I’ll turn 43 next month. I seem to have a lot more grey hair than other people my age. Some people act towards me as if I’m old. Perhaps I am in their eyes.
Fair enough, some days I wake up and I feel a million years old, but most of the time my fitness regime means that I feel pretty awesome.
This article is about ignoring the ‘societal side-eye’ and doing badass things anyway. It’s something we all need to remember as we age: don’t be beholden to other people’s expectation of what’s appropriate.
You and I are Way Too Old to let a societal side-eye sideline us from a badass life, however we define it.
Who says we’re not supposed to even countenance the idea of learning to in-line skate. Or skateboard. Or paraglide. Or try trapeze work. Or aerial silks. Or whatever it was that got away from us as youths, and now beckons us back if we would only put in the training time. When does a timeline run out?
If we do such things, particularly if we sport grey hair, we are subjected to
“OH ISN’T THAT SO CUUUUUUUUUTE!”
Humans are a judgmental lot. We love to make fun of, mock and ridicule, especially those who are doing things we don’t have the guts to try. When some tiny Black woman well over a hundred heads out onto the track and runs a record time, we call her sweet or cute while she is engaging in serious badassery.
It’s hard enough to age. It’s far harder to age in a ageist society which is eager to denounce and mock those of us who defy expectations and insist on writing our own history, full of whatever badassery fills our hearts.