Beliefnet
Lessons from a Recovering Doormat


Okay, I’m being somewhat facetious about the title of this post. But there’s some truth in it! For most of my life I’ve hated walking down the streets of NYC and having to endure whistles and loud comments about me or my body. Construction workers, delivery guys on bikes, and occasionally some other guy had to yell something about a body part or two, or make a general “hey baby, looking good.”

I admit to having a curvy body. In proportion. Some call it an hourglass figure. I’ve always gotten some attention when I walk down the street.

Usually I hate it. “I want to get into your pants” has especially gotten my blood boiling. Being a walk-a-holic, I found comments and whistles distracting to my pleasure in hoofing it around NYC—an intrusion; a distraction from my exercise flow. I power walk and get into a rhythm that gets broken by these annoying men. So I got in the habit of walking with blinders on—looking straight ahead and ignoring any side affects.

I still see myself as hot and sexy yet getting older, especially in a city like NY, can make even a confident girl question if others still think she’s got it.

I recently had a birthday. While I feel great about me, it is a fact that as women age, they’re not considered as appealing as younger ones. I do still feel VERY appealing. Being confident, happy and whole makes me feel like I’m the best I’ve ever been. I run 3 or 4 times a week in Central Park and work out with weights with a personal trainer. I didn’t do either until 5 years ago. But, messages about older women losing their hotness can make a girl wonder if other people appreciate the attractive and sexy woman I know I am.

I’ve loosened my blinders as I walk down the street. Right after my birthday I sped past a group of guys in hard hats and heard the familiar catcalls I used to block out:

* “Oh baby!”
* “Nice!”
* “Shake it honey.”

And I smiled after I was out of their vision.

Since then, my blinders came off more. I noticed appreciative looks from men I pass. Even guys in cars at a light give me the up and down once-over and smile or comment. While I still don’t like men yelling to me on the street, my initial “Grrrr…” reaction to it has changed somewhat. I’ve noticed that lately I also smile when guys look me over with a smile. I’m more amused than annoyed about it these days. Hmmm.. am I going soft. NO!

It feels almost like a validation of my belief that people are SOOOOOO WRONG about women losing their appeal as they get older!

I do know I’ve still got it. Yet I also remember what I’ve heard said about older women and smile, because each whistle and catcall is an unbiased affirmation that people are wrong. I don’t consider myself a cougar. I’m just me! It feels good to have the kind of confidence I do, since so many women, even many younger than me, think they’re getting used up when they approach or reach 40.

These construction workers and other men on the street affirm that a woman who takes care of herself feels and looks good, and gets whistled at.

Age doesn’t determine when you’re over the hill. YOU determine that. I’m still the same woman I was at a younger age. Actually, I’m better, because my confidence is much stronger and I do more to keep my body healthy and fit. I was attractive when I was a DoorMat, but didn’t appreciate it then. I was also thinner. Yet I didn’t put much time into keeping myself looking as good as possible. Why bother? Back then, I saw myself unworthy of nice clothing or good skin care products.

Now I love looking my best because I love me! And as other women stress about getting older, I revel in getting better.

It’s fun to get the admiration I know I deserve, even as my age continues to increase. I won’t deny my body is changing and while I don’t look my age, I don’t look 20 anymore. But, that doesn’t take away from who I am today. A friend pointed out that the main reason I get attention when I walk down the street is because I walk straight, shoulders back, head held high and exude confidence.

Confidence transcends age. It’s attractive no matter how young or old you are!

We can rock at all ages! While men on the street will continue to annoy me with their unasked for attention, I’ll probably hang a smile in my annoyance. But unlike some women who feel like they’re losing it as they age and thinking, “Wow, I must be lucky that anyone whistles anymore,” I think, “Damn, I’m still good and it’s nice that others appreciate that too!”

So don’t place yourself over the hill. Stay on the bright side of it. You’re still the same person you’ve been, even if the packaging is wearing out a little. Embrace who you are and do your best to be your best at the age you are now. Then wear the confidence it brings and see how much more attractive you get! ?

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