age-appropriateness is for dummies

So I’m doing my random clicky-clicky thing at work and I end up here. I liked the article, don’t get me wrong. The viewpoints of the kids though…

Age-Appropriate clothing.

Or style, or “look”, or whatever.

So what, exactly, is an age-appropriate look?

Example. I am a twenty-nine year old woman. Divorced. I have a kid, so now I’m a twenty-nine-year-old-divorced-mom. I have piercings. Several. Seven, to be exact. I have tattoos. Two plus the back piece. So now I’m a pierced-and-tattooed-twenty-nine-year-old-divorced-mom.

Do you think they have a book like Age-Appropriateness for Dummies?

My entire so-called “grown-up” life, I’ve been judged based on how I look. I had a conversation with my boss’s boss’s boss the other day on what I really thought my upward-mobility options were, given how I looked. Guys like (or don’t like) me based on my style. Guys have dumped me because I’m a mom. People frickin’ come up and physically touch (tush?) me because it transpires that a tattoo on my back makes me touchable public property.

My many-times-removed boss clarified: the crazy hair (blond is crazy?), the rock-and-roll outfits. I’m guessing this was the time I wore the jeans and the Coca Cola shirt to work? Not sure. The piercings (most of which aren’t visible all the time). The tattoo, which you can see peeking above the neck of my shirts if I’m not wearing some irritating collared contraption. My laid-back-ishness. Dare I say, my DMHishness?

Apparently these things affect my ability to get shit done. Or to be a worthwhile person. Or to succeed in the corporate climate I currently find myself in (which shall change as soon as Sirensong, Vi, Rocketman and I take over the InterKnot and then, the world…but that’s another blog.)

And now, if I read this right, I should have removed my belly button ring when I became a mom. Oops. I probably shouldn’t have gotten the tattoo either, because God knows you wouldn’t want to have a kid to have a mom that gets those kinds of things. Hell, no.

My son helps me rub lotion on my back because I can’t reach. He goes with me to go clothes shopping and offers advice on what I get. He thinks I look pretty in skirts and he likes orange. Although I shouldn’t wear jeans under dresses (that I’m trying to try on super quick) because, you know, I “won’t get any dates that way.”. He thinks I’m beautiful. And that’s really all I care about at that moment.

I’m wondering if now there should be sections of department stores, grouped by age. That way, you’re sure not to purchase something that wouldn’t be appropriate for your age or station. You could go straight to the “30-39” section and stock up on stretch capri leggings and tunics. You could get those nifty polo shirts in a wide array of pretty pastel colors. And khakis! Don’t forget the khakis with the conveniently located side insets of elastic for your undoubtedly expanding waistline. The ones that are always just an inch-too-fucking-short. You know the 50 section would have nothing but muumuus. Because what 50 year old woman hasn’t realized that there is no style after 50?

Now. I’m as reluctant as the next person to witness the human train wreck that is a fifty-year-old woman in a boob-exposing belly shirt that reads “Hot Stuff” in pink and silver sequins. But really, that’s because that getup shouldn’t be allowed on anyone. I don’t think belly shirts should be allowed unless you have something worth looking at, which is why I don’t wear them.

But you know what? If my mom was 53 and had the body to wear a belly shirt, to her I would say: “Go the fuck to it. Show the world what you’re made of. Do it for all of us that wish we had the guts and the balls to dress like who we are, and who we want to be, and don’t care if it limits our upward-mobility or makes us eligible for being the test group on some age-appropriate clothing line.”

To those people who think I’m some walking, talking plushy toy that they can paw at to see my tattoos and think that I dress a little outside of the norm for “what I am”, I say: “This is who I am. Take it or leave it. I am not the sum of my clothing. I am not boundaried by my ink. I am not defined by the shoes I wear, or the son I have, or the decoration I choose to place upon my body. I’m not asking you to look if you don’t want to. I’m not asking you to be like me. I’m just asking you to be who you are, and let me do the same. Without your “tushing” and your intrusive violation of my person, and your “innocent” questions about where I think my career is going with the image that I’m sporting today.”

Because I am a twenty-nine-year-old-pierced-and-tatooed-divorced-mom. And I wear hippie skirts and leather bracelets and combat boots and jeans and t-shirts and nice clothes and high heels and red wool peacoats and ginormous furry black coats and cowboy boots and whatever the hell else I want to wear. I go out and have fun with my friends, and get told to STFU on a regular basis, and I read a lot, and I write stuff and I spend hours on my computer. I am…defiant.

When you figure out what’s an “age-appropriate” look for me, you let me know.

One thought on “age-appropriateness is for dummies

  1. Pingback: i’m a walking train wreck | revenge of the geekster

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