I've never liked my upper arms. I've been overweight most of my life, and I've always been ashamed of my body. Sleeves were a must even though I was often miserable in hot weather. This year, I'm changing it up, and here's why.
- It's hot.
- I'm 53.
- No body should be subject to public commentary.
- I have not one sh*t to give any more if someone thinks otherwise.
- Very probably neither does anyone else.
Most of the women I know over 50 tell me that once they hit that milestone two things happened: first, a flood of repressed anger washed over them, a flood which swept away a lot of bull; second, see #4 above. That's certainly what is happening to me. I never intend to be slovenly or inappropriately dressed in public--you'll never catch me in PJs and slippers at the mall, for instance. It's perfectly appropriate to go sleeveless in the summer, especially in a heat wave, therefore whatever the size of my arms, I'm dressing for comfort this year.
I'm still self-conscious about my arms, in some ways now more than ever. As I've aged, they've stayed fat and now grown flabby, as women's arms often do at this life point. The circulation in my left arm is a bit spotty to boot; it's noticeably bigger than my right. But today it's pushing 90, which in Portland is really hot. And so today I went sleeveless in public for the first time in memory.
Guess what? No one noticed. Or if they did, no one said anything. Based on my experience when I was younger, I'm fairly sure this would not have been the case were I in my twenties. Women tend to become invisible to the male gaze after a certain age. For some women, it's cause for sorrow. For me, it's cause for relief--great, great relief.
And even if someone does say something at some point, I am a woman in my 50s. I am beyond caring.