When I was growing up, I thought my mom was a sexless being. Nurturing and smart, yes, but sexy? Hell no!
When I became a mom myself, I just didn’t feel sexy anymore. In fact, instead of being one of those glowing new moms, I felt more like Flo at Mel’s Diner at the end of a long shift, with 20 pounds of post pregnancy “grits” to carry around. While this devolution happened slowly – as my career took off I got too busy to go to the gym, my slinky party dresses gathered dust, and I got pregnant again and again and again – the realization was instant – when I caught a glimpse of myself at the pool with my sons in a faded and saggy one piece bathing suit in desperate need of a lot of wax.
So last summer, I decided it was time to bring sexy back. I started running and going to the gym 5-6 days a week. It was brutally hard, but so satisfying. I no longer have bat wings (jiggly arms), my legs are strong as a bull’s, and I’ve had to replace extensive parts of my wardrobe. But as I looked at myself in the mirror today, I noticed that I’m dressing my new body like a teenager – Roxy sundress and flip flops – and wondered if I should be dressing my age, not my shoe size?
But what is a 40 year old woman supposed to wear? I don’t agree with those articles in In Style magazine that show readers how to work a new trend (for example, shiny leggings) on a 20, 30, 40, 50+ year old. I always favor the stylings of the younger set, which is ironic because as a teenager my style was more Hilary Clinton than Hilary Duff. And while I don’t have a daughter, I do have nieces, one of whom is a tween. How much time do I have before we get caught in the same outfit? We already shop at the same stores! How much sexy is too sexy for the 40+ set?
I know I’m not alone in this quandry, as many of my friends are looking hotter than ever, now that the little ones have grown up (somewhat) and won’t starve to death if mommy goes out for a run. I have a petite friend, who passes off party tops as very short dresses. And she looks hot! I just saw another, more rubenesque friend in a slinky, curve-hugging green number and she rocked it too! Which just goes to show that sexy is a state of mind, not a number, so don’t tell me What Not To Wear. I am cougar, hear me roar!