Aging Disgracefully

I detest labels, stereotypes, and being put in a box. I have always been a bit of a rebel and will fight for your and my right to be different. Oh, how I hate conformity, how people are encouraged to march along in lock step, and never question anything. I hate group think. Pop think. Fads. Everyone following along with everyone else. This all being said, I really liked a post I read by Margaret Manning on her new site Boomerly called  The Secret Life of Modern Grandmothers.  I am not a grandmother yet but I am getting older and refuse to climb into a box , be labeled, and be expected to be any particular way that fits a stereotype of an older person.

I have read all these article about aging gracefully and I bristle. I want to be like the little girl who got her clean, frilly dress covered with mud, and ruined her party shoes. I borrowed the title of this post from Margaret’s post where she mentioned “aging disgracefully.”

Ageing gracefully is not for me. Another writer I follow, Ann Brenoff in the Huffington Post, wrote recently I’m Not Trying to Age Gracefully, So Don’t Pressure Me To. She makes some great points, that we all age differently. Some of us do need to dye our hair because we don’t look good with gray, and we all can’t look like your favorite celebrity, and some people have good genes so that’s why they look younger.  She compares this pressure to “age gracefully” to “fat-shaming.”

I am for all of us, no matter what age, being our glorious, beautiful selves.

41 thoughts on “Aging Disgracefully

  1. Dan Antion

    “Normal” had always been overrated Deborah. I don’t like the concept that I am now, at 60, aging. Ive been “aging” since birth and not usually in a graceful manner. Hang on to what make you different, special and interesting.

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  2. annanolan2014

    I’m all for ageing disgracefully, Deborah – not that I feel any different from how I felt decades ago. There’s a lot to be said for being non-conformist, which definitely liberates one. The more I read your excellent posts, the more similarities between us I discover. It’s just that I don’t like writing about my life and my views on anything apart from grammar and English usage. But I don’t have to, of course – that’s the beauty of treading my own path! 🙂

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  3. Laura L.

    There’s a way to age disgracefully that is the epitome of aging gracefully, imho. There’s aging disgracefully that does cause others to cringe (perhaps justifiably?). There’s aging gracefully that is just society way of saying “don’t make too much of a ruckus while you’re on your way to die, we don’t want to see that.” Cringe-worthy might be me, squeezing my very overweight self into a pair of bike shorts and a tank top and going out shopping, flab bouncing everywhere. However, someone 10 years older than me who can bike up that mountain, sleek muscles moving under supportive fabric? Fabulous. Being a slave to “age appropriate” hair, music, activities, clothing…? Shoot me now! Yeah, I want to gracefully age disgracefully.

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  4. irenedesign2011

    I don’t feel old and I became 50 some months ago Deborah. I have still long hair, walk in clothe as I like, some more modern and others not, but I like it. Why do we need to fit into a box, it is so boring 😀
    Great post.

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  5. JoAnne

    One of my old boyfriends complained that I hadn’t change my hair style since the 70s. He’s was wrong, because A: I did change it. I now part it on the side instead of down the middle. and B. It’s none of his damn business how I wear my hair. That’s why he’s my OLD boyfriend and not my husband or partner.

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Yes and 60 is still young these days. We have very outdated perceptions of age. We do have to resist this mentality and not let it become our mentality. Your mother is such a great role model for you. 🙂

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      1. Thoman

        My mother has truly aged disgracefully and it is disheartening. At only 60, she has taken a total downfall in her walking pattern [she looks like she is going to fall over], mannerisms, the way she dresses and is now behaving like she is 100. Her face/skin is not even sagging but she keeps a haggardly look [all of a sudden lost 25 pounds and is now 128lbs.] as if she hates being 60 and cannot wait to die. Many people have asked me whether she is terminally ill because she just carries herself that way. She has no ailments and get a body check at the doctors, but the way she looks is shocking! It is such a change, as folks used to think she is my older sister just a few years ago.

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      2. Deborah Drucker Post author

        I do not like to say that someone is aging disgracefully and mean it in a critical way. I was referring to the almost mandate to “age gracefully” and I find that insulting and I don’t like being told to be a certain way. I would not judge your mother. I do think there could be something going on like depression. I do not think we should have to look young forever or try to either. I recommend you read my post about Aging Like an Okanawan. The elders in Okanawa are treasured. In America it is the opposite. The negative mind set against aging may be what is affecting your Mom.

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  6. Kentucky Angel

    I’m not at all sure about the aging thing. I’m in my third childhood and loving it. I guess the bod is getting older and I know it is considered feeble, but in my head I’m still playing jacks, swinging on grape vines and chasing my brothers and cousins around the place we all grew up–if in fact any of us truly grew up. Ah, memories are wonderful things to have to keep the brain from going stark raving mad.

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  7. luciemuses

    Oh yes, thank you.1 We should be ageing the way we want giving the circumstances of health, of course. Life does not end after 50.. As long as we do not present opinions as facts, don’t lose our sense of humour and keep being interested in life, who cares how old we really are?! I even wrote a book about it ! Lovely blog post!

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  8. D. Wallace Peach

    Interesting take on aging. I think of myself as “aging gracefully,” and what it means to me is that I am being exactly who I am, no whining, no apologies, no pretending. I no longer need to act or look a certain way. I no longer need to fit into a category or meet the expectations of others. It’s very liberating and not disgraceful at all. What’s disgraceful is being stuck in a stereotype. That said, I think we’re on the same page. Only using different words:)

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  9. fantasticbetty2014

    Great post!!! I have never understood why people feel the need to put other people in categories – I guess it seems neat and tidy. Here is a news flash, life and people are messy and won’t stay in a box – yippee!
    Love the title, Aging Disgracefully, I am too!

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thank You. Yay! I had similar thoughts. People like to put each other into categories and yes people are and life is messy thank goodness and just won’t cooperate with being boxed in. 😀

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  10. Vashti Quiroz-Vega

    You go Deborah! I wish there were more women like you. I have always been a little rebel myself. 😉 My mom asked me the other day if she should cut her hair since she’s getting older. I told her that she could cut her hair if she feels like having a new style but not because she’s getting older. She has healthy, glossy, thick hair an inch below her collarbones. She’s always taken good care of it and it looks beautiful on her so why should she cut it? Because some aging man feeling insecure that he couldn’t keep up with his beautiful wife’s many admirers made the rule up to make her less attractive to other men? It’s a stupid rule. If you have healthy, beautiful hair it shouldn’t matter how old you are––wear it long. It’s one of many rules (made up by men––no doubt) to keep control over women. If it isn’t written in stone by the finger of God, you can take your rules and s*^v* it where the sun don’t shine. Ha, ha! 😀

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thank You. I agree with you. You Mom should wear her hair how she likes it. How wonderful to have healthy, thick hair. Women in earlier times wore their hair long until they were much older. I wonder about all these rules too and who came up with them and why everyone thinks they are written in stone as you say. 🙂

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