I once watched clips from Tina Turna’s (75 next year), 70th birthday and marvelled at her tenacity. Clad in a micro skirt and a low-cut top, she was mesmerising as she performed a writhing, pouting dance routine that involved suggestively stroking her long thighs and thrusting her hips with enough raunch to put the average teeny-bopper to shame. Requel Weich, on the other hand happily poured her body in or skin tight leopard-skin print and carries her vast breasts at improbable height on her aged chest. At 73 going on to 74, only a scaffolding could have allowed her to achieve such a feat!
And not to be left out of the glamour mania are our equivalent of these celebrities on our own social circuit. A few months ago, at a high-brow birthday bash, female guests mostly in the age-bracket of the celebrant, out-did each other in the ridiculously young dresses they had on with their cleavage struggling not to jump out of their constraints! ‘’What’s with these senior girls?’’ grumbled an advertising guru I sat next to. ‘ Why can’t they grow old gracefully? That part of their bodies they seek to display is essentially no more than a relic!’’
Haba!, I protested. He continued: ‘’Those breasts are over 30 years past their sell-by date for their true purpose, which is the suckling and nurturing of a beloved, needed baby.’’
That got me thinking. Does sexy really have an expiration date? Of course it does, explained Gloria in her 40s and a psychologist. According to her, ‘’Sexy, with slicked lips, big eyes, bouncy boobs, bare skin, rossy cheeks and killer heels (which aid in lifting the weight of the bum) is all about fetility. Sexy is the means by which the female lures her make. Sexy is attacking the seed to make your babies and it’s a come-on. With intent. So when, with the best will in the world, that intent can no longer be met?’’
Looking at me dramatically, she answered her own questions: ‘’That is when it hits the expiration date! I’m not saying here that sexuality does not endure. Many women and men enjoy a sex life to a fine old age, before tumbling into the tomb with a well-satisfied grin on their faces. But that is a private twinkle, not the frantic, futile public display of women trying (and inevitably, failing) to look sexy past their time.
‘’You might argue that we should let them be; that their delusion harms no one but themselves. I am not so sure. I mean, if this is now newsworthy women behave, what is the message they project to other women? The press goes on endlessly about the sexualising effect of young actresses and pop stars upon women at the younger end of life.
Might we not, therefore, spare a thought for the similarly unrealistic pressure upon women at the old end? It’s a sad fact that broken marriages among the over 50s have sky-rocketed in recent times. That means that a great many women – possibly deserted by their husbands for a younger model – are suddenly singletons again, fearful for their future, with their self-esteem at rock bottom!
‘’So the look to the public face of women of their age, and what do they see?
Good God! On top of everything else they have to go cope with, they are supposed to look sexy too? Must they prance around in their fineries like a star doing the red-carpet walk? At best, they’re not inspired; at worst, they might feel ashamed. They know what their bodies look like – breasts drooping inexorably south, chins multiplying by the week, tummies still softened from where their babies once lay, legs wobbly above the knee and thickened below it – and that’s before you count the varicose veins! How can they compete? How can they even begin?’’
Shortly after this conversation with Gloria, I was at a social event and right opposite us sat a group of ‘groovy grannies’ with different shapes of cleavage. One of them lost her husband two years ago and has hit the social circuit with a vengeance. ‘’All those years of plastic surgery has left their marks on her,’’ snared a lady on my table, virtually glaring at this poor widow. ‘’You know the husband was impotent years before he died?’’ How did she know? I daren’t ask! ‘’But would she leave the poor man alone?’’ She continued. ‘’Most of the time, she had his dick in her mouth, giving him the blow-job of his life so he would keep the zip on his wallet opened. That’s why her jaw is now wonky and sagging in a grotesque way, and now hubby is dead, where would she get the cash for the expensive face-lift she desperately needs?
‘’I feel sorry for her. Yet she had a good run for her prowess whilst the man lived. Now all the men who ran after her then just look the other way not because she’s old, but because she’s no longer needed to make the desperate connection with her husband now he’s dead. With him dead, her sell-by date just hit the roof!!”