Who Decides What Is “Age Appropriate”?

Pat Garner

As we age, I hear the term age appropriate when it comes to just about anything.  I hear it relating to fashion, hair and makeup, music preferences, how we should eat, how we should live, and the list goes on.

My question is are we standing in judgment when we see someone wear an item of clothing meant to be worn by someone younger? I used to jokingly say spandex is a right and not a privilege. Is age appropriate a phrase we place upon ourselves as a limiting belief that we can’t do something? Is there a section in Nordstrom’s called Age Appropriate? If there is, I haven’t seen it, have you? I’ll still browse through the junior clothes and just size up since those clothes are cut for a less curvy body.

Will I wear six-inch stiletto heels? The answer would be a big fat NO. But not because I can’t, but rather because I wouldn’t be comfortable. I have my own style somewhere between bohemian and camping chic. When I “retired” from my 9-5 job I stopped wearing business wear and opted to a more casual on-trend look. The reality is it keeps me feeling vibrant to get dressed and put on some makeup (or not) if anyone sees me or not.

Who decided what is age appropriate? Are there age appropriate police out there somewhere telling us what we should wear or how we should look? I wonder…it’s like the proverbial “they”.

As angry as the world seems right now why add to the pressure of society claiming we need to be a certain way. Be who you are and be happy with and accept yourself as you are in this moment. You have no control over the past or future, only the present. Embrace right now.

I vote for removing the term age appropriate from our vocabulary.  I mean, wouldn’t it be discrimination for someone to say we need to dress a certain way for our age? I guess that would be ageism. I asked my 26-year-old son his opinion about the term age appropriate and his response was “I don’t care what someone wears or does as long as it doesn’t affect me”. (how millennial of him) I asked him further if an 85-year-old woman wearing stilettos would affect him and his response was…” why would it?” I suppose I raised a smart man.

In the end just be you and love yourself as you are right now and rock the mini and heels!

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