When you cross forty, the first thing that hits you is the fact that you’re morphing into Invisible Woman. People push past you in public. Salespersons don’t give you the time of day. In conversations you are spoken over. Ironic because when you look at yourself in the mirror, all you can see is more of you. Generously more. On the waist, where the fat lovingly settles down like some well-set jelly, all wobbly to the touch. On the hips where the skin morphs into orange peel grimness. On the face where the jowls continue to make their disapproval felt long after you’ve stopped shaking your head to a no, swinging to a beat all on their own.
When I crossed 45, I wondered why my voice was raising itself higher to be heard, why I found myself applying the make up with a heavier hand than I usually did. The hearing was going, I told myself. The eyesight was also going, ah well, let’s be honest, most of me was going. And the breasts, well, they were so far gone, they needed a visa and passport for their travels.
I wasn’t alone. All around me women in their forties are working hard at reclaiming their bodies and their body image. It is a relentless process and perhaps the most critical eye gazing at us, is our own.
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