These days I may look stylish, or I may look terrible (the jury is still out on the fishtail chiffon dress that I recently bought in the H&M sale).
We are told that, for half of women, their confidence dwindles by the time they reach 51.
The world is stuffed full of attractive, sexy women in their 50s, in boardrooms, on the school run, on television. They pile on the pounds, don’t exercise, leave it for months before getting their roots done, slop around in old jogging bottoms, swap their stilettoes for Uggs and think make-up is for special occasions.
As I know only too well, staying visible in your 50s requires graft, plain and simple.
My brother Michael was fond of saying: ‘Mandy makes the best of what she’s got, and God knows it’s not a lot.’ Or, as my mother always said, slightly more tactfully, the way you present yourself to the world is an externalisation of your own self-esteem.
I’d certainly not win any beauty parades for the over-50s, but I have standards that stop me disappearing: jogging bottoms do not pass the front door, apart from heading to the gym, and I never eschew the mascara and eyeliner — ever. I felt good after my workout — which made me happy.
‘I like it when the body of your partner fits yours,’ said another study participant, a male who is 5ft 11in tall.
‘It also makes it easier to kiss, hold hands and do other activities with your partner.'George Yancey, a professor of sociology at the University of North Texas and the study’s lead author, believes that the height preferences of men and women can be explained by traditional societal expectations and gender stereotypes.
He pulled a packet of thyme out of my basket and asked me what I was cooking. I laughed it off — but there’s a truth in what he noticed. She discarded her jogging bottoms and squeezed back into her glamorous old frocks, had her hair cut and coloured, and went back to work part-time. There is power in invisibility, if you know how to use it.So I finally stopped mourning the pretty girl I once was, and began to embrace the next stage of life.In contrast, nearly half of the women – 48.9 per cent – wanted to date only men taller than they are. The participants answered open-ended questions in an online survey.The second part of the study, which will be published in in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Family Issues, included 54 male (average height of 5ft 9in) and 131 female volunteers (average height of 5ft 4in) recruited from a U. The findings were similar to the first part of the study: 37 per cent of male respondents wanted to date only women shorter than they are, while 55 per cent of female respondents wanted to date only men taller than they are.‘Something just feels weird in thinking about looking "down" into my man’s eyes.