Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.
Nowadays, there is greater acceptance in postmodern American society that women can be alluring and sensual, even sexual in their 50s and/or beyond. However despite this greater acceptance, there is a subconscious societal inculcation of youth being associated with being alluring, sensual, and sexy. Young women have always been considered to the total epitome of these three components.
Human brains are hardwired to think of young women as alluring, sensual, and/or sexy. After all, in this and/or many societies, young women signify fecundity in addition to having reproductive powers. These two components alone make young women desirable in the eyes of many. Also, youth is the period when one is considered to be most attractive. Young women are seen to be at the height of their femininity and allure factor.
Young women are considered to be sexy because they are considered to be ripened yet fresh. Young women are considered to be a highly desirable commodity. If they were not, they would not be used in various advertising media. Besides beauty, it is YOUTH that sells and sells mightily. For many, youth is the ultimate in the attractiveness/ beauty factor. If an advertiser wants to make millions on their products, the sure bet is to hire a beautiful young woman to sell the products. It has worked for ages.
Not only advertisers, fashion designers have regularly seen young women as their muse. They also see young, especially young, attractive women to be the apt representatives for their particular fashion line. Youth is considered to be the height of fashion and/or chic. The young body, particularly trimmed and/or physical fit bodies, are viewed as fashion ideas. As with advertising, fashion mavens and/or designers see youth is the height of saleability.
Youth represents an idea for the young or an idealized version to the slightly older. Seldom do designers use older models to sell a product unless it is age specific. The average model is either in her teens or twenties. After a model reaches her mid-20s unless she is a supermodel, she is oftentimes considered to be less marketable. Models in their 30s and beyond are in a minority. To reiterate, in this society, youth sells and sells extremely well.
In this society, fashion is seen as the purview and/or territory of the young. It is thought that in youth, a woman can be as adventurous, experimental, and/or as bold as she want. Youth is seen as the age when a woman can be as daringly outrageous or sexy as legally permitted and/or without a scornful eye and/or whisper. Fashion is also seen as fun and to many people's estimation, what is more fun than youth. Youth is seen as a license for many women to be who and what they want to be fashion-wise. Youth is also the time when a women can get away with murder in the fashion sense.
Sexy= Young.............YES .....But
When one thinks of a sexy woman, it is usually a young women. After all, young women are considered by many to be the most attractive of all women. Fashion-wise, young women are considered to be the most alluring and stunning. They are the ones who can dress anyway that they want without much condescension from others.
This is analogous to young toddlers splashing watercolors all over the walls. They can do it with abandon and nothing is said to them. In fact, it is oftentimes considered to be quite. The same with young women and fashion. A young woman with a very revealing decolletage gown will not get a second glace but if so, it will be generally positive. However, a 50 year old woman in the same outfit will often get second glaces but of a more negative nature.
Young women are seen as perfection personified or rather magnified. They are desired and possess what others want and/or need. Their faces are prized. Their hair is prized. Their lips are prized. Their bodies especially are prized. If these things were not so, plastic surgery would not be a multibillion dollar business. Every day, some woman who is considered to beyond her youthful attractiveness is having surgery to restore or improve on her youthful qualities whether it is eyes, face, lips, breasts, and/or other parts of her body. Being young-looking is in, if not a must, in this culture.
Besides face surgery, there are types of body reconstructive surgeries in order to recapture or retain youthful bodies. Many women decide not to go that route but they vigorously exercise in order to retain their youthful bodies. In addition to that, there are face and/or body creams, specifically collagen and elastin products, created to retard or slow aging. The point is to be as young as humanely possible.
With exercise and cosmetic enhancements, many older women refuse to see age as an excuse to dress matronly and/or dowdy. These women see youth beyond chronological age. To them, youth is an attitude. Many women from 50 on, even at the young age of 40, adamantly refuse to subscribe to their mothers' idea of age-appropriate dressing. They see that premise as totally old-fashioned as it went the way of the girdle.
The 40s are now considered young in the postmodern, 21st century and the 50s are seen to be the early onslaught of middle age. The 40s and 50s are no longer middle age or the harbinger of old age that our mothers perceived. The 40s and 50s have received a new makeover, rather a reconstructive revamping.
The 60s nowadays are no longer considered to be old age but are considered to be late middle age. Women in their 60s are no longer dressing dowdy; they, in fact, are dressing stylish, even sexy. Age no longer means undesirability.
Middle, Old Age Used to Mean .....DOUR, FASHION-LESS, SEXLESS......
Not so long ago, it was quite distinguishable the way a young woman dressed and the way a middle aged and/or older woman dressed. There was an unspoken and unwritten rule that once a woman reached the age of 40, there was a very strict demarcation as far as dress code went. A woman, at that stage in life, was supposed to dress more subdued and less sexy.
In fact, there was a societal expectation that she dress as conservatively and/or sexless as possible. After all, it was thought that once a woman reached the age of 40 and beyond, she was no longer considered to be young and/or sexy. She was deemed to be somewhat........old, or as the saying went, towards being over the hill. According to the societal construct, it was high time that she started to dress her age.
From the early part of the 20th century until the middle 1970s, middle aged and older women were expected to dress "appropriately". It was viewed as respectful, even tasteful, for women who have reached that certain age to tone down their fashion exuberance so to speak. It was thought that sexiness was the purview of women under 40 only.
Women over 40 were thought to have settled in their relationships and their lives so it no longer served them a purpose to be sexy. The very idea of a middle aged and/or older women being sexy and alluring was believed by many to be quite outlandish, even outrageous by its very premise. Attractive, of course, but sexy and alluring.......no.
After all, women in their 40s and beyond were mature, neither wild teens nor your women. It was deemed that her fashion days are behind her or should be soon. There were those who were quite bemused that a middle aged and/or older women would still be interested in fashion. In their estimation, middle aged and/or older women should move beyond the fashion stage of their lives.
If middle aged women were expected to dress less fashionably, older women were expected to be out of the fashion perimeters so to speak. Older women were seldom, if ever, considered to be sexual, even attractive. They were viewed as genderless people. If a woman was old (in her 60s), it was argued that her best years was far, far behind her. Older women, for the most part, were seen as declining or approaching death so it was believed that fashion should be the least of their concerns.
Middle aged, particularly older women, who wanted to retain their fashion sense were often derided as trying to be young. Such women were oftentimes chided for not acting age appropriate. In some circles, these women were considered to be quite morally suspect. It was reasoned according to such pundits, that if a woman was upstanding, why would she want to dress in a way which is not considered to be age appropriate. In essence, middle aged and older women who dressed alluring and sexily were deemed to be quite strange, even odd.
It was considered that these women were desperately holding on to the vestiges of their youth. They were thought of as being delusional, avoiding and facing their respective ages. To some, if these women were not desperate, why would they want to be the age that they are not. Many people maintained that these women have some serious issues with narcissism; if they did not, why would they continue to dress in ways that belie their ages.
NEVER, EVER Too Old To Dress..........S-S-S-Sexy
Middle age and/or older women since the 1980s refuse to adhere to the antiquated notion that youth, beauty, and/or sexiness disappear after middle age. They are realizing that young women do not have a monopoly on these three components. Young women furthermore do not have a monopoly on dressing fashionably and/or sexily. The strict fashion demarcations between youth and/or middle age are either disappearing or have disappeared. Young and/or middle aged women are wearing dungarees, mini skirts, and high heels.
There is no steadfast fashion rule as to what age wears what as long as the person is in good physical shape and/or appearance. As far as age goes, if a woman is in decent shape, there is no reason why she cannot wear sexy and/or revealing fashion up until their 80s and beyond. Conversely, if a young woman in her late teens, 20s, and/or 30s is not in the best shape, she should steer clear of any type of revealing and/or tight clothing.
Besides chronological age, there is a woman's personality type. There are some women who are more bold than others. Some women, regardless of age, have the boldness to wear revealing and/or more outlandish clothing while others, regardless of age, are more subdued,being more comfortable in more conservative, classic attire. There are middle aged and older women who live to make a fashion impact and/or statement while there are young women who prefer to be as nondescript as possible fashion-wise.
Age should not be factor regarding dressing as alluringly, sensually, and/or sexily as a woman wishes. As long as a woman is in good shape and/or attractive, she could dress as far as her confidence, fearlessness, and/or imagination takes her, regardless of age. Age is just an artificial construct and has nothing to do with the sexiness factor.
© 2013 Grace Marguerite Williams
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on December 16, 2014:
Thank you for your eloquent commentary. It is immensely appreciated in kind.
ahorseback on December 16, 2014:
Hi, I believe that older women who care ,have a second sense and a surrounding of beauty that not many younger ones have ! The elegance of maturity in mind , in body and in sexuality is awesome . Of course I always loved older women . ! I'm a little biased ! Great writing !....Ed
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 21, 2014:
Thank you for stopping by and adding to the discussion.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on August 21, 2014:
no, i think it ok to be sexy, as long you feel great
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on May 09, 2014:
SWilliams, thank you ever so much for your comments and for stopping by. It is greatly appreciated in kind.
swilliams on May 09, 2014:
I loved this article! I Tweeted it out. Very interesting because you touched on both sides of the subject, I always the thought that Jamie Lee Curtis dressed well and I love Maude A.K.A. Dorthy /Bee Arthur. I never knew if she was trying to be alluring or not because I was too busy laughing. Good Stuff.
poetryman6969 on December 23, 2013:
If you look good, its never too old to be sexy. I have seen a few women over 60 who actually look too skinny to be wearing a skimpy bathing suit. A little fat in the right places is actually a REALLY good thing.
Travis from New Jersey on December 15, 2013:
What about mothers who dress like their teenage daughters? Does it matter if they look good in the clothing? Should mothers emulate their daughters in choice of fashion? My answer to those questions is: no, I do not believe mothers should emulate the fashion choices their daughters make. Maybe I am old school (can I be old school at twenty years old?) but I think mothers should, instead, teach their daughters decency. But Travis, how can women be liberated if they have to cover their bodies! Should we consider women liberated based solely off of the apparel society deems appropriate for them to wear? If that is the case, prostitutes are the most liberated women in society. See my point?
Dressing sexy does not make a woman sexy; it only makes them eye-candy. Being sexy pertains to a woman's attitude and the manner in which she carries herself with. Confidence is sexy; intelligence is sexy; life experience is sexy. Fashion is an industry that cares very little for those elements of a genuine sexy woman.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on December 03, 2013:
Mark, you're indeed welcome. Sexiness is a state of mind unrelated to age. Many older people atrophy physically, mentally. and psychologically because they succumb to the negative self-fulfilling paradigm that to age means losing one's appeal. Older people, esp. women, were inculcated with the premise that fashion is for the young only. Magazines until recently catered solely to younger women. With the advent of More magazine, the fashion world is coming to the realization that older women can be sexy too. Thank you for stopping by and adding to the discussion.
Mark from Moundsville,WV on December 03, 2013:
Great Hub! A person is never too old to be sexy. I hope my wfe always desires to be sexy and confident because if she ever loses it then she will start dying from within. Have a blessed day and as always I enjoyed your wonderful hub.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on December 03, 2013:
Totally agree MC Singh. If a woman is physically attractive and is in good to great shape, there is really no age limit regarding what she CAN wear. Conversely, if a woman is young and flabby, stay away from the tight clothing please, people don't want to be aghast!
MG Singh from UAE on December 03, 2013:
Times change and so do concepts. But I feel the best judge as to what to wear is the lady herself. Another factor is body maintenance. this will have an effect on what to wear. Interesting hub. Voted up