I always hate going to places where I have to give them my age or date of birth. I know I don’t look my age and inevitably I get the “You look good for 47”. My thought is always, are forty something women supposed to look bad? Horrible? Ugly? Hag-like? Honestly, if it’s a professional place like a doctor’s office or insurance agency, etc., it should be inappropriate to make any comment about someone’s age or appearance that has nothing to do with the business at hand. I know they mean well but I feel uncomfortable and it’s a rather demeaning comment for women my age and older.
Do you think it’s inappropriate to make a comment like that? Do you have expectations of what forty plus people are suppose to look like? Or do you experience something similar? How do you feel about it?
I don't think it has anything to do with a predetermined "what you should look like" at a certain age. I think people of a certain age look in general around the age they are. So if you look older or younger than what you revile in my opinion it's a normal reaction to say something about it. But most people aren't mean so when you look older "to them" they will generally not say anything because it's unnecessarily a rude comment. But when you look younger they feel the need to be nice and say something nice. All my opinion obviously.
Well, ultimately - the person making the comment is the one with the feelings: like envy, or low self worth or whatever. But their brain thinks it's you, so that's how it comes out. The reality is the lazy human brain doesn't want to process the complexities of things like self worth and empowerment, it would rather just be incredulous at how youthful you might look. So.... it's on them, and I have learned from my past not to own others' feelings. Of course none of that actually is helpful, because those scenarios just recur. If it was me, I might say to that person "I felt disrespected when you commented on my age." You're owning your feelings and giving the other person a chance to reflect on their words or actions. If you were to point at them and say "you made.me feel like this," that person will likely feel blamed and shut down, and be doomed to repeat it all.again...and you will not have owned your feelings. Ownership of feelings. Huge deal IMO.
40 something women aren't supposed to look bad or ugly but usually by the time any of us, men or women, are in our forties we have allowed ourselves to drop off. People quit exercising and don't really put any effort in to their health so over a 40 + year life most people are looking worse than they should be. It is a huge compliment for someone to recognize your efforts in maintaining a lifestyle that has preserved your youth so well.
That's a compliment that I only get when I'm clean shaven (that's not often). The gray in my beard gives me away and makes me look older than I am. I'm okay with that.
As far as compliments go, it's not bad at all. Some people don't age well at all. You have good genes and probably live a healthy life. Run with with it lady.
I think it is that you do look younger. I suppose it depends on who says it. My kids call me old and it is funny even though they mean it. I think people try to be nice when they can but it may not appear that way. You are very attractive, so I would clam up lol.
Maybe there's a better way to say it. I think that there's a lot in that compliment. It probably includes sentiments about your beauty, the fact that you are aging well, the fact that it's impressive and contrary to our expectations culturally. There's probably even a little jealousy. But I think what I'm hearing is that those aren't things you personally want to be complimented on. Does that sound like a fair description? I see posts in this thread of those who do want those compliments. So, what's a good way to tell the difference? Should we ask permission before we give compliments?
I get your point but I will add that often a woman to woman comment about looks and age seems to be about projection i.e. they hope to be as good looking/young looking at your age. That won't change your opinion I know.
Little story: I also look young for my age. When purchasing alcohol at a store there was a sign that said if you don't look 42 (twice 21) then you will be carded. The teller jokingly asked, are you older than 42? pointing the card. I said absolutely (grin)! Then she said, older than 48? I said I'm pushing 55.... I think she was coming on to me I realized much later... She looked like a beaten up 65 y.o.... Now I wonder if she was signaling she was an available 48 y.o. ?!
You look super and I wish there are more like you at your age. Canada has substantially more instances of good looking mid aged women than USA, but going overseas especially to South Eastern Europe there are almost all like that.
I believe the beauty of female population is acoefficient to misery
The less of misery — the more beautiful female population is
I'm very sorry. I am guilty of this huge mistake. It's totally inappropriate. I won't do it again
I wish I could undo the damage and hurt I've caused. This is a wakeup call for me. Wow, I always thought of myself as prowomen. I have to try to rethink everything and think before I speak.
I didn't even realize how ignorant and demeaning I've been til you posted this truth. My stupid, backwards ass brain thought I was really giving a great compliment.
I should have shown the proper respect that a woman deserves. I will work on being better. Thank you for being so open and honest teaching me such an important issue.
Although women shouldn't have to go through this or waste their time to explain this to dumbass men like me, I think the world will get much better for women if they are brutally honest with men. Like Grace has done here.
Bravo to you for saying it! I needed to hear it!
I don’t mind if someone says I look young for my age but looking good for my age I take as a different thing. It implies may be I should not look “good”. Or those my age can’t look good normally. And for professionals in their professional position should not even comment.
I will be turning 50 in 3 years. That should be a lot of fun!!!
I've never felt ashamed of my age, actually it makes me feel proud to have lived this long since there have been so many times it could have ended abruptly. I've come paper close to death more than ten times in my life and have just celebrated by 75th birthday on the fourth of July. It's a joy to be able to sit back and think about it. Yes, it's good. Remembering when I came up for air after being swept off of a troop carrier by a wave in a north Atlantic winter storm, or how it felt to find my way back through the desert after my car broke down on a back road in summer. Crashes, fires, earthquakes, two attempts on my life, they've tried and failed. Sure, I'm happy to see 75. The scars are like badges. Be proud of it.
I don't want to hear any commentary on my looks unless you're my lover. In which case I already know how you see me. I still make some of my living off my looks, not a beauty thing or an age thing - an 'interesting' thing. I, too, find comments like that annoying and inappropriate.
I'm a little surprised this account of those interactions doesn't end up involving some sideways racist compliment from the other person. That was what I expected when I started reading, I was waiting for the receptionist to attribute this 'hard-to-comprehend juxtaposition of age and appearance' to race somehow. So I guess hooray for them not being racist about it...but ageism is its own gross and unacceptable paradigm.
When I was younger, people over a certain age looked 'old' and it created weird perceptive nonsense, but the older I get the less that seems to be present. In your teens and twenties, everyone even a couple of years older than you seems ancient and wizened. By the time you hit your 30s you've seen 60-year olds who look 40 and 20-year olds who look 50 and so it gets more apparent that trying to base a guess about age based on appearance becomes a little more obviously untrustworthy. This of course assumes you pay attention and exhibit at least some characteristics of social consciousness, which unfortunately seems beyond the concern of a disheartening number of people.
I also do not look my age. 20 years younger is the usual comment. If you resent it you need a good come back. It is better than them saying, "Gee . You're overdo for your face lift." If you were of African descent you would say as we do here in the US "black don't crack".