flip-Flops
2. Abercrombie & Fitch
First of all, why is it in descending order? Unless it’s a countdown, there is no reason to do this (OK, so I’m judging – but really it’s just my OCD). And without even getting too deep into this, I can agree with a handful of these. But not because women over 30 shouldn’t wear them, because NO ONE should wear them: bedazzled anything, sparkly pants, tube tops, booty shorts and platform flip flops.
And though I’ve been guilty of wearing some of these, there is a valid argument for their elimination from the fashion world:
Victoria’s Secret Pink, because no one needs words on their butt. No one. Furry boots/furry anything because, why? I can’t even understand, unless you are an indigenous person from the last century, the use of fur, real or fake, for any purpose.
Short dresses, mini-skirts, crop tops, because there is a certain beauty to leaving something to the imagination. However, wearing leggings and a tight top, even if they cover almost all of one’s skin, are just as revealing, if not more so. And really, if a woman is comfortable, then leave her the hell alone.
I won’t even address the ones that seem totally arbitrary. Though I’ve tried, I can’t figure out what is wrong with graphic tess, non-matching socks, old sneakers, hoop earrings or scrunchies. These have age limits? Because only young women put their hair up? And who discerns the “old” classification for sneakers? I have a pair that are likely 10 plus years old, but I also have five other pairs, so they don’t get worn all that often. Is it actual age or the state of being?
Just quickly, I’ll rant about Abercrombie & Fitch. This man has openly said he only makes items up to a certain size because he wants to be exclusionary. He made T-shirts for women that said, “Who Needs Brains When You Have These,” and created thongs and push up bras for girls under the age of 10. He’s a terrible, revolting person. And yes, I am judging him; totally and completely judging his awful, sexist (leaning towards pedophilia) self.
Moving on, the rest of the list is just wrong. I have seen women over 70 rock the hell out of oversized sunglasses, blue, sparkly eyeshadow and animal prints. In fact, they may wear these things better than anyone. And though overalls have never flattered anyone, there has never been an article of clothing more useful. Not having to fear plumber’s crack while gardening is just an added bonus.
At the end of the day, I celebrate every women, of any age, who has the unabashed self-confidence to wear whatever, whenever. How about, instead of lists that tell us what we should and should not wear, we make lists about awesome women who look amazing whilst breaking all the rules? Life’s too short to spend even a fleeting moment hating on someone else’s outfit and/or accessories.
So go ahead and rock that hot pink lipgloss with your matching PINK sweatpants. I’ll high five your fabulous self as I march by in my Doc Marten boots (of which I have more than one pair). Because at the end of the day, we all really just want the same thing: to be loved and appreciated for who we are on the inside. Oh, and a gift card to the liquor store.
I wear my hair up everyday so I was really disturbed by the whole no-scrunchie-over-30 thing. I mean, I don’t have any with My Little Pony or anything, but I do have a few in blacks and browns. Who knew I was such a fashion dinosaur? I think, just to annoy people like the woman who made this list, we should all bring back scrunchies. Wikihow has step by step instructions, with pictures. I think some leopard print fabric would be appropriate.
Laurie Nigro, a mother of two, is passionate about her family, her community, and natural living. Laurie resides in downtown Riverhead and is co-founder of the River and Roots Community Garden on West Main Street.
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