When do we “hit our prime?”

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…

The Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing Figure Types

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?

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15 responses to “When do we “hit our prime?”

  1. Have never thought about what my prine might be, I just try and enjoy each year as it comes. I’ll be 39 soon and I certainly do not feel as if I am on the donward slope!

    Mich x

    • It was never something I’d really given much thought to, but I turned on the internet and that was the story facing me. Having turned 31 during the week it sort of felt a bit more relevant to me.

  2. I saw that picture and knew that I was the woman on the far right -well in terms of boobs and stomach anyway. I know and can see that my skin is past its prime but I definitely feel that I am still on the way up despite being well past 35. I’ll also admit that once I started Bikram Yoga, my body started to feel it was 19 again instead of the 50+ I was feeling.

    • Yoga is something I’ve always fancied, and I hope that one day I’ll have the time and money to give it a go (other than trying to learn it from a book when I was a teenager). Still, with my new hair cut & colour I’m going to kid myself that I’ve bought my prime a few extra years.

      • Funny, I am off to the hairstylist too for just that reason. And yes I made a big financial sacrifice for hot yoga but I forced myself to find the time and money and then I had to commit. It was worth it to feel 20 years younger. (did I mention i absolutely LOATH exercising?) Now in a new city, I need to sort out a routine again and I am putting it off…. hence the haircut.

  3. Oh the jolly old subject of women and their age! Lovely post btw! I believe that every woman has the ability to be ‘in her prime’ at any time in her life. The less we focus on biological age and the more we focus on just ‘being’, the happier we will all feel. I learned that from my mum, I won’t say her age, cos it isn’t important, but clearly she has a few years on me and she is a shining, beautiful, intelligent and generally wonderful example that women can be in their prime at any age!

    • Yeah, there are lots of ways to measure our prime, and saggy skin is just one of those. Ageing is something we can’t avoid and is inbuilt in us to recognise – even toddlers can work out who is older based on skin tautness and hair colour – so we should embrace it (you go first though!) and focus on our inner self. I’m sure that means I’ve got AGES before I’ll hit my prime!

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