Taking on the Blogging Bullies—Ageism, Fear & Misbehaving "Old" Women

Fashion for the Over 30 Woman
Fashion for the Over 30 Woman

Writers have a LOT of power. A LOT. Art often not only defines and reflects a society as it currently exists, but it can be a compass for the direction that culture is heading.

This said, there was a blogger who sent me into the STRATOSPHERE on Saturday and had me sharpening kitchen knives. As a writer, I strongly believe in giving credit for the writing, but this is a sticky situation.

I won’t mention her name or her blog for a number of reasons.

First, she doesn’t deserve the traffic I might send her. Being a jerk shouldn’t be rewarded and bad attention is still attention. Secondly, I couldn’t trust myself not to be a troll, so I won’t subject her to comments she deserves because, since I’m older?

I’m classier than that 🙂

Since she’s simple enough to locate on Twitter, FB and the blogosphere, I’m not going to set her up as the easy target she’s already made herself.

Women—REAL women—watch out for one another (even the twerps).

Yet, the overall tone of the blog bothered me DEEPLY and though this “writing” was meant to simply be a fashion blog, it said way more about our culture than simply what not to wear.

How It Happened

Can get you in trouble...
Can get you in trouble…

In between writing or cooking or cleaning I click on posts. It’s part of my job as an author. I’m a woman and admit to my own level of vanity, so when I saw a post about X number of things NO WOMAN over 30 should EVER wear, I was curious (being almost 41).

I thought my head would EXPLODE, not because of the list, which I can always disagree with. Rather, it was the shi#!$ commentary, the ageism and the immeasurable level of disrespect that followed the “tips.” Here are a few of my “favorites.”

Graphic Tees—You are what we call a “grown-up.” Now, dress like it, please.

Reply: You are what we call a snot. Stop speaking before you get hurt.

Non-Matching Socks—By Age 30, you should be able to keep better track of your socks.

Reply: Talk to me after you’ve had some kids.

Hoop Earrings—Only girls in high school can pull off hoop earrings.

Reply: Did you ask the Latinas about this? You might have a bounty on your head. Might watch your six.

Old Sneakers—Grown women should not be seen in rundown tennis shoes. If you can’t afford a new pair, then it’s time to reevaluate life as a 30 year old.

Reply: Old sneakers are great for throwing.

Glittery Eyeshadow—Save the glitter for things that should actually sparkle.

Reply: We are NEVER too old to sparkle 😛 . Try a good attitude, a smile and being positive. Glitter simply enhances these attributes you clearly do not yet possess.

Abercrombie & Fitch—Do thirty-year-olds even FIT in A&F clothes?

Reply: I will CUT you O_o …

Let's talk some more about how I am old and ugly….
Age and treachery….

Anyway, as y’all can imagine, this generated QUITE the heated discussion on my Facebook page. This blogger should have titled the post “How to Piss Off Women Globally 24 Ways.” Yet, among the comments a few of my friends were well-meaning.

They’d say, “Pthththt, ignore it.” “A blogger shouldn’t dictate how you feel about yourself.” “Just move on. She’s a b%$#@.”

And there are plenty of times I ignore asshattery and DO move on. If I ranted against everything that rubbed me the wrong way, I’d be in a coma by lunch. Yet, this blog DID land in my crosshairs because it is the definition of evil. It’s misogyny, ageism, narcissism, and BULLYING wrapped in one ad-crammed package.

By the time I finished reading the tips, I was curious if the blogger would find THIS as an acceptable gift for female 30th birthdays….

Image courtesy of TrueFashionMirror
Image courtesy of TrueFashionMirror

A Little Respect, Please?

When one looks deeper into this “innocent” blog, it becomes clear it is FAR from innocent. Here is a girl not just giving tips to her elders, but also passing judgement in a highly disrespectful manner.

I am about to be 41, a mother and wife, a C.E.O., have a degree and was living in a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria when she was fighting acne in high school. I’ve been a writer longer than she has had a driver’s license. I feel I’ve earned a measure of respect.

She obviously mistook me for her peer. This is the narcissism I’m referring to.

And we are seeing A LOT of this these days. Well-meaning parents wanting their kids to be their “friends” forgot to add that yes, we are friends, but we are NOT equals.

Unfortunately, this causes a lot of problems. First, those younger than us can endure needless suffering because they refuse to believe older people might actually have some sound advice.

In the workplace, many younger people are doing poorly because they simply won’t follow simple instructions without a detailed explanation of WHY from a highly vexed superior.

Because I am the boss. Just DO it.

This can actually be very dangerous. I’m part of the military, medical, and law enforcement culture. There are far too many young nurses, recruits and cadets who are simply not teachable.

They ask WHY, WHY, WHY with no thought of who is standing there. This insubordinate attitude undermines the authority of the person in charge and, frankly, in these jobs? Failure to listen and take instructions is a good way to die (or have someone else die).

In Corporate America? They just fire said snit and said snit ends up working as a barista clueless why he/she can’t get ahead despite that expensive degree.

This failure to respectfully communicate also harms us older folks. Instead of being able to harness what youth DOES bring to the table—boundless energy, creativity, a fresh perspective—we are too busy thinking if their lifeless body will fit in the office’s recycle bin.

She asked WHY one too many times and I SNAPPED!


Yes, something as small as a “fashion blog” can perpetuate eventual ruination. How? Because posts like these are “small” people say. “Oh just ignore it.” But these images are everywhere, like army ants. Small destructive buggers. Alone? No big deal. But millions of them left ignored?

Even the LIONS run...
Even the LIONS run…

Our society is in a crisis. We don’t value older people and older workers the way we should. I once worked for a company who had never once had a person make it to retirement. Employees hit a certain age and were badgered, bullied and written up until they quit or could be “legally” fired—then replaced with two college graduates who ask WHY all the time.

*head desk*

There was so little appreciation for the wealth of knowledge, instinct, and maturity that older worker brought to the table. Yet, how much of our entertainment culture is fueling this attitude?

If I don’t want to buy Cosmo, and maybe read a magazine with women my age in it? The pictures are all of food and housecleaning devices.

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 8.01.28 AM

The Double-Bind Age & Invisibility

Women over a certain age seem to vanish off the screen, or are recast as a mom or grandmother. Sean Connery can be a love interest in his late 60s, but a woman? EW!

41, with my EYESHADOW and Call of Duty Shirt :P
41, with my EYESHADOW and Call of Duty Shirt 😛

There are 20 year-olds advertising wrinkle creams and teenagers modeling underwear for women. The fashion industry has been far too silent for the largest consumer demographic with the most disposable income.

This particular “fashion blog” did a great job of pissing me off  but what are the affordable alternatives? She took great pains to knife me over and over, but where is something helpful I can use?

Okay, no eyeshadow or glitter. Why? And, HELLOO? What’s better than eyeshadow and glitter?

NOTHING. The answer is NOTHING. Unless Predator Drones and trebuchets are options and then I will have to think on that.

Kristen at almost 35...
Kristen at almost 35…

Sure, if I could afford Chanel, Gucci or even Ann Taylor, I might be able to “age gracefully” (so let’s add in classism to our list). But in a regular store? Women over 30 have four choices—Tragic Pole Dancer, Government Employee, People of Walmart, Church Choir Director.

Thus, many women find we can’t win for losing. If we are over 30, 40, 50 or older and wear glitter and sparkles and makeup, we are being gross and acting like a tween. Yet, if we bow to the “be plain and blend into the wall” then we get, “Well, older women just aren’t considered attractive because they are lazy and don’t try.”

This blogger’s comment about worn out sneakers?

Grown women should not be seen in rundown tennis shoes. If you can’t afford a new pair, then it’s time to reevaluate life as a 30 year old.

When I was 30 all my clothes came from Goodwill and my sneakers were DEFINITELY rundown. Why? First, I decided to chuck the well-paying sales job I loathed to become a writer. Secondly, I was taking care of an ill mother, and watching my nephews (Age 5 and 1) so my brother and sister-in-law could finish college.

I sacrificed something as superficial as “fashion” and now mom is healthy and both brother and SIL have degrees and own their own companies.

And frankly, if a person is going to judge me and not be my friend because of my shoes? Probably not a person I would want to hang out with anyway. If a woman is going to ignore helping others because then she can’t wear the latest trends? DEFINITELY a person I don’t want to hang out with.

Oh, and this adorable commentary….

NO Abercrombie & Fitch

“Do thirty-year-olds even FIT in A&F clothes?”

Me at 34.
Me at 34. Size 2.

So Over 30=OBESE. Really? I refuse to wear A&F because I am old/mature enough to recognize an assclown company and refuse to wear overpriced crappy clothes to advertise for a company I loathe with the power of a thousand suns.

And yes, I have been plus-size, too.  So PTHTHTHTHTHTH.

Me in NYC @ Size 16 and only 5' 3"
Me in NYC @ Size 16 and only 5′ 3″

Call Bullying What It IS

I think the largest reason this fashion post lit my fire is that I’ve been a target of bullies my entire life. When I was a kid, it was because my clothes came from Kmart or I had the wrong shoes or my thighs were big (was in karate and ballet). I didn’t have the right hair, car, backpack or whatever and we think we will reach an age where this petty crap is behind us.


Women? We have to stick together. We live longer, are now in positions of power and we are an economic force. We have the ability to make fashion and society to hear our voice. WE ARE NOT ALONE and WE ARE NOT DEAD.

Call me old again. I need time to reload….
Call me old again. I need time to reload….

This blog was sheer meanness and bullying wrapped in a title of “Fashion Advice.” We shouldn’t “ignore” it or move on. We confront.

We cannot change what we will not challenge.

We need the guys to help out, too. We are all facing this nonsense. Men, I know you guys have your own challenges and I could write a WHOLE other blog about that. Apparently, men over 50 only want to go sailing alone or ride a motorcycle with other dudes after taking Viagra?


Since I believe that darkness can only be countered with light, I started a Pinterest board “Old” Women Dressing and Behaving “Badly” and invited some of my FB gals to join, follow, and IDEALLY, add your pics.

Though you can see most of them (I pilfered a few from friends for this post) and add more of your own images to the board, I figured I’d showcase some of our “older” beauties here breaking and reinventing ALL the rules….

Lanette Kauten, Age 42
Author Lanette Kauten, Age 42
Christina Mitchell, Age 35
Author Christina Mitchell, Age 35
Christina Anne Hawthorne, Age 55
Author Christina Anne Hawthorne, Age 55
Author Monica-Marie Vincent…and NOW I want purple bangs.
Author Monica-Marie Vincent…and NOW I want purple bangs.
Chloe Jeffreys Age 50
Author and Blogger Chloe Jeffreys Age 50
Rachel Heller 53
Author Rachel Heller 53
Elaine Rogoza, Age 59
C.E.O. and Author Elaine Rogoza, Age 59
My mother Candice Lamb, Age 63
My mother Candice Lamb, Age 60. Registered Nurse
Ingrid Schaffenburg, Age 37
Journalist Ingrid Schaffenburg, Age 37
Author Mercedes Murdock Yardley, Age 347 (she is a vampire)
Author Mercedes Murdock Yardley, Age 347 (she is a vampire). Definitely over 30…. 😀
My DEAR friend for 8 years, Kitty Corvette. Over 30 and a TALENTED bass guitarist and model.
My DEAR friend for 8 years, Kitty Corvette. Over 30 and a TALENTED bass guitarist, model, and BUSINESS OWNER.
My stunning, classy, talented and "mature" stylist Lan Nguyen.
My stunning, classy, talented and “mature” stylist Lan Nguyen.

We DEFINE Beauty

Never let anyone tell you not to sparkle. All of you are precious, beautiful and fabulous in your way. There has been and only EVER WILL be ONE of you in all of human history. Claim your page. And I think there are countless men on our side who are just as ticked as we are, who enjoy a more mature woman or a lady with some sass, curves and wit (and they are wondering who keeps HIDING us).

As writers and artists we hold the power to change the world and life is a LOT more fun if we are there to love and encourage and fill the world with smart@SS t-shirts.


What are your thoughts? I hope this is leaving you feeling a bit more inspired. Okay, a LOT more inspired. We are living much longer lives, so are you ready to claim the rest of it? Seems sad that some think we only have a good 15 years out of 80 that we are worthwhile 😛 . Do you refuse to give up your sparkles, Converse tennis shoes and graphic tees?

Do you think we ignore too much? We pass over these “small” things and they just grow BIGGER? Do you think a lot of this fashion or health/fitness advice is borderline (or even outright) bullying? What is your favorite feature? Your favorite “verboten” fashion? I collect insane t-shirts 😀 .

And MEN! We love you and need you on our team! What are some of the BS things you deal with as you age? What commercials make you want to buy a reloading machine? Are you tired of all the weird E.D. ads, too?

****Let me know if you want to join our board in the comments. It helps if you have a Pinterest account.

I love hearing from you!

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook


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    • denissea on February 2, 2015 at 12:52 pm
    • Reply

    Wow I feel so bad for you. What’s wrong with people?! Its called being a grown up, do what you want. If other’s want to sterotype they know where they can stick it. Rock on girl! 🙂

  1. I wear mismatched socks ALL DAY LONG! And glitter? Sparkles? Big sunglasses? Leopard print? And even the occasional mini skirt if I’m in Hawaii! Thank you for writing about this Kristen! And btw, you look gorg in ALL of your photos, and so do all the amazing women you shared pictures of. Today I am going to wear EXTRA eye shadow JUST BECAUSE I CAN.

    • Brian Day on February 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm
    • Reply

    Funny, I thought only 14 and 15 year old high school girls made “lists”. I would love to see how she feels about this list in another 10 years…lol  From: Kristen Lamb’s Blog To: bday5150@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, February 2, 2015 10:48 AM Subject: [New post] Taking on the Blogging Bullies—Ageism, Fear & Misbehaving “Old” Women #yiv5699709997 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5699709997 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5699709997 a.yiv5699709997primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5699709997 a.yiv5699709997primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5699709997 a.yiv5699709997primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5699709997 a.yiv5699709997primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5699709997 WordPress.com | Author Kristen Lamb posted: “Writers have a LOT of power. A LOT. Art often not only defines and reflects a society as it currently exists, but it can be a compass for the direction that culture is heading. This said, there was a blogger who sent me into the STRATOSPHERE on Saturd” | |

  2. Awesome post as usual!!!! You are truly someone that girls of any age can look up to and admire. You build us up, not tear us down 🙂

    • Angel Payne on February 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm
    • Reply

    I. LOVE. YOU.

    1. I love you too! ((HUGS)) Come add some pics!

    • Angel Payne on February 2, 2015 at 1:08 pm
    • Reply

    PS…that picture of me? 50 years old, mama.

  3. I’m 41 and she can’t make me un-love my hoop earrings! I’d say, “Sit down little girl, and let me explain something called inherent value.”
    You know what I like about the women you’ve chosen as examples? VARIETY. All kinds of women, all kinds of choices and lives and fashion, each one genuine. They’re mature women who demonstrate a clear sense of being true their authentic selves.
    You know what people rarely are in their twenties? Authentic.

    This is an excellent post.

  4. The responses to your Facebook post and the pictures shared were some of the most beautiful, empowering things I have seen in a long time. I love the makeup, the jewelery, the tattoos, the beauty. Rock on, ladies. Protect the twerps and celebrate each other. <3

  5. Great points, all of them. I say, do what makes YOU feel beautiful and ignore the nay sayers.
    I am plus size and had pin up pictures taken at age 43 for my author bio pics. I figured go big or go home. I would add my fav one to your board, which is beautiful. I love it!

      • jeanmariebauhaus on February 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm
      • Reply

      My sister’s a pinup photographer. She and the vast majority of her clients are all over 30 (and she has plenty of over-40 clients). I’m pretty sure they’d all strain their eyeballs from rolling them so hard at the OP.

  6. I have that Babe With the Power T-shirt. And one that says, “Also, I can kill you with my brain.” LOL (ThinkGeek.com rawks.)

    Would love to hear back from that “blogger” after kids, caring for sick relatives, and, oh yeah, maybe having some lovely condition hit her like fibromyalgia, where wearing certain kinds of “fashionable” clothes just farking HURTS. (I will not apologize for my Bazinga T-shirt and men’s pj pants. Will. Not.)

    I think some people just get off on being the mean kind of snarky. They will, sadly for them, end up miserable old people, alone, wondering why they have no friends and their career never really took off for them.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue rocking our comfy clothes (and Van’s Hello Kitty sneakers, thank you very much) and being happy.

    1. She is young. I said and did stupid stuff, too. It’s why I didn’t mention who she was in this post. She probably wrote something offhand and didn’t think it through. Squishing her helps no one. I hope maybe she sees this blog and witnesses all the beautiful, caring women friends she is pushing away.

  7. I am 42, have an undercut and I wear whatever I want to wear. I read that article a while ago and it made me mad back then and again when I read it on your FB page. Women should always wear what they feel good in whether it be jeans and a tee-shirt, sparkles or absolutely no make up. Whatever makes them feel beautiful and special. We need to build each other up and stop tearing each other down.

    You did an awesome job with this. Love you Kristen you are such an inspiration at what a human being should be like. Not just a woman.

  8. Kristen, I’ve been following your blog for some time–always read and love every word you write. I’m having to tie myself to a chair to avoid scouring the internet for this nasty little beast. You’ve said many things in this post that resonate, and I’m thankful you have such a wide audience:). I’m 55 and not ready to blend into the concrete.

  9. I’m being treated for burns because after your original discussion there was fire coming out of my fingertips (I’m so sorry, dear keyboard!). You’ve nailed it here. This has been a frustration for me so long and now to see the response out there…you’ve tapped a well that’s going to refuse to be capped. When women decide to act—things happen. So often I’d imagine my grandchild (if I had one) asking, “Is there a hell, Grandma?” Why, yes, dear there is and it’s called trying to find clothing after 50 that doesn’t send you on the fast track to a nursing home. I worked in assisted living for 2 years and the happiest, most energized women were those who still cared about their appearance and that they were expressing themselves (they weren’t necessarily the healthiest…one passed while I was there, yet was painting just a couple of days before). The others hid in their rooms.

  10. We get enough of losers trying to club others in the back of the knees, so they can climb on top of them and feel important in real life – too bad ‘the internet police’ can’t close down access to petty on-line people.

    • lynettemirie on February 2, 2015 at 1:18 pm
    • Reply

    Right on, Kristen! This from an old time hippie who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of my “fashion” nonsense. Beautiful women pics. You go girl.

  11. As the father of two daughters, I very much appreciate this post. I can remember my jaw dropping the first time I saw an E.D. ad on television. I looked out the window to check for locust swarms, sure that the apocalypse was at hand. Watching Mrs. Kardashian-West’s ad on the Super Bowl last night made me throw up in my mouth a little. Yes, she was poking fun at herself, but how much, really?

    Movies, television, and magazines have created a Supermodel/Prince Charming syndrome that is as disgusting as it is pervasive. Just like waists Victoria’s Secret thin aren’t the product of normal eating, six or eight pack abs like we see on EVERY book cover out there aren’t the result of doing a few crunches a day. These examples are unrealistic and are making it impossible for anyone to be happy with who they are or who they are with. We have to stop holding ourselves up to photoshopped “perfection” and being constantly disappointed.

    Thanks for your rant and allowing me a small space to wholeheartedly agree with you! 🙂

    • Lanette Kauten on February 2, 2015 at 1:19 pm
    • Reply

    Many of us are writers. As writers, we have the power to change people’s perceptions. I have read somewhere that novels with main characters above a certain age are often overlooked. Why? Do people over 35 or 40 quit reading? Are they somehow so boring that younger people don’t want to read about them? No and no. People who have really lived life and have learned from their experiences are fascinating. I have no problem with stories about young people who are discovering life on their own for the first time. I’ve written two books with such characters. But those on the other end who have shed the insecurities of their youth and live life out loud have so much to share with the rest of the world.The stories just need to be written. I started to write such a book, with a character loosely based on an 80yo Jewish man that I absolutely adore and am privileged to be friends with. I didn’t get far because of other projects and because I’m in unfamiliar territory with the story, but I plan to dust it off when my current project is finished. And I encourage other writers to let the voices of all ages be heard.

  12. This pic is me at 63 – with make-up.

    1. You need to pin it for us. I always notice your face because it is so pretty with such a fab smile!

      1. Aw, shucks, thanks. And I will.:)

      • R. A. Meenan on February 2, 2015 at 1:50 pm
      • Reply

      You look gorgeous, Yvonne. =D I love your hair!

      1. Thank you – ginger forever. lol

  13. I’ve said it before. There’s trauma in her words. Perhaps this is how she deals with it. Maybe this was a cathartic post for her. Unfortunately, she garnered the ire of a large segment of the population! (Mathing: There are more women than men in the world…& it stands to reason that there are a good percentage that are over 30) Hopefully whatever has scarred her so much will resolve itself & she’ll find a way to make her words count. You’re right Kristen, there’s no point in tearing down another woman. Contrary to popular belief tearing someone else down to build yourself up doesn’t work the way people might think.

  14. Hey Kristen,
    I LOVE this! You know what? I’m another one of your badass over 50 followers/bloggers. I have a pierced nose, see the world on motorcycle, wear false eyelashes – almost everyday, and am letting my true hair color grow out because silver is the new blonde.
    I’ve let go of the need to carry the “right bag”, pay attention to the condition of my tennis shoes and Keep up with the Kardashians.
    I KNOW I’m relevant, some young hipster fashionista doesn’t have to verify that for me – or you either! The trouble is, those girls are not women yet and they need us. We could be very useful to them if they’d show some respect and ask for our very valuable advise.
    Youth really is wasted on the young – because they think it’ll last forever.
    It’s okay Kristen, she’ll get it when she grows up. I feel vindicated in knowing she’ll be us before she knows it!
    Much love and mucho respect
    (BTW 41 is Young!)

  15. Thank you for this! I wear glitter, sparkle and hoop earrings, and my socks haven’t matched since the early 1980’s. And I agree that no one has the right to tell me how to dress or act because of my age.

    This really hit home for me right now, because I’m dealing with a blogger who likes to write about me and mock me for being “elderly” at 48. Elderly! Honey, I will never think of myself as elderly, not at 68 or 78, and most definitely not at 48!

    Your blog is such a welcome change from some of the negativity and criticism that seems to be so common today. Thank you for the reminders to be nice and treat each other with respect, and for always setting a good example.

  16. Um, I don’t know how to pin it to your board. Any help out there?

    1. Let me invite you.

    • Constance on February 2, 2015 at 1:29 pm
    • Reply

    I love your blog, but this has to be the BEST post you have ever written. You rocked it and hit it out of the park. We DEFINE beauty! You DEFINE beauty. Well said.

    1. Thanks.

    • Constance on February 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm
    • Reply

    Reblogged this on Live Your Dreams and commented:
    How do you define Beauty? And stop the ageism and classism.

  17. Well if you’re upset at 41, imagine how upset you’d be when you actually are old. For my entire (nearly 70 years of life) I have, along with other women everywhere, had to deal with ageist ignorance about how one looks, dresses, walks, talks, eats, and does their work. When we’re young, we’re too young and inexperienced. We’re subjected to sexist comments if we look good and equally hateful comments if we don’t. We try to fit into molds that have nothing to do with who we really are or what really defines us as individuals.
    When we get older, then we start disappearing. People begin to look through us. We live in the borderline area for years, until we magically cross some invisible line and become ‘old’. Old by definition is equally ambiguous, and so for years and decades we travel this gray area between youth and death….It would be comical if it weren’t so tragic. We waste a heck of a lot of time trying to ‘look’ the part of who we are, and worrying about what idiots like this naive woman thinks. Women, whatever age you are, define yourself for yourself.
    Appreciate your beauty at each stage of life. Most of us don’t, and we look back and see how much time, energy, and creativity we have wasted trying to look good. Wear what makes you feel good. Wear what you like, and take care of yourself no matter what age you are. Stop worrying about what others think, and appreciate who you are right now. If you’re lucky, you’ll grow older, and you’ll have wasted less time and created more if you at some point stop taking time to care what others think about you. Get to know and love the person you are, and accompany her on the journey through her life. She is you. And you’re just fine the way you are.
    Be your own judge of character, and pay attention to what really matters to you. Are you healthy? Are you resting? Are you happy? Are you engaging life? Are you creating the life you want? Are you enjoying the people in your life? Are you living the life that has been given you to live? Come up with your own criteria for yourself, of what makes your life good, and then be true to that. Stop giving your power away to the opinion of people who don’t matter, to jobs that aren’t worth what you have
    to do to keep them, or to relationships and lifestyles that have nothing to do with your true self.

    1. I LOVE your comment and I agree. But so much of this extends beyond us as women simply “feeling good about ourselves.” We are losing jobs, overlooked, ignored and I am putting my foot down. Older people are being passed over for promotion or forced out of the workplace (if they can even get in). And this blogger was defining “old” as over 30?????

      I have my degree in Political Economy of The Middle East and North Africa. One of the reasons many of these countries don’t develop is they fail to appreciate women, so you have a country operating with half the workforce and a fraction of the creativity and brain-power. Aren’t we doing that to ourselves in the “evolved” West? Only we just tuck away and ignore the “old” people and culture suffers for it unless we speak up.

      THANK you for such a lovely and thoughtful comment!

      1. Yup! And this all goes back to my mathing comment. When people ignore a portion of the population that statistically outnumbers another portion of the population, you’re cutting yourself out of a lot of good things.

        It really frustrates me that even in a culture (western) that prizes itself for being so “enlightened” they’re still practicing a lot of not so enlightened practices.

        It’s time that we all shuck the “Aunt Bea” (for those that aren’t old enough to understand this reference, it’s the older aunt in the Andy Griffth Show) mentality of how women should dress and act.

      2. You’re exactly right. As someone with a degree in Business who has a deep appreciation for efficiency, the US perspective is grossly short-sighted and inefficient. We discard experience for inexperience. We pay to train instead of maintain. We seek new ideas from those who don’t know what failed to work before.

  18. One of the things I’ve always wondered about as an author is the near-complete lack of ROMANCE that features an older female protagonist as the lead character. In mystery, at least, they have Miss Marple and Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren – Prime Suspect) and Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury – Murder She Wrote) along with some television police procedural shows featuring older women … but why not in Romance? Especially given the sheer number of women over 50 who get ‘traded in for a newer model’ (and my day job is divorce attorney so this phenomena is real) or whose husband predeceases them? I think if we want to fight ageism, perhaps we, as authors, need to put our cultural money where our mouth is and start writing some older, starring women in our books?

      • annerallen on February 2, 2015 at 8:24 pm
      • Reply

      Yes! I do. I have a whole trilogy of rom-coms with Boomer Women heroines.

  19. Amen, Kristen! You rock it no matter what size you are, and look terrific in every pic I’ve seen of you (except maybe the broken nose one, which made me wince in empathy).

    I’m 52 now and definitely “invisible” to the fashion world, but I was never good at following fashion BEFORE I was 30, LOL. It’s crucial nevertheless, as you point out, to speak up and refute what these nimnoes are saying about how women “should” look.

    Oh, and sign me up for the Pinterest board! I’m http://www.pinterest.com/kbowenmysteries. Thanks! 🙂

  20. THIS is an amazing article. I love it, and you were spot on. Unfortunately there are so many young women out there that feel the way this one does. This is a Forever 21 girl probably. I worked with a woman who felt the same way, and had a daughter, and i’m sure she raised her daughter the ways she thought to be true.

    What the young ones don’t realize is life and motherhood take priority over wardrobe and shoe choices. Also, money goes towards the kids and bills, NOT outfits and shoes. I have a pair of worn out sneakers i wear a LOT. They are finally broke in the way i like them. 😛

  21. What bothered me most about her post wasn’t necessarily her list – that was full of snark and ageism and just plain bitchery.

    What bothered me most was the fact that everything on that list was a superficial thing. What she’s telling me is “I see you in your graphic tee-shirt and you, my dear over-30 woman, should be ashamed to be alive.” What I want to ask her is, “Are you really only seeing what is on my surface?”

    I turned 50 this year. I look much younger than I am. It’s true I don’t fit Abercrombie & Fitch but I’m not heartbroken about it because I’d never buy their crap anyway because I despise them. How about she ask me WHY I despise them?

    The WHY of it is the important thing, the meat of who I am, my values, my morals, my likes and dislikes, my reasons for my likes and dislikes, my sense of humor and my sense of justice, my sense of my place in this realm. The woman cannot see those things, and that is beyond bitchery. That is tragic. Because in the future, she’s not going to be under 30, and she’s going to wake up just like I did and find that when you build your existence on the superficial, when you no longer have that superficial “It” factor going for you.. well, then. You. Have. Nothing.

    Young people are being taught to value what the eye sees, not what the brain and heart discern. It’s insane. It’s also self-defeating, because, as I’ve always told my kids and friends, beauty fades but wisdom shines. I was a beautiful girl but I was also a vain, superficial one and wondered, when that youthful beauty didn’t shine as brightly as it once had, why I didn’t have real friends. It’s because I never made any – it was about about the superficial – what we looked like, who we dated, what we wore, where we were seen. And it’s excruciating when you’re in your late 20s or early 30s to chuck it all – everything you thought you were and thought you valued – just throw it into the unknown and unmake yourself, and see what you can become that has some value – real, intrinsic value. It’s excruciating because it’s something you should have done in the first place.

    That girl is going to need us when she’s older and no longer shines.

    1. Eh, we definitely are going to have to spit-polish that one. What bothers me is we just get SO MUCH of this stuff. Even as self-assured as I seem, some days I wonder if I really am just being ridiculous. At Target in the Misses section, they have super short shorts which I didn’t even wear when I was young (20s). If you have boobs, forget getting anything to fit. And if one more fashion designer offers a new range of skinny jeans? He might just get murdered with a Bedazzler.

      And all of this putting us down is to make us BUY crap. We can’t sell you Botox, diets, wrinkle creams, etc. if you have a good self-esteem.

    2. And I mean “no longer shines” in the superficial sense. Just clarifying.

      1. Exactly. Whatever happened to aging gracefully physically and mentally? This beauty bitchery is strange and kind of frightening. If I see one more thing in the Plus Size section that sports flowers or paisley, I might go on a killing rampage.

    3. Agree on the Abercrombie front. As a teen I didn’t shop there either. I had friends who worked there who were told they were hired because they were “hot.” Another friend said their back room had clothes strewn across the floor which staff would walk over, then hang up and sell for full price.This was all before the CEO openly mad comments about fat people. Plus that place reeks of cologne when you walk by the store. Yuck.

      1. I don’t even like to walk past their shop in the mall – very snobby employees. What a disgusting legacy for a company to leave…

    • Sarah_Madison on February 2, 2015 at 1:44 pm
    • Reply

    The other night I went out to a charity event with my boyfriend. We were struck by the number of women present who were wearing black sheath dresses. Well, a sheath dress looks like crap on me. I was wearing a retro red dress with a fitted bodice and flared skirt and I felt like I looked fabulous. I felt a bit like Marilyn Monroe in a room full of today’s Hollywood’s starlets, but it dawned on me that sheath dresses only look good on a small number of body types. I’m not going to buy something that doesn’t look good on me. I’m not going to apologize for wearing something that does. And I’m certainly not going to apologize for wearing something that makes me happy, regardless if that makes some fashionista think I should be parked on an ice floe.

    I always want to point out to these highly opinionated women that they, too, will get old some day. Her youth and immaturity is showing.

    I love these images that you’ve shared here. Awesome. 🙂

    • R. A. Meenan on February 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm
    • Reply

    I remember your Facebook post about this. I’m GLAD we’re taking a stand! There’s no reason for anyone to be told what they can and cannot wear.

    Personally, I wear graphic tees, old sneakers, and mismatched socks everyday. Because I WANT to. And yeah, I don’t LIKE Ambercombe and Finch, but that doesn’t mean some stuck up YOUNG lady telling me that I can’t wear it.

    But more than anything, it insults my mom. She’s 57 this year (I’m 30) and she’s gorgeous. At my wedding, she wore a gorgeous blue dress (totally not her “age”), beautiful HOOP earrings, fancy shoes, and awesome makeup. She was a STAR and I love her for it.

    And no one better tell me that she’s “not acting her age.” She’s a high school English teacher and college professor, teaching at inner city schools and connecting with kids young enough to be her own children and making them feel like someone CARES. She encourages people to rise ABOVE the circumstances they were born into and MAKE something of themselves. She’s helped people who couldn’t even write a sentence get to the point where they could write whole essays and apply for college. SHE LITERALLY CHANGES LIVES. So I think she has the right to dress however she dang well pleases.

  22. Oh dear. I am about to turn 41 this Spring. When I turned 40, I thought ‘I’m great with this’. I didn’t feel like I “looked 40” and felt like it was a badge of honour. I’ve earned 40, I’ve lived 40, I OWN 40. Sadly, my skin started to sag somewhat rapidly this past year. It’s like my biological clock went – “oh, wait, you’re midlife now – you have to look the part”. Damn it! But I’m still okay with it. I’ve always felt like an older soul, and my age is just a reflection of that wisdom. The person that wrote that blog doesn’t own her age, and certainly hasn’t earned it.

    Lisa Genova was told when trying to get “Still Alice” published and then to the big screen, that no one wants to read/watch a movie about a middle aged woman – I thought huh? Aren’t we a MAJOR part of the population who reads and watches movies. That’s just crazy talk. But it just shows they were wrong. She self published, and it’s an immensely popular book. Because the story resonates with so many of us – e.g., middle aged women.

    Every day that we support writer’s and stories like Lisa’s we’re showing that we have a voice worth listening to.

    Thanks Kristen (p.s. I think you look better now than at 35 – you OWN 40!)

    J.R. Yates

  23. Hi Kristen: I loved this piece. As a man who is a screenwriter, I’m constantly challenging myself on finding something different to write about. A few weeks ago I came across the Bechdel Test. It’s a rating system for movies that have two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man. I asked some of my women friends what they talk about besides men and I received blank stares from one and another said: “clothes, shopping and…men.” This may not be the appropriate forum but after reading your post and looking at the photos, it occurred to me that perhaps some of your readers would like to weigh in on this subject which is, what do women talk about besides men?. Women direct 7% of Hollywood movies. We all know the age demographic for the majority of Hollywood movies. I’d like to change that. Thanks for listening. Frank

    1. You aren’t asking the right women, LOL. Writers talk a lot about books, movies, culture, politics, family, yoga, nutrition, cooking, kids. We talk about everything. So I think you’d need to narrow what kind of woman you want to write about. All I talk about is writing, cooking, guns, science, Jiu-Jitsu and video games.

    2. What do women talk about? How about politics, work, kids and family (which may or may not include men), spirituality, religion, relationships with other friends, sports, health, working out, travel, hiking, nature, science, and so much more. Frequently all in the same visit. These questions irritate me. We’re humans, what do humans talk about.

      1. Hey, at least Frank ASKED. And I have been around women who talked NON STOP about clothes and other women (gossip) and diets. KILL. ME. NOW. But there are men who talk non-stop about sports, beer and boobs. So we just have to be brave, ask questions and think about the character we are writing.

        1. We talk about what men talk about only with better hair.

      • Addy Rae on February 2, 2015 at 2:41 pm
      • Reply

      Personally, my general list is writing to the point that my husband groans, gardening, sewing, drawing realistically, guns, the law and how it’s being applied, varied history, places I’ve been and lived, Japan and Japanese language, work, whatever I’m reading, blogs I’m reading, my dog, our god children, my friends, whatever blurb popped up on Facebook that set me steaming, hedgehogs, gluten free cooking, video games, my food allergies, my health issues… really a little bit of everything, just like my husband does, but these are things that come up repeatedly.

      Add 80’s cars and the forum he’s on instead of my writing blogs, and remove sewing, drawing, gardening, and writing, and you can use the same list for my husband.

      A lot of it focuses on my personal hobbies and interests, work, my circle of loved ones, my food allergies and general health, current events and news, and reading. Of course it changes depending on who I’m talking to, how close we are, how recently we caught up, and where we are at the time. But I think these are a list of things shared between either gender, just the balance of how much and how often shifts around. And all of it varies between individuals, regardless of gender.

      I’d say the two dialogues are fairly close. Although I find men tend to want to offer solutions when women just want to vent, and that can cause friction. And with women there’s a lot of exploring the emotional whys of people and events rather than the hows. I’m not sure if I’m explaining that well.

      Anyway, these are my rambling thoughts on your question. I agree with Kristen; narrowing down what type of woman would probably help too.

    3. Religion, politics, economics, gun control, current events, traditional and alternative medicine, art, film, theater, gardening, family dynamics/family history, race relations, interior decorating, job issues/job hunting/funny work stories, personal aches and pains, recipes/cooking and kids.

  24. This, just this… worth the whole article!

    “I refuse to wear A&F because I am old/mature enough to recognize an assclown company and refuse to wear overpriced crappy clothes to advertise for a company I loathe with the power of a thousand suns.”

    I am 50 and I love it when my 19 and 21 year old daughters tell me how nice I look – they are my cheer section (and my husband, of course)! I have a board on Pinterest called Beauty Full where I pin gorgeous women who are over 40 and over a size 12 🙂 I would love to be a part of your Pin Party – I followed the board.

    Thank you for your thoughts on the subject, Kristin, we really do have to stick together.

  25. Sharks with lazer eyes? Favorite t-shirt f o r e v e r! Thanks for that great post!

  26. (Here by way of Mercedes, who is one of my dear friends and favourite vampires.) I have always hated the “once you’re x age, stop wearing y” essays. Any young person should hate them just because they lay out a grim future. I appreciated how you called out the ageism, classism, bullying, and misogyny. As I get older and find more females I like (I’ll spare you the long “my relationship with other females” post), I become more and more sure that the horrid way we treat each other is at least as damaging as the way men treat us. We don’t all have to be friends; kindness and courtesy can be extended even to enemies or strangers. I’ll be wearing glitter and any other thing that makes me feel attractive (to me) and brilliant until they put me in the ground (with a stake in my heart…having chopped off my head….okay, and probably having burned my corpse, so it’s just ashes they’re interring) and I support the right of all women to do the same!

  27. I don’t wear hoop earring because my grandson (that I’m raising) thinks they make great rings on the jungle gym that is grandma. I don’t wear sparkly eyeshadow (or any makeup except lipstick) because I’m allergic to it. I wear my gray hair with pride (I claim it’s because my brain is full, and is now leaking out through my hair follicles and dying it, why cover up genius?). I will never be a size six, much less two, but will be excited if I ever get down to a size 16 and stay there. And I don’t care. Except about the hoop earrings, I love those things and wear them whenever I know my little bundle of energetic joy isn’t going to be around to attempt a triple somersault off my back, using them to propel himself.

    I never cared for any of the “fashion” garbage when I was young, why should I now? I completely agree with your assessment of A&F, and really hate that clothes for young girls (as low as 2 years old!) are designed with “sexy” in mind. Short shorts and miniskirts for five-year-olds? Is this industry run by pedophiles?

    How sad for this girl that she values herself in that way. My value comes from a loving husband, children, and grandchildren. It’s supported by success in my day job and writer job. Friends and extended family complete that picture. I can only hope that as she grows up she learns where true joy is found.

  28. LMAO … I do love it when people get their “SNARK” on and display it so energetically!

    Now, as we know, some people serve as a perfectly good example of a bad example and should be identified so they can receive the thanks they so much deserve.

    CEO … Completely Engaged & Outraged ?????????

    Cyber bullying, Cyber discrimination, Emotional Control. Yeah I aint a fan and will go off on those that so happily and or stupidly try to inflict it on others.

    I very much appreciate seeing others rallying against the freaks who are absolutely sure they are absolutely right and insist they know best.

    I love your points except for the “WHY”. I’m a Certified Professional Coach and I can why you to a realization faster than a 5 year old can why you to frustration. Okay, I’m not that good but I like to think I am. I agree in the moment is not usually the place for answering the why but I also believe the why needs to be answered. Unless of course the individual “whying” you is being a twit and then all bets are off.

    And FYI, your 41 shot is way hotter than your almost 35 shot!

    I went after someone off a piece I read on Linkedin. Once wasn’t enough. I went back at the “Silent Donkey” a second time. Had to be done!



    1. As a writing and blogging teacher I never mind answering WHY. I think that encourages critical thinking. I want my students to know WHY they do or don’t do X. Y, and Z. But what’s happening is it’s NOT being done appropriately. I have a long-time friend who’s a police officer and they are in the middle of an arrest and instead of rookie just following instructions and asking WHY later, they are being disrespectful and it harms the team.

      And thanks. I think I look better at 41, too 😀 .

      1. Something I think more fields of endeavour require is an attitude adjustment. We need to be hiring apprentices in all those fields.

        I began my adult working life as an apprentice. We also had senior mechanics, over 55 as I recall.

        White collar may want to take that from the blue collar as well. We won’t get in to what conditions and benefits “The White Collar” wouldn’t have had the blue collars not gone after them.

    • annerallen on February 2, 2015 at 2:10 pm
    • Reply

    Yay! Great to see you rebelling against our fashion police overlords! I’m over 65 and wear hoop earrings, eyeshadow, glitter, and ugly comfy sneakers. Usually at the same time 🙂

    This clueless young person probably was copying the bullying style that fashion magazines have been using forever. Who’s a bigger bully than Anna Wintour? (She’s the “devil” in The Devil Wears Prada.) I used to love to go through Glamour’s “Fashion do’s and don’ts” and try to do as many ‘don’ts’ as possible. These people mostly imprisoned by their own judgmental ways.

  29. Liking this so hard. I’m over fifty and I will WING my rundown sneaker at that woman. Because I’m old enough to know that I don’t need to torture my body anymore to look like something that will make younger people comfortable. Thank you.

  30. Jeez Kristen, that must feel better.
    A couple of observations from a male.
    We men are notoriously shallow. That said shallowness could be held partly responsible for the existence of the fashion industry, which in itself, is abhorrently shallow, egotistical, false and commercially unconscionable. The idea that a person’s worth is in anyway related to looks is a bizarre concept. The most disturbing example of this attitude is in politics, not least of all in the United States. How many successful organisations select their CEO and CFO based on looks? There’s nothing wrong with looking good, but appearance and age should never define our worth.

    The ‘why?’, ‘why?’ would be tolerable if they really wanted to know, to understand, but I feel the majority of the time, it is done mainly as a challenge. Something that should have been thrashed out of them as part of early childhood learning.

    Okay, full disclosure. At age fifty five I closed my IT support business and went sailing around the world alone. I did. But … it was only to enable me to concentrate on writing.
    In my own defence: I have never ridden a Harley, taken Viagra, or worn a small greasy pony tail in a rubber band.

    Great post Kristen.

    • Melissa Lewicki on February 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm
    • Reply

    I don’t believe the blogger was writing an article to help women over 30 to dress “appropriately.” She was writing an article that she and her little friends could use to giggle over and make fun of those who are not just like them. I bet she got a lot of smug satisfaction out of proving to herself and the gigglers how superior they are. What a waste of (virtual) ink.

  31. “But in a regular store? Women over 30 have four choices—Tragic Pole Dancer, Government Employee, People of Walmart, Church Choir Director.” Love this, and so true. Well, I’ve seen 41. And 51 and beyond. I might give up my sparkly, Converse-sporting, dangly earring-wearing ways… from the grave. Nope. Not even then. Love the braids in your hair, btw. I can always count on you to dive right in, Kristen. Love that about you.

  32. Love. This. You nailed it. I’m currently on a hate binge for most under-30s for various reasons. This is just one more. As a man, I admit to mostly being attracted to women older than me. So what? Beauty is beauty. Age is just a number and should NEVER define you. Hell my onscreen crush for YEARS has been Helen Mirren. I mean…DAMN!

    This “chick” has only proven herself clueless.

    I’m going to peruse your Pinterest board now.

    • Kessie on February 2, 2015 at 2:32 pm
    • Reply

    Yeah, I didn’t click that article because the title alone irritated me. I don’t have the money to do fashion anything, and I save my glittery eyeshadow for date nights with hubby. So there. 🙂

    • pjsandchocolate on February 2, 2015 at 2:39 pm
    • Reply

    Last summer I bought two pairs of sneakers in different colors and mixed the right and left shoes together. On purpose.

    And I always mix up my socks when doing laundry. One simply does NOT wear shoes that don’t match each with socks that do after Labor Day. Or Christmas for that matter. How gauche.

    • Leigh M. Lane on February 2, 2015 at 2:41 pm
    • Reply

    I’m grateful for this post, and I plan on commenting with a link-back on my blog in relation to Women in Horror month, Having just turned 40, I feel like I’m at a crossroads, and ageism, sexism, and the like are major factors in this. I can see the youth slowly washing from my features, and I fear how that will affect how society values me in the years to come. There are times when I feel “all washed up” before I’ve ever had a chance to really shine. When some kid goes on about who I’m “supposed” to be at my age (I happened to have read the “advice” that inspired this blog post) it’s like a dagger to what is already a sore spot. I’m not giving up my tee shirt collection or going out to buy a new pair of tennis shoes to replace my ten-year-old pair–I couldn’t imaging taking advice from that awful person–but she definitely hit hard and left me seeing red.

  33. One of the most awesome photos I’ve ever seen was of four women wearing boots and flight suits while walking down the flight line to their F-15 Eagles.

  34. Holy crap… kinda glad you haven’t written commentary like this about any of my blog posts because I have been known to make lists and rant about things as fast as they tumble out of my noggin.

    • Shelby on February 2, 2015 at 2:49 pm
    • Reply

    If my running shoes are a bit worn out, it is because I use them regularly, and I would rather spend my money on my 4 kids. I mean, it is more important for them to have shoes that don’t have holes in them and pants that don’t have holes in them.

  35. I’m 37 and I’ve always thought that I should dress in what I like, not according to how old I am. If anyone comes and tells me that I can’t wear miniskirts or hope earrings, an STFU will be the most polite thing they might get from me. Most likely it will be my boot up they stuck up ass.

    I’ve always believed that age is not physical – you are only as old as how you feel.

    1. Elena! I never! 😉 I can’t picture you saying this. LOL! 😀

      1. Oh I can be pretty vocal when I get irritated enough. And I can swear in four languages 🙂

        1. I don’t want to muck up Kristen’s comment section but I’m curious… which languages? ❓

          1. English, French, Russian and a bit of German.

  36. I absolutely refuse to give up my converse, jeans, t-shirts, and such, and don’t care what some little snot-nosed brat thinks of how I dress at 45. I have piercings and tattoos, too. Oooh! And A&F clothing? Whatever. That company is a joke and so is the jerk who runs it. Even if I was in the same age group as her I wouldn’t wear that crap.

    I missed the whole thing because I was deep in edits yesterday, but I did catch your glitter eyeshadow pic on FB and wondered what the heck happened. Now I know. LOL

  37. Here’s the under 40/over 40 disconnect. Women under 40 still think the most important factor in success is other people’s perception of you. That is why they are so motivated to fit in and be taken “seriously”. You’ll notice the article was not titled “things no woman over 40 should wear…”? That’s because by 40 (sometimes earlier), women know that the most important factor in success is to not be controlled by other people’s perceptions!

  38. Thank you for this post, Kristen… awesome! I have the same problems on my side… my mom was saying “cut your hair, you’re too old to have long hair”, and many others… dress properly, have a suit instead of your jungle pants and jeans and steel toes boots… wear a bit of paint on your face, or change your glasses… do this and do that and… don’t do this and don’t do that… never ending story… and then, from other people, you’re too old to do this or to do that… you’re almost 60, mature a bit. Stop writing for children, it is not of your age anymore… you’re a good writer, write more for adult.

    People… live and let live. My life (and the one of others) is not of your business… and if I want to get out on my deck in a pyjama with full of Pikachoos on it in the morning to drink my coffe and read… I will do it… so be it.

    Oh! Do I understand your reaction to this article you read… I am revolted of all the stereotypes and all the you should or should not and that stupid idea of imposing their taste and fashion on other people… yes, I agree, some people don’t really dress properly but… well.. it is their choice with all due respect to “What Not to Wear”. People put too much attention on the appearance and way not enough on the real value, the big heart and the beautiful personality of others. Which is sad 🙁

    I think I don’t look that bad for my age, isn’t it? 🙂 And if I want, at my great age, to be on my knees and admiring a flower… this is not their business and I will continue to do it. And I intent to continue like this for at least another 100 years.

    Big hug Kristen

  39. Whew — finally got through all the comments… Interesting reactions…but only #32 Catherine actually spoke what I consider the truth about much of the concerns brought up in your blog post and in the responses.

    I’m heartened by so many women being prepared to defend their right to look any way they wish – from clothes to shoes to hair styles to make up. As a gender, are we willing to take this freedom of expression further than fashion?

    Women who go back to school as adults are rarely criticized any more (they were years back) because older women just kept doing it – and doing it – until it was accepted as a pro-active action.

    I understand the thinking behind not driving traffic to this chick’s blog, not giving her attention — but, people don’t know they’re being idiots or offensive many times unless you point it out. Affecting change isn’t pretty or done politely, it’s nasty and dirty and painful. Yeah, gee….she’s probably just young and doesn’t know any better… good god! EDUCATE HER!!

    When I was a teen and young adult, and acted like a disrespectful ass, there was always someone older who stepped up, took responsibility for my stupidity, and set me straight. Yeah – it wasn’t fun, but I learned and became a better person.

    Please don’t get me wrong – love to see the solidarity! But — ask yourselves: do you take responsibility with those younger women you know? When they take a disrespectful step, do you stop and take the time to present a more well-rounded perspective?

    If society is being twisted by fashion expectations, are there women or men behind those driving forces? And do they feel empowered because the money just – keeps – rolling – in?? 🙂

    Keep on keepin’ on Kristen – I always get a kick out of your posts.

    65 – and still alive!

  40. I would definitely have taken this bloggers comments as tongue-in-cheek and considered the source. Of course, I care about the latest fashion trends about as much as I love watching all the bad news in the world (which is not at all), so I wouldn’t be reading a fashion blog in the first place.
    Secondly, young people scream about tolerance and freedom of expression, and then judge me because I’m wearing a SF Giants WS T-shirt? That is the pot calling the kettle black – and makes me tune them out.
    The truth is most of us have an ideal in our heads of “professional” attire or “modest” clothing, but I have no clue what is “trendy,” “fashionable,” or “chic” in the echelon of fashionistas. Nor do I care. But I am willing to let everyone have their own opinion – as long as they don’t JUDGE me when mine is different. THAT is intolerance.
    I think the attitude behind columns like the one you’re quoting is a big problem – many young people see nothing of value in what has come before them. If it isn’t the latest gadget, who cares? Many ask “why?” Not as a quest for knowledge but as a means of insubordination. Makes me think two years of mandatory military service might be just the ticket. I never asked my DI why when he told me to sit, stand, run, or drop and give him 20.
    I wear hoop earrings (although not as big as I did back in high school) and my socks always match (because I want my underwear to match and no one even sees it – so I’m just THAT way). I wear worn out shoes when I’m working in the yard or painting. I don’t walk around in public with my boobs or butt hanging out – and I happen to think that anyone over the age of two shouldn’t either. But I didn’t write a blog about it. And I don’t stop them in the Walmart parking lot to let them know how much I disapprove.
    They’d probably just flip me off and blog about me if I did. I have more important things to focus my energy on.

  41. Love your post. I’m not as thin as once was. I choose to look at my weight gain as my body’s natural expansion to accommodate 47 years of awesomeness!

  42. Yes, it’s all those things you said about age and imposing and judging. And, how about the stereotypes on the economics of women’s decisions? Chuck the worn out shoes? Honey, are you a single mom wearing your daughter’s hand-me-downs so she can have new (or thrift shop) sneakers in hopes she won’t be bullied or humiliated at school? When you live her life, you (almost) earn the right to kindly suggest to her what looks good on her or not.

    After my second double mastectomy (yup, a quadruple), I decided to flaunt my new body like a 12-year old boy. I’m now an unrepentant mini-skirted, skin tight T-shirt-wearing senior citizen with an unreconstructed torso. I figure, if anyone notices that I’m flattened down to my rib-cage, they miss seeing my big blue eyes and big smile.

  43. I’ve either read that post or something similar, and it keeps coming up on a sidebar of more articles to read on several sites. The hoop earrings, I thought the same thing. Ask your women of color about that one. On the one hand, I love the freedom that blogging has opened up for writers, particularly women, but the con side is we’re seeing legit journalism sources replacing staff writers with inexperienced bloggers, and I think this is the outcome we’re seeing. Tabloid level writing with no substance, no research, of little or no value.

    Even my beloved Entertainment Weekly, which I’ve subscribed to since I was 15 and I’m in my 30s now, I can barely read anymore. Their website articles have been opened up to writers who are not paid (they can use the EW byline as “exposure”) and the quality nosedive is evident. Many of their quality staff writers and film critics are gone.

    So if EW is doing this, then you better believe all these other sites are doing similar. Given the typos I see, the copy edits are barely getting done, so do you think there’s much content editing either? Any Joe or Jane can write an article now, heck some of these sites are begging for writers. Putting together an article criticizing the minutiae of women’s lives is a cheap and easy sell. Putting thought behind those words would require effort. And if you’re getting paid in Free, there is no incentive for effort.

  44. Reblogged this on Born in the year of the dog and commented:
    Grreat blog post!

  45. I am feeling a WANA Con theme night party!!!!!!! Geeks and Glitter?

    What a little attentions seeking brat. One day she’ll be over 30 and realize what a moron she was/is. Karma will set this right.

    Until then we’ll just have to be the best, sexiest, most stunning authors on the planet! Cause you know we’re WANA authors, we got this. Awesome is easy 🙂

  46. Well it’s scary that the doofus is attacking women over thirty, which is ludicrous to me–except that I hear so many 20-somethings agonizing about “getting old” as they approach the big 3-O. As I head for twice that number this year, I want to shake them — or shake the culture that creates this insanity, and say FOR GODSSAKE YOU’LL LOOK BACK ON THIS TIME AND REALIZE HOW FREAKING GORGEOUS YOU WERE BUT HOW MUCH MISERY YOU HEAPED ON YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU WERE TAUGHT TO BELIEVE YOU’RE UGLY AND OLD. As for should we wallop ever instance of B.S. that caters to ageism and anti-woman bullying? Oh hell yes. When world-class author Colleen McCullough died recently, the Australian newspaper ran an obit that started with, (paraphrasing) “Even though she was plain and fat, she had undeniable wit and warmth.” The woman wrote one of the most successful novels of the late 20th century and before becoming a novelist she spent a decade working at YALE as a neurophysiologist. Happily, the furor over her obit has been intense. Never surrender, never keep quiet. Call it out. I have no sympathy for your secret blogger and wish you’d name her. Us old crones are like that — we put on our hoop earrings and our tennies and our glitter make-up and we kick ass.

  47. Hi Kristen—read your blogs with interest and enjoy the humour—-however I have to mention that this blogger person that upset you so much just might not be a woman at all and is another kind of creature altogether. Cheers. Mark

  48. Reblogged this on Deborah Smith, Author, Publisher and commented:
    I love Kristen Lamb’s blog posts. This new one is my fave so far.

  49. I don’t care how old your shoes are Kristen! I’ll wear shoes until they start to wear holes in the soles. Trendy shoes don’t make you beautiful. The way you kick my writer butt in gear in the best way possible makes you beautiful. 😀

    I did everything backwards. I fell in love with Dickens and Austen in my 20s and tried to subtly emulate some of the fashions of their days in my everyday wear. Eventually, my grandmother complained that I dressed like an old school marm. Then I met my hubby who likes when I wear sparkles and make my now 34 year old self look pretty.

  50. Hmmmm….I absolutely defend my right to wear anything I darn well please but…. and please excuse me for this. …I also defend the blogger’s right to say what she wants, within some reason. Spreading hate is bad. Telling this 57 year old what to wear is just amusing. Like I’m going to listen to a kid. The blogasphere is a great big marketplace of ideas. Oh, and I ask why all the time. No wonder I feel so young! I think I’ll just remain chilled.

  51. Feeling free & feisty at 55 – guess I WILL go ahead and indulge in those Hello Kitty pj bottoms I’ve been eyeing 🙂 Although I wouldn’t wear those out anywhere, I do like to parade around in high-topped pink Reeboks and I’ve never met a sequin I didn’t like. Here’s to all you beautiful, fearless women taking part in this important conversation that Kristen got rolling. I feel nothing but sympathy for the misguided fashionista who will all too soon discover that her fashion rules are about as fun as a Botox injection.

  52. Love it!!! You rock and I don’t care what anyone says– I will rock my Doctor Who shirts and anything else I want. 🙂

  53. I remember reading that same post about a week. I clicked the link out of boredom and for a chuckle. I left it feeling pretty down. I am closer to 40 than I am to 30 and I break every single rule on that list. I felt so bad I even broke down and gave my glittery eyeshadow and my really awesome glitter mascara to my 14-year-old. I refused to part with my Ninja Turtle or BBT t-shirts though. I shouldn’t have let it get to me but I did. I love everything about your post and I love you for reinforcing the self-esteem of your readers.

  54. >Sean Connery can be a love interest in his late 60s, but a woman? EW!
    A possible sign of progress–wife and i watched a made-for-TV romance last night starring Lea Thompson as the love interest. She was 53 when the movie was made.

  55. Being blind (I am writing this using screen reading software which converts text into speech and braille allowing me to use a Windows computer), I am not bombarded, on a visual level with ads for the latest fashions. I guess that not being able to see helps me to judge people for what they are (rather than how they look, dress etc). We can, if we listen hard enough all hear “time’s winged chariot hurrying near”. Said vehicle will catch up with the young blogger you mention in due course. Kevin

    • Carrie Kwiatkowski on February 2, 2015 at 5:13 pm
    • Reply

    Um, love my worn out tennies! Totally agree with you. When will people just accept others for WHO they are, not for how they choose to dress themselves. I’m 42 and proud of my glitter nails and t-shirts with words. Ack! Words! God forbid. Once, somebody told me I was ‘stunted’ for not having a sense of ‘style’. I’m OK with it though. Would love to be included on your Pinterest board!

  56. I married the most marvelous and sexiest woman alive. She shops at Goodwill, but will buy anything for her horse. We watch our food budget, she insists that our Great Dane and Rat Terrier have cooked chicken with their special food. She does her horse’s feet, cleans his stuff, makes sure he is an unshoed, well exercised, and a horse with a purpose. She does the same for the dogs. She spends most of her time in jeans and cowboy boots, slapping flies, and greeting the great outdoors. She is also a connoisseur of wine, and a most engaging partner, and gives her all to her day job as a CPA.
    We have been together more than twenty years. She lost her wedding ring somewhere in year two, the one piece of jewellery she took to wearing, other than air rings. She is a Redhead and a natural beauty. As she grows older I am even more drawn to her character. She is unique, free, schooled in the ways of the world, generous, and much more.
    Yes, I glance at other women. But I always look for that character. I will not deny that there are some stunning cloths that might well enhance a woman’s looks. The character is something else all together; it tells what they are made of.
    And it is always just that, a glance.
    My redheaded lady is all I will ever desire.

    1. Your redhead is a lucky woman.

  57. Missy Elliot is 43 years old and just wowed at the SuperBowl halftime show.

    I’m 38 years old and refuse to give up my sneakers, comfy jeans and Soft Kitty tshirt (that my husband bought me because he thinks I’m adorable). So there. *blows-a-raspberry-to-the-too-grown-up-for-that*

    1. Thank you. There is more than one pretty red head in the world?

  58. Reblogged this on Crafting Hope by Heidi Mull and commented:
    I really enjoyed this. It doesn’t involve a craft but an attitude–an attitude full of hope–which is a lifelong journey. The crafting of hope includes the inherent value of our selves, honing our strengths, and accepting our weaknesses…at ANY age. WARNING-rough language implied but symbols are used.

  59. I am forty-sexy (46). Next year, I’ll be forty-heaven, then forty-great and finally forty-fine. Then Golden, Golden+1, etc. My glitter lip gloss, funky t-shirts and “cool” jeans as well as my daughters who love my style say “THANK YOU”!!!!!!

  60. What does ‘re-evaluate being 30’ even mean? Can I decide not to bother? I’m 42, can I re-evaluate that and go back to being 19?

    I take my fashion advice from the poem ‘When I am old I will wear purple’! Only I haven’t waited until I’m actually old 🙂

  61. Yay for the post Kristen! I’m going to keep rocking my purple hair and goth back teeshirts (sometimes graphic, sometimes with anime references because I’m almost 50 but still like Japanese cartoons!) and black jeans and crappy black shoes. We only live once, and by gods I’m not going to let some snarky ass kids tell me how to present myself.

  62. Whoa. Relax girls. I love you all no matter what you look like.


  63. Albert Einstein could not keep the same color sock on both feet. He changed the world nonetheless.

    Every decade many younger people feel as if they have vision while those older need reality bifocals.

    If we are lucky, we realize with age that none of us is the yardstick of the universe. Snark can be funny … depending on the target. Amazingly, bullies never pick on those who will knock them so far into next week that it will take a team of surgeons to pry Thursday out of their a–..

    The jackals bark but the lioness walks on.

    What is beauty? Is it what culture says? Is it what Miley Cyrus says? Or is beauty something that comes from within? Many women and men are fat. That is sad only to the extent that it shortens their lives, not that it makes them an eye sore.

    At work, I dress professional. In my personal life, I try to wear what I feel looks good on me. If others do not think so, I am not asking them to look my way.

    Our culture is in denial of aging, hence all the horrors of botox and surgeries gone wrong. I believe a woman who has laugh and intelligence lines around her eyes is appealing. I want a companion with whom to laugh and discuss things that puzzle and amuse me (amusement not at others’ expense by the way.)

    Being so low down the line of comments, I will probably not be noticed. That is all right. There are times in life we just have to write what we feel, hoping that our words will matter to someone.

    As always, a fascinating post.

      • Carrie Kwiatkowski on February 2, 2015 at 6:47 pm
      • Reply

      Your words mattered to me. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Carrie. That meant a lot to me. 🙂

      2. I am happy for that ((HUGS)).

    1. I always see the comments, so never be afraid to share. It makes my hard work worthwhile. I just don’t comment on EVERY comment because if people sign up to get an e-mail every time there is a new comment I could blow up their in-box with “THANKS!” But I DO appreciate you taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment.

  64. I absolutely ADORE THIS POST! Seriously. You hit the nail directly and firmly on the head. I want to be part of your circle of professional women and authors who speak up about this bull. I used to participate on an online TV Forum and would read comments from viewers about how women past the age of 35 should never have long hair. (Namely most of the “Housewives” on Bravo). They should cut it short and look matronly but perky. Screw that! I don’t blame you for being angry, and angry you should be. One time, I read a comment from someone of a certain age who thought Stevie Nicks should ditch her long hair (her iconic long hair, btw) for a cute bob. WHAT? Great post! Keep them coming! You’re beautiful and talented and experience in life. Screw those green tadpoles.

  65. I am definitely not as fired up as you–maybe it’s because at 51 I’ve been hearing this longer and am just good at tuning it out–however, I can’t ever imagine giving up my hoop earrings.

  66. 53 years old, read this wearing my pink panda pjs and hello kitty slippers. I wear glitter as much as possible! I care for my aging mother-in-law who has Alzheimer’s and lives with us and my twin sons age 20 with autism who also live with us. People who are shallow enough to judge an older woman for what she wears has too much time on their hands. Sad, really. Life is about so much more than what you wear. I wear what makes me giggle. ‘Nuff said.

    • jodenton445 on February 2, 2015 at 7:26 pm
    • Reply

    Bravo! Awesome post. I feel revitalized after reading it. Totally agree that we ignore way too many things. And this 52-year old latina loves her hoop earrings.

  67. Well said, Kristen! I’m glad I’m in my 50s and so don’t really don’t care what the younger generation says. They’ll grow up … eventually … some of them. And I LOVE my hooped earrings, and beat-up old sneakers.

    • joiedemidvivre on February 2, 2015 at 7:36 pm
    • Reply

    I’m 50 (and proud of it, hence my moniker) and I was a little irritated by her comments, but when I take a step back and see the world from her perspective, I hurt more for her than me. She is a product of the times she is growing up in. Not that we should write off her behavior, but I think what she (and many in her generation) needs is a change in perspective of the world around them. She is an internet baby and that has shaped (and skewed) her view of the world.
    As someone who grew up with social media her whole world is about competition. Everyone, male/female, old/young is seen as competition for the all-coveted social status. It’s no longer just an opinion as to who has the cutest hairstyle or outfit. It’s now a quantified fact demonstrated in likes, thumbs ups, pins, reposts. And she is competing on a global stage (really scary shit when you are a teen or in your 20’s). So her immature brain concocts the idea to raise her status by lowering the status of others. Her post probably went over big with other young, fearful women who feel the need to scramble over each other for a place on the social ladder. Then again, there are plenty of women older than them who have also bought into the entire competition game. It’s so easy. When everyone you know is posting their perfection; their new smaller sized clothes, perfect hairdos, awesome art projects, you can feel the need to jump into the fray.
    I believe the answer is to use our wiser voices to keep up a steady stream of social media (their language of choice) about supporting other women. Push the idea that another person’s 10,000 likes doesn’t take one away from you. In the words of the prophetic Baz Luhrmann, “The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”

    • Rita St. Clair on February 2, 2015 at 7:40 pm
    • Reply

    I’m 68 years old and still wear hoop earrings and glittery T-shirts. Just yesterday my 19 year old granddaughter said, “Grand Lady, I like the way you sparkle.”

  68. Haven’t had a chance to read all the responses–you seem to have lit a fuse, here–but I will make one quick comment. Someone needs to point out to this blogger that she will probably be over-30 for more years than she was under-30.

    Oh, and on her 30th birthday, tell her to follow her own “advice.”

    1. I see all the comments and she is over 28 so TICK, TOCK 😉 . Hope she saved those Trader Joe’s bags for her head, LOL.

  69. We are NEVER too old to sparkle … Yay! –Curt

  70. Age is a state of mind. Think Kairos, not Chronos. Fashion? I say, be clean & comfortable and don’t worry about the Fashionistas.

    There is one BIG question that I have: Why does every Cialis commercial end with a couple in separate bath tubs?

    1. RIGHT???? Misses the point and EVERY woman watching the commercial thinks,”I hope he ain’t expecting me to haul out a bucket and cleaner to wash these idiot tubs on a hilltop.” 😀

  71. I’m 48 years old though I don’t look like it thanks to my genes and race. I wear what I want not because I’m stuck in my own time warp but because I still look good in it, to the chagrin or my own 27 years old daughter who says the mother has no right looking better than the daughter.

    I am not one of those women who wear certain clothes to feel young, like tight mini skirts and revealing tops that shows everything from here to kingdom come, though I have no problems others wearing those, to each his own right? Whatever floats your boat. I find that women of certain age can wear anything they want as long as it is done tastefully. Mini skirts and revealing clothes can look trashy on any age if it’s done the wrong way.

    Another thing is ( and I’ve done a post about it) is how the women supposed to look like in general, if they want to be belong in some sort of category of working women like corporate, successful and independent. It irks me too much that people want to put label on that, on everything for that matter.

    I say, wear whatever you comfortable with at any age. Common sense will tell us what not to do when it comes to it.
    As for me, I will continue doing so till I see in the mirror that I cannot pull off some outfits anymore and better ditch them than risk looking ridiculous.

  72. You look just like your mom, Kristen. Gorgeous! Great post. I’m 46 and learning to have my photo taken without complaining. I’m not perfect, but parts of me are awesome.

  73. Major gal crush! This post was so great! *fist bump* I was bullied in school no matter what I wore. Even when I saved up and bought the “in” clothes, they tore into me for even trying. After I got in the military though I quit caring. They could love me, or hate me but I refused to change for anyone. I dressed geeky, and celebrated my weirdness. Still do. I’m 32, a mom and wife, and love to rock a deadpool boys T. My nephews all call me the cool aunt 🙂 I hate that society judges people over what they have or wear. If I had a million bucks I wouldn’t change a thread.

    1. WORD. *fist bumps back* I was the same way. I finally just embraced my weirdness and military and writer culture REALLY helped with that. We just judge your grammar, LOL. Who cares what you are WEARING? Are you making word count? ((HUGS))

  74. When my Significant Otter’s 20-something daughter expressed shock at catching 50-something me dashing au naturel from the bathroom to the bedroom, I laughed OUT LOUD, yelling, “Man, if THIS is the WORST thing you have to look forward to, you better fall on your knees and thank the Great Spirit!” After a lifetime in blue collar, including a couple million miles long-haul trucking SANS BRA, my rearview still garners whistles and I have no crease beneath my B-cups. And I still don’t need to wear a bra. And I’m still wearing my old jean jacket from my teens, and the same size jeans I had in junior high school.

    However, nobody needs be faulted for the manner in which their genes and time moves them. We Wise Women have the advantage of appreciating our bodies Just. The. Way.They. Are.

    Helen Mirren and Margaret Mead are still my heroes. And that young lady will writhe under the advance of Time if Looks is her most important criteria. As my own Mom put it, “What will the two of you talk about for the other 23 hours of the day?”

  75. I wish I could “LOVE” this.

  76. My fashion faux-pas is wearing loose flowy styles in my 20s. Apparently clothing manufacturers think anyone under 30 is desperate to – er, put everything in the shop window, shall we say? The few styles I like are only found in the plus-size section (too big for me). I dream of the day when people’s clothing speaks of their self, not their age, job, income or insecurities. Bring it on!
    By the way, where I grew up, “fat” is a compliment and “old” is a term of respect. Seriously.

  77. Hi Kristen
    I’ve been ‘lurking’ for a while now, reading your posts delivered to my inbox…and decided to take the plunge today and comment.
    I think of all your recent posts, I love this one best, because it feels like you’re letting us in into a slice of your life, and lady, I am 32 and I wanna be you when I grow up 🙂 Thanks for being the voice of reason out there for all of us normal women who’ve gone over 30. And btw, I’m Muslim and I wear a headscarf, so I know all about being judged by how I look when it has been my choice to look the way I do – I think irrespective of wearing a head scarf or putting on glitter or wearing statement t-shirts or wearing hoop earrings, how we choose to look is our choice and this reflects good on us, because it is us taking a stand and saying to the rest of the world comprised of such people as this chick that it is our choice and phooey on them if they think we’re the pits. It’s our choice and our empowerment, and your post highlighted this. So thank you for these awesome words. You rock! xoxo

  78. Thanks – now I remember why I follow you. Thanks for posting.
    From an old guy who women of all ages are beautiful.

    1. ((HUGS)) George. We need you guys in our corners.

  79. I have seen tons of women in their forties in much better shape then me. My mother has always been a prime example. And my grandmother has always believed in dressing fabulous and she is a beautiful glamorous person that stands out when she comes in the room. She’s now in her 80s.
    Disrespect is right. That blog sounded cruel and disrespectful. I have always had issues with teasing growing up as well, as I did not ‘fit’ in quite right growing up.
    I think that it comes from a culture that has been raised more by the media/school system then by parents.

  80. Well, first of all I want to thank you for causing me to guffaw my head off when reading your responses to the post you read! I needed a good laugh – and I totally agreed with your responses. At age 55, I find it freeing not to give a rip what a fashion nazi twerp says I should or shouldn’t wear. But I do agree that ADULT women should stand up against such non-sense. I have two lovely daughters, age 21 and 30, who love it that we can still share our wardrobes. My 90 year old grandmother wore cute capris and fashionable tops until the day she died. And she wore blue eye-shadow, bright lip stick and HOOP earrings. She was the most lovely 90 year old I have ever seen. It’s a legacy that I plan to continue.

  81. You’re awesome. THANK YOU. What a great way to start my morning.

    1. Hey, FAB way to start MY morning. Thanks for the comment!

  82. I’m legally blind and slightly confused about the whole focus on visual beauty. Okay, I can look at a photograph very very close and see it and I do agree that a nice attractive-looking person is good to look at.

    But first, I don’t tend to agree with the current standards of beauty. Because I have been living in my own little blurry bubble all of my life and I don’t get to see many advertisements (oh, yes, there are silver linings to every cloud), I guess I never internalized the commonly accepted ideas about what is beautiful and what isn’t. You know those before and after pictures showing make-up or photoshopping. I usually like the before pictures better, honestly. They are just more attractive to the eye that hasn’t seen all the advertising.

    Second, while I agree that I have opinions on what is more or less beautiful, I can’t grasp the constant fixation on it. I sleep 8 hours a night. I work, I write, I take care of kids, I cook, I read books, I work in the garden, I hike, I ride bikes, I hang out with friends. I mean that’s just the really really basic every day list of things I do and want to do. I’m not lazy. I’m actually known for being very self-motivated. But I can’t seem to get motivated to spend more than 30 minutes per day concerned with my appearance and 15 of those minutes are about taking a shower. I do like to look nice. It’s a nice perk. Like I would like to have sunflower seeds on my salad. But when I’m in a hurry and the sunflower seeds are all the way over in the freezer at the far end of the hall… meh, I’ll just eat salad with dressing and goat cheese today. Too much fun to be had. Appearance is on the priority list… way, way down near the bottom.

    I haven’t changed either of these opinions since the age of 14. I’m not 38.

    Nice post, btw.

  83. I did my rant on my page the second I saw this post of stupidity. To tell you the truth, most of the stuff she listed as no-no’s for the over 30’s are items I wished no one had ever invented, but then there was the insanity of hoop earrings and scrunchies. Really? I think most of the under-30 need style lessons. Fashion IS a bully. It creates crazy rules to empower idiots. I once saw a picture of Reese Witherspoon in a stunning red outfit that made her look like even more than the millions she’s worth. Comment by the fashion idiot? “Too matchie-matchie.” Bite my matchie-matchie! We could do with a little more matchie-matchie and a lot less, ‘this is what jumped on my body as I stood in front of the closet.” And I don’t care how toned your mid-section is. Save it for your home boy!

    1. Jane, I think your rant is what led me to that piece of…um, yeah…. Writing?

      1. So glad to be inspiring! That piece pushed ALL my buttons!

  84. I wear ratty old gym shoes to the EDJ because it really sucks when people bleed on them. My last 3 pairs of work shoes died that way went into the trash never to be seen again. (I work in radiology at night…lots of car accidents etc.) I have a college degree and a decent job but I’m not throwing my hard earned money away every time a drunk comes in and bleeds on the floor. My daughter is 12 and she is my world. She would read this and roll her eyes at this bloggers immaturity. It’s just really disheartening to think that even one woman might take that “advice” seriously. I’m just going to take the opportunity to remind myself that it’s my job to teach my daughter differently. Ugh.

  85. Just want to say I’ve spent my whole life ignoring “women’s” magazines with their demeaning angle of wanting us to feel less than. This is a fact: In an issue of Seventeen Magazine years ago, we were exhorted to paint freckles on our knees. Let that sink in. Who in the world would bother to read one more word of such a magazine? I didn’t, and I’ve never felt that my life was any worse off for ignoring all that nonsense, especially the spiteful habit of criticizing women’s style choices. Have I paid a price all my life for not painting freckles on my knees? If I have, I’ve paid it willingly. If women now are willing to fight the people trying to Tell Us What to Do–even if they are other women–more power to you. Meanwhile, I’m doing my own thing, as I always have.

  86. Great post Kristen! I think you nailed it at the beginning too. Some people don’t think about the impact their words/posts will have on people, but words have power. I think you’re right though. Readers should challenge these thoughts and ideas in a healthy way. Great movement you’ve started on Pinterest too!

  87. Great post Kristen! I too have suffered at the hands and small minds of others that think that model thin defines who we as women should be. It really ticks me off. I have come to terms with that a lot over the years and love who I am as a woman now. I am a 48 year old mother of two and I do not have even a size 18 body. I’m content with who I am and how I look and am rocking my grays happily. I recently had a job interview and had that moment of doubt when I wondered if I should color my hair to appear younger and decided that if they couldn’t accept me for who I truly am then they didn’t need me and I most definitely didn’t want to be associated with them. Donna

  88. EXCELLENT piece. The power of writing is phenomenal, and when it’s scribed by a women-hating woman, it’s beyond damaging. She’s obviously been well groomed by the media, and I honestly feel badly for her — and any young(er) GIRLS her age who share those twisted perspectives on their own sex. If you feel old, you’ll be old. If you feel young, you’ll be forever young. I have a feeling this creature will age beyond her years, if she hasn’t already…. THANK you for articulating it so well — this needs to be freshly pressed. 🙂 -From a tattooed, red-headed 44-yr-old, who has never dressed her age (and is constantly mistaken for younger ages).

  89. “Never let anyone tell you not to sparkle.” You can say that again! I’m 35 and I’m sitting at my desk now with gold hoop earrings, and brown eye shadow with a hint of glitter. I remember when my former supervisor got a little glitter under her eye and I told her so she could fix it. She laughed and said, “Well, I guess this just proves I’m getting a little too old for glitter anyway.” To which I promptly and passionately replied, “You’re NEVER too old for glitter! Part of being grown is doing whatever you want.”

    • jeanmariebauhaus on February 3, 2015 at 11:58 am
    • Reply


    Part of what flabbergasts me is how it treats 30 as the dividing line for “old.” True, when I was in my 20s I dreaded 30 and thought it was the beginning of middle age, but once I got to the other side of it I realized how ridiculously YOUNG 30 still is.

    Following the board. Feel free to add me (I’m jmbauhaus on Pinterest) if you’d like to see a pic of me at a couple months away from turning 42 rocking flaming red hair, eye shadow and a Justice League tee.

  90. This 52 year old thanks you for your comments. However I have to say I never look at fashion blogs. It seems to be a fast track to feeling bad about myself for one reason or another, so why bother? I’d much prefer to read something uplifting. This culture is way too based on what we look like, forgetting that who we are inside is really all that counts.

  91. I think this is a wonderful post full of truth and beautiful ladies. I think some of those children who are trying to sell me stuff need to return to school and get taught a few more lessons in life, but who am I to judge? Right?

    I love this post and I enjoy this blog. Keep up the great work and I will keep reading. Now, how do I reblog this?!?

  92. Reblogged this on Cholontics Writerly Musings and commented:
    For those of us who are not in our twenties or a size zero, I thought you may enjoy this post!

    Oh! And my internet service will not be interrupted, as I previously thought!

  93. Reblogged this on Today, You Will Write and commented:
    Hard hitting…Writers have a LOT of power…read on.

  94. I turned seventy this year and am proud to wear hoop earrings (though they are only an inch or so). I wear red and purple, too. Love ya, Kristen.

    1. You need to add your gorgeousness to our page! 😀 Love you, too!

  95. I want to nominate you for a ‘Versatile Blogger Award.’ Please go here to see the rules to accept. https://wordpress.com/page/15355090/676

  96. My priorities have changed over the years as I have matured. Fashion has never, ever, been one of them.

    I absolutely loved your supporting visuals.

  97. Great post! It seems to me that people of a certain age group (under 30) view “snark”, or being bitchy as a good thing. Is this a real trend, this “Mean Girl” culture? From the snippets you provided, that’s how it sounds. I have seen it happening among people I know personally, too. Not classy.

  98. I will say for this ‘kid’ that she’s also the product of a society that defines beauty the way it does today. It’s already been mentioned but teenagers model for lingerie or clothes, and tweens trying to sell anti-wrinkle cream.
    But I think it goes further than that to a certain point. We live in a world where everything is ‘has-been’ within moments of its creation.

    The comment about the old shoes to me isn’t so much rude about age but rather about how everything must be the latest all the time. You get the iPhone 6 and 6 months later an iPhone 6S comes out; it’s $1,000 but they have to have it.
    It’s that instant gratification society, no waiting, I-want-it-and-I-want-it-now attitude. But 10 minutes from now that thing they wanted they’re going to throw it away for the newest trend. That’s something I’ve never understood; I’ve always used my shoes/clothes/bags until they died, even when I was a teenager. So I do have a lot of ‘old’ shoes and not only snickers for that matter, dress shoes as well.
    I’ve never been into fashion and partly because I heard throughout my teenage years that I was ugly. Never learned to actually dress; why pay attention since I had nothing to offer. My husband has to help now because I can’t do it for myself.

    I find that the ladies in the photos look absolutely gorgeous…

    • Kim Baccellila on February 3, 2015 at 5:24 pm
    • Reply

    Grrr, I hate when some tell us we have to look and behave a certain way because of our age. I’m in my early 50s and always have people think I’m at least 10 years younger. I color my hair bright red, wear dangle earrings(I’m Latina and love my hoop earrings), and refuse to dress matronly. Just recently, my mother-in-law made a snide comment about how disgusting it was to color your hair. I told her, Yes, I did that and loved it. It really doesn’t matter what others think, if it makes you feel good? Go for it is my motto. There was this one ad on this 60 something clerk at the Gap that breaks all this author’s ‘rules’. She’s hip, cute, and totally gets away with it. I want to be like that in another decade or two.

  99. Kristen, I love what you wrote about bullying. In my opinion you hit the mark. Much of our society (like the blogger in question) seems to want women over 30 to fade into invisibility.

    I’ll take my 46-year-old, old-sneaker-wearing, dear hunting, graphic-tee wearing, love of my life with whom I can be both silly and serious with.

    It is wonderful to see the radiant women in the photos. In my book, mature women will always rock.

    1. BTW- Christie Brinkley is 60, I think she can still wear hoop earrings.

      1. I love the fabulous replies from the guys, on here. I only wish I was lucky enough to have someone like these in my life.

  100. This little gal doesn’t realize how sad she sounds. Seriously? You of the ripe old age of twenty-something get to tell those over 30 how to dress? Most of her points don’t even make sense. What’s with the old sneakers one, for instance? Old shoes are comfortable. I sure as heck ain’t wearing 3 inch stilettos to the grocery store!

    Please add me to your Pinterest board. I’d love to see more of these stylin’ ladies (Rachel Heller is gorgeous in that dress!!!) And I’ll add a few pics of my own.

  101. LOVE this blog. I am almost 58 and wear rock concert t-shirts as easily as “grown up” clothes Ihave to wear when I am at work. Glitter? Love it. Is my red hair mine? You betcha, I pay for it every 6 weeks. The day I ran my first 5k, my son’s ex-GF looked at me appalled asking if I really had on pink eye shadow. I told her yup, just because I was old and sweaty, didn’t mean I couldn’t be me. I,m the only one I know how to be 🙂

  102. I love this! I read that article too and quit reading at the third point in the list. Such baloney. As if one person could tell all the others how to dress! That post is for entertainment value at best. Thanks for your insight! Also, the writer doesn’t know this because she is too young, but “bedazzling” has been around for a lot longer than she indicates. Doesn’t anyone remember the 1970s-era Ronco rhinestone and stud tool to decorate your own clothes?! 🙂

  103. Loved the post. Agree with you entirely. But the best part was all of the photos at the end of these beautiful, strong ladies doing things their own way. Thank you, Kristen!

  104. I made the mistake of reading the comments of an article about a singer in her 40’s and people were saying she should, “move over,” and let the Arianna’s have their turn. My entire day was lost mentally writing these people back and it wasn’t just one or two people making the comments about how it was time to let another younger singer come in. I wrote something about Tony Bennett and then got offline before my head exploded.

  105. What is it with young people that they seem to think we become different people as we age? So if you like pink (or purple, or your superwoman t-shirt) when you’re under 30, you can and should just stop liking it when you’re over 30. Most of that article really did just reflect the stupidity of youth, and we’ve all been young and stupid, I guess. But have some humility and some respect. I’m in my mid-forties, and wear whatever I feel good in. I suspect that fashion blogger will too. She just doesn’t know it yet.

    • Kit on February 4, 2015 at 11:01 am
    • Reply

    Looking over the screen of my laptop at my well-worn sneakers and ragged jeans while thinking about my upcoming 55th birthday… Your post was right on target and well written. I love the comments it generated!

    I enjoy spending time with my daughter (18) and her friends to learn how they think about the world just as much as I enjoy conversations with my elders and my peers. There is a big difference in one-sided, blog posts to faceless/nameless viewers and real conversations in person with people you know. Your post reminds me, and hopefully all of us, of the power of words and that readers of blogs are just as real as the people we see everyday. Thank you!

    • Neko Kansas on February 4, 2015 at 11:59 am
    • Reply

    I’m 35, and I love knee socks, and thigh highs. And I don’t mean the sexy nylon with a lace border at the top… I mean thick, cotton, stripy ones, argyle, bright orange, or red, so neon yellow they make your eyes hurt, types of knee socks and thigh high socks. My dream is to get my hands on a pair of what the Japanese school girls call “loose socks” which are those super long white socks that high school girls in Japan wear scrunched down around their calves…. oh, and I haven’t owned a pair of plain white or plain black socks in about 10 years.

    I love this post, although I am curious about the blog that ticked you off this badly 😀 And I am with you on this. I refuse to give up my glitter eyeshadow, funny socks, cool t-shirts, and worn sneakers. After all, I’m only as old as I want to be, and that is not defined by the number on my ID.

  106. I am 57 going on 17. People have been telling me to act my age my whole life and I take it as a personal mission not to listen to them. Here in France, women of all ages consider it their birthright to vamp it up, wear sexy lingerie, put purple streaks in their hair – whatever it takes to feel attractive. Personally, I find it liberating NOT to feel I have to do those things unless I really want to. But I’m with you – this blogger sounds like another twat whose mission is to dictate what women can and can’t do. I suppose we can take comfort in the fact that age will get her sooner or later – if she’s lucky enough to live that long. 😉

  107. My thoughts? I’m 68 and entirely post-fashion. I wear what I damn well please and if anyone doesn’t like it, he, she, or it can go fuck him- / her- / or itself. Not that I’m hostile about it or anything. This whole focus on surface, surface, surface drives me nuts, and especially when it applies to women, as if we should all vanish ourselves off the face of the earth if we don’t meet someone else’s silly standards.

    Whew. Glad you asked.

    • Leila on February 4, 2015 at 1:00 pm
    • Reply

    It’s a sad commentary on our culture when someone that young is thinking this way. I was hoping the younger generation would move far beyond that mind set about aging and would be the ones to change not perpetuate that image. I wonder how she is going to feel when she reaches the dreaded 30!!

  108. Does this ‘girl’ think she’s always going to be a 20 something? If she does, she’s in for a surprise.

  109. My pet hate is a similar kind of post: why [your book genre] is rubbish, because the implication is that people who read [your book genre] are somehow deficient: stupid, needy, unloved, whatever …

    But this comes a close second. If I wanted someone to give me uninformed and irrelevant opinions on how I should live my life, I’d ask my husband.

    P.S. I wear the worn-out sneakers because the new expensive ones make my feet hurt.

  110. Well. Thank goodness someone told me I’m not supposed to wear graphic tees. Imagine my embarrassment had I left the house in one. Which I will. Today.

    All of this. ALL of it bothered me. It’s stupid. But people read and believe stupid things, unfortunately, so it will not go unnoticed. Thank you, Kristen, for not linking to this ridiculous post and increasing the traffic. I haven’t seen this post and don’t plan to look for it.

    Here’s what is making me completely HULK OUT: “Grown women should not be seen in rundown tennis shoes. If you can’t afford a new pair, then it’s time to reevaluate life as a 30 year old.” How pathetic your life must be to write a statement like that.

    To the little girl who wrote this post: I hope you don’t find yourself, at ANY age, unable to afford a new pair of shoes.

  111. Kristen, first I’m making my comment I’m 60 years old, own my business, takes lots of photos and write plenty of blogs on two sites, I love reading your blogs and love to know what your subject matter is for any given day but I think this one is my favorite out of all the ones you have done lately. Second , I’m going to reblog not because of the contest but it didn’t hurt but because my followers should read this.

  112. Reblogged this on redsoxlady35 and commented:
    Kristin, did a great job on this blog let’s let her know.

  113. WHOAAAA ! ! I stumbled on to, into, this blog, and I am glad I took time to read through this post. Your blog was listed on the side of my “blogs I follow”, so I visited. I actually enjoyed this post, your good heart, excellent writing, well-done images, and stellar humor. I appreciate your message, here, even though I’m a guy. I do feel as though I’m in a sacred place for women to support each other, so I will apologize for my intrusion, and thank you for this positive experience. Oh, and I also appreciate your authentic passion for what is right, and speaking into what is wrong. Way to go! Peace.

    1. We need more men to “intrude” or all we are left with are a bunch of Mean Girls picking us apart telling us what they think men find attractive. THANKS!

  114. No woman over thirty should care what someone else thinks about their clothes, hair, makeup, opinions, occupation, or any other aspect of living life as her own person. Justifying those attributes on one’s own is the hallmark of an adult mind.

  115. I have read said blog-my husband was actually the one who sent it to me. He said “Can you believe this???!” I am over 30 and I agree with you on every point. I was appalled.
    I especially liked your point on learning from those older than you. Humility is indeed often overlooked.

  116. Wow there is so much in this post! But I am going to give a different perspective on one of your gripes. When I was 26 and new to my job my supervisor (age 40) gave me a royal dressing down because I always asked WHY? She yelled at me for always challenging her authority. I sat there and said I was sorry over and over not knowing what I had done. The next day the department head (another 40 yo woman) sat us both down in her office and told us to work things out, maybe ask questions instead of yelling? So my boss asked why I was always asking her why and I told her:

    If I understood why my job was done a certain way then I could get better at it.

    My problem wasn’t insubordination. It was learning how to phrase things less bluntly. Less WHY more “sorry to trouble you and I know you’re busy but could you please explain…”

    1. I am a big fan of explaining why. The examples I’m referring to is just the “I won’t do anything unless I get an essay explanation. Also, I don’t care who I am asking this in front of, even if this this undermines your authority.”

      I used to run free novel writing workshop and I gave up. I had too many new, unpublished writers argue over EVERYTHING. They would break their necks to get a slot in my class for my expertise, and then treat me like I was brain-damaged when I’d been writing professionally 10 years at the time.

      I ALWAYS go through great pains to explain, because it encourages critical thinking. If a young person is simply looking to me for the answers all the time, that just creates dependency. I want to create the next generation of leadership.

      But some people don’t understand insubordination from curiosity but also a lot of the younger generations are being reared that they don’t need to value those older. Why should they? Society doesn’t.

      1. Gotcha, and given the length and depth of your post I completely understand why you did not clarify it in context. Yes, I’ve seen that too. One of the reasons we started the Writers’ Rumpus blog was to have the Resources page to point to for the newcomers to the group. “That’s an interesting perspective, why don’t you go look at what these other people say about it?” Another answer that works better now than a few years ago is, “That’s not how it’s done in the industry, but you can always self-publish.”

        And it sounds like you are much more patient than the senior editor I described.

        Thanks as always for a fantastic blog! Wish I had time to check in more often.

  117. I think this is a very large issue.
    I’ve met many people who believe those over 30 are a bunch of old idiots who aren’t worth anything. Or they have no life. As if they’re suddenly a 90 year old falling into their grave.

    I’ve met many people who are over 30 and believe everyone under the age of 30 should respect them.Though said 30+ year old simultaneously treats said under 30 person like an ignorant piece of scum.
    I get tired of this respect issue, period.
    We’re all human. We should all be respectful. But we should all also be RESPECTABLE. Regardless of age.

    And as far as beauty goes – it has nothing to do with age.
    I love that you are willing to say something about it! I find that people get tired of hearing it, as if we’re being ridiculous or harping on a “small” subject that we should just ignore.
    It’s subtle so people ignore it. And it gets bigger.

  118. Besides – when in the world did 30 become OLD?!

  119. I am 44 this year, as soon as I find a way to quit the day job I will be dying my hair Tardis blue or Cadbury’s purple (the day job requires boring coloured hair), I fully intend to grow old outrageously living every moment to the best of my ability, life is too short to worry about what others think, the only time anyone else’s opinion should carry weight is if they are telling you you are hurting someone else other than that they should worry about the fact their own life is so lacking they have to worry about your. Keep being fabulous!

  120. I’m all inspired. Thanks, Kristen! When I was a little girl, I loved to look at my Grandma’s Keds in 6 colors and one that was plaid. One day I was walking with my youngest daughter and we passed a woman on the sidewalk who twinkled at us both. My daughter said,” When I grow up, I want to be a peppy little Grandma.” Me too. 🙂 And I love mismatched socks. http://www.socklady.com/index.php

    1. That’s awesome!

    • Madison Sevier on February 5, 2015 at 10:45 am
    • Reply

    Standing ovation from this glitter eyeshadow-graphic-tshirt-sneaker-wearing 40 year old mom, wife, author!
    Rock on!

  121. OMGoodness, I’m giving you a standing ovation…well said!

    1. THANK YOU!

  122. I saw the headline for that fashion piece you are speaking of. I didn’t click on it cause I could give a rats a$$ about fashion. I garden, hike, bike, cook, clean, do volunteer work for four different groups. My sneakers are run down and dirty. When they’re at a certain point I’ll buy a new pair. Yep, you heard me. ONE pair of sneakers. More, except for the pair I wear in the gym, is enough.

    Glad you went on this rant. It’s about time the age group with the most experience and money had a say in what we wear, watch on TV, do for a living. Keep up the good fight. Love those pictures by the way.

    • Lorraine Roe on February 5, 2015 at 8:04 pm
    • Reply

    -Call me old again. I need time to reload-
    Love the pics and the perspective.

  123. All I can say is thank you for hitting so many key points and speaking the truth!

  124. “Abercrombie & Fitch—Do thirty-year-olds even FIT in A&F clothes?” Well this 46 year old could NOW so I’m sure I could at 30…..btw….I can still fit in my wedding gown I wore 23 years ago….I bet she won’t be able to say that 😉

  125. Whenever very young people act poorly, I try to remember that their brains aren’t yet fully formed. I was kind of an asshole when I was that young. I don’t even think of people as middle-aged until they’re fifty, and that’s when they really start to get amazing. Thanks for speaking out. -Valerie

  126. I saw that same post and it absolutely infuriated me…but then I did wonder how insecure she had to be to feel threatened by older women.

  127. I love you with all your glitter and artillery at any size or age. I’m on my way to find that pinterest page!

  128. Fantastic piece. Amen, Kristen.

  129. I used to always wear matched socks until my teenager said matching was uncool. Which is great, because I have fifty pairs of athletic anklets and no two pair are alike.

    The only thing that bothered me, and I think I’m the only one who thinks this, is the part about asking why. I could see in some mission critical time is of the essence setting how a “why?” is only good after the fact. It’s why after action reviews were invented. But no “why?” ever by a youngster? Ever ever? Maybe it’s my younger systems analyst side thinking that if I don’t know why the system does what it does, how can I enhance or duplicate it? Plus, why and what are two of my favorite words. And my older, over forty nearly fifty side says I’m certainly old enough to ask all the whys I want to. 🙂

    As always, love your blog.

    • Joe on February 12, 2015 at 8:37 pm
    • Reply

    What an inspiring article. I’m ready to turn 52 on March 1, and I’ve heard all of the “criticism” from people, some well meaning with an attempt at humor. You know, about getting old, more gray hairs, wearing clothing that’s worn or out of style (who get’s to judge this??).

    My take is I’m alive and vibrant and can do and wear whatever the f*&k I want. I keep my hair gray because I like the way it looks, I prefer not to dress like a drone, and truth be told I’m in better shape than a lot of guys half my age. And getting better. No matter how much I age, I will be respected and I will be able to run with you. Especially with this younger generation of the soft and coddled, it’s really not that hard.

    That’s a man’s perspective. I will get older, but I will think like a young man, and I will go down fighting the older I get. Great blog, Kristen. You have been followed. 😉

    1. Thanks Joe, and dig the silver hair. Silver foxes stick together. I know what you mean. I’m in Ju-Jitsu and can outfight teenagers because I am in far better shape. and THANKS for the man’s perspective. So I take it you aren’t going for the sock garters any day soon? LOL

  130. Nailed it! Thanks for this lovely piece.

  131. At a conference, a very young editor trying to encourage a room full of mature writers told us not to worry, she knew a few writers who, “Had started writing late in life, like, 30.” I thought my eyes would roll right out of my head. I am 45 and I am fabulous, and so is this blog post. Thank you!

  132. You make me laugh, Kristen, and that’s the most beautiful thing, no matter how old I am!

  133. Art is power, media is power. What does it mean that Monica Bellucci, age 50, will be the next Bond girl?

    I love it. Of course, she knows how to dress 😀

  1. […] Taking on the Blogging Bullies—Ageism, Fear & Misbehaving “Old” Women. […]

  2. […] she has now set up a Pinterest page for awesome after fifty. Hold on let me see if I can find it. HERE is the blog.  Kristen’s Pinterest won’t let me find what I’m looking […]

  3. […] came this post by Kristen Lamb and something clicked into place in my brain.  I’m not the only one.  Not that I ever […]

  4. […] « Taking on the Blogging Bullies—Ageism, Fear & Misbehaving “Old” Women […]

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