The Huffington Post UK informed me this evening that women “hit their prime at 35.” This did, initially, fill me with hope: I turned 31 on Wednesday so I’ve still got four years on the “right” side of my prime to work myself up to a peak – I might even get this Yummy Mummy thing licked by then… I had visions of myself impeccably dressed – sort of a (poorer) Kate Middleton style-ee - and with perfectly coiffed hair. No more greasy locks scraped into a bun for me! Clearly my children would be equally immaculate and make not a peep unless spoken to.
And then I thought about it a little more.
OK, they acknowledge that I won’t have the youth and energy (or smooth, elastic skin and a natural hair colour that isn’t going rapidly grey) of my twenties, but, they claim, I will have my life sorted! Result! Something to look forward to! This statement is made as a result of a study done by CC Clothing, and what they mean by this is that I will feel at my most confident with my dress sense and appearance.
I’m looking at myself at the moment – my top (one I like) was bought when I was a probationer teacher so it’s 7 years old. My jeans are even older. Whilst I have clearly bought more clothes in that time, I wouldn’t say that I am any more aware of my perfect style now than I was then. In fact, although I love accessories, I shy away from them because I have no idea what goes with what. I love scarves on people but I can’t drape them properly and they seem to clash horribly with my clothes. How is that even possible when I live in jeans and t-shirts?! Please, someone tell me when this Style Epiphany is going to occur so I can set an alarm on my phone and not miss it!? (*author’s note – if you are good with these things, live in Glasgow and know how to do it for free, please let me know!)
I’m sure, however, their study is totally accurate. I’m sure that, though my skin is already lacklustre, my hair is in dreadful need of an overhaul (I’m just waiting on the right Groupon deal…), and I have no clue what clothes I should be wearing, I will feel fabulous in 4 years time. Although…
I found this picture, showing the range of body types, in my (very old) copy of The Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing. Scrolling my eyes down the picture from their heads, I identify most with the first girl on the left. She has a slightly more mature hair style than the little girl but still youthful, and I feel she must be about my age. However, as I look lower I see pert breasts that haven’t been sucked empty and dry by two ravenous children, and a stomach to match. Sadly, I have to accept that I’m now in the “Woman’s” category, complete with matronly hair, downward pointing boobs and the mummy’s “apron” tummy. I can’t help but look at that picture and feel like the Woman knows that she’s at the wrong end – that we all want to be at the left with the Misses. Can the Woman really be the one of the four that is in her prime?
Maybe I’m going to be one of the 1 in 20 people that feels like they’re at their prime when they’re 56. (Would those be the 56 year old ladies they questioned…?) Maybe by then I’ll have the confidence, knowledge and wisdom I’ll need to feel at my peak. I suppose only time will tell.
Do you feel like you’ve reached your prime? And if we peak at 35, is it all downhill from there?