Saturday, June 21, 2008

Eye-Catching Thong Worn by 52-yr-old Woman

A 52-year-old woman is suing Victoria's Secret because a metallic ornament popped off a thong she was trying on and hit her in the eye, damaging her cornea, according to

I read the article, then started perusing the reader comments. I stopped in my tracks when I read this:

this woman is to old to be wearin a thong , eeeeeeeewwwwwwwww. what she needs to be wearin is some big grandma underwear. 52 years old is to old to try and look sexy at that age.

It seems I can't go a week without encountering anti-sexual, ageist stereotypes like this. The flying ornament aside, can we focus for a minute on what this reader is saying (with apparent disgust and shock): a woman over 50 is too "old to try and look sexy."

It's what I call the "ick factor": society's view of aging women as either sexless or ludicrous and pathetic if they see themselves as sexy. No wonder women fear aging and do everything they can to hide it, convinced they lose their attractiveness at age 50 (or 40!). They fret that they can't look sexy for themselves or their partners if they have a few wrinkles or their bottoms and bosoms hang heavier than they used to.

I've railed about this before, and I'll keep on railing as long as I keep reading statements like "eeeeeeeewwwwwwwww...52 years old is to old to try and look sexy"!


  1. paula age 56June 24, 2008

    You keep railing, Joan.

    The "ewww" commentor has obviously never seen Celeste, age 50, one of the contestants on TV Land's new show "She's Got the Look." I'd wager that Celeste is prettier and sexier now at 50 than this commentor has ever been!

    Another contestant on this show, which is about finding a new fashion model over 35, was 63. Oooh, she was marvelous, looks and all -- great posture, great body, a handsome obviously older face, wonderful attitude, and she made clothes look fabulous. I was disappointed when she was eliminated.

    Personally I think those thongs are a horror on anyone. They can also give you infections and look very uncomfortable.

    Why does no one say "ewwww" when Hollywood dresses some older man up in sexy clothes? Or pairs him with a child who's supposed to be his partner and lover?

    The ick factor people have their own built in punishment. They are so convinced that they'll be really icky and gross when they're older (40 is not that old!) and the mind body connection is a powerful thing. They'll become the victims of their own attitudes eventually, and miss all the wonderful years of being older and liking yourself.

    I would like to close with something a friend's mother says all the time, "pretty is as pretty does." Substitute the word "sexy" if you like.

  2. Ashton ApplewhiteJune 30, 2008

    Keep railing indeed, Joan! While I agree with Paula that the "ick factor people" will suffer the consequences as they age, the remedy lies in all of us confronting the ageist assumption — anywhere we encounter it — that sexuality is the domain of the young. So let's keep buying thongs and telling it like it is.


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