Calm down, I'm not talking about that Shades of Grey... well, maybe I am in a way.
I haven't read the trilogy of midlife erotica that's been taking the bestseller lists by storm ... but it all does seem to be part and parcel of the same thing — an impetus by midlife women not so much to bring sexy back, but to confirm, for themselves and others, what beauty and sexuality really are.
And that it never really went away, we've just lost sight over the years of what true beauty, especially true female beauty, really is.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, and again and again until someone starts quoting me (I wish you could use emoticons in articles): the Boomer generation started the youthquake. And now they've found themselves hoisted by their own petard (I realize that's Shakespeare, but you know what it means without looking it up!).
When you "never trust anyone over 30", and then you are over 30, or over 50 – do you trust yourself?
This gorgeous online exhibit — Silver: A State of Mind – let's you trust what you can see with your own eyes, real beauty. And then re-evaluate beliefs that you hold, or that have been thrust upon you.
The photographs of these women speak for themselves; they speak for themselves as well:
I think in previous generations women survived really well by compartmentalizing themselves and by promoting the pieces of themselves that were acceptable. And in later years I think we found that being integrated and authentic is part of health. If you just figure out who you are and present that, it makes life simple for us and easy. It helps your emotions and your mind correspond to each other and creates happiness."
One of the best things to come from the whole trajectory of the Boomer generation is the learning, step by step, how to appreciate life at every stage. Re-learning really, and redefining, because, whether 50 is the new 40, or 60 is the new 30, or 20 is the new 12, how we're aging today is not the way people aged in the 17th or 19th centuries, or even the early part of the 20th century.
I think that one of the things that makes me who I am is the ability to say, "Yes, I am. I'm sixty-one years old and I'm going for it while I can. Get out of my way, or you know, we'll talk later."
We're redefining everything as we go – it may be the only modern thing about us (because, let's face it, every other aspect of history does repeat itself).
Meander through the faces in these two galleries; read their observations and insights, then add some of your own – I know you have them!
More on re-evaluating beauty:
Why We Need Betty White
Is Gray OK?
Beauty Rx: Relax!