To the 20-Somethings Who Are Writing About Women Over 40

Phoebe Holmes

I’m officially in my forties. I’m surrounded by teenagers. And I’m tired of fetuses on the internet telling me what to do.

The other day, there was some slideshow on the internet, yet another “Things Women Shouldn’t Do After 30”.

One of the things? Wear big hoop earrings.

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My response? A two-fingered salute to the screen.

Seriously, screw you and your “You’re too old for hoop earrings” noise. I’ve had a lifelong love of hoop earrings. I just bought a pair of big-ass, to-the-shoulder, silver hoops. Because my inner free spirit pretends she’s a gypsy – hoop earrings, bangles, and all.

And yet some woman-child who thinks she’s all grown up is going to tell me what I can’t wear anymore because I’m too old?

Seriously – screw that noise.

It’s partially because I am “old” that I’ve stopped caring about what’s socially acceptable for me to do or wear. I got my first tattoo at forty. This year, I had my hair dyed teal. And you know what? It looks fantastic. My favorite pair of shoes are my Doc Marten boots, and I dare any child on the Internet, who’s probably younger than some of the underwear I own to try to tell me I can no longer wear them.

You know what women shouldn’t do after the age of 30? They shouldn’t tell other women what they can and can’t do. They shouldn’t accept the bullshit that’s piled onto them by other women. They shouldn’t try to repress their true selves to fit into societal standards. They shouldn’t listen to anyone who says “You can’t do that.” They shouldn’t let complete strangers with less life experience than they have bully them into a corner.

How are we supposed to tell our daughters they can grow up to be whatever they want to be if we bow to the pressures of toddlers on the Internet telling us we can’t wear hoop earrings after our thirtieth birthday?

Nope. Sorry. I reject your standards of how a woman over 30 should dress, should act, should style herself. I was never one for peer pressure, not before my thirties, and even more so after my thirties.

Listen missy, here’s the deal. You’re too young to tell me what to do. Survive to my age and then you can make your own rules. Meanwhile, I’ll be wearing any length skirt I damn well please with my old Converse sneakers.

And for the record, you know who compliments my teal hair the most?

Females under thirty.

Even they aren’t buying this line of bullshit.


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To the 20-Somethings Who Are Writing About Women Over 40

This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media LLC.

Phoebe Holmes is a writer, wife, and mom of four. She spends her days buying more food for teenagers, and being followed around the house by her two dogs. Her favorite soapbox is disability advocacy, as her youngest teen has a cognitive disability of the undiagnosable variety that they call Sherlock Syndrome.