It takes a lot to get me angry, but I recently read about a form of age victimisation which almost made me spontaneously combust with rage.
Racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are all unacceptable as far as I am concerned, but I came across a new ‘ism’ which almost had me penning a letter to my MP to vent my frustration at its extreme unfairness.
I am talking about Fashion Ageism – the new prejudice which seems to have struck sneering teens and other members of the Fashion Police who think they have a right to tell people what they should and shouldn’t wear.
A survey questioned 1,000 British people about age appropriate fashion and behaviour and declared their cut off points for what people should and shouldn’t wear or do to stop them being labelled #WhitneydressedasBritney on social media sites.
Apparently, having a body piercing is a no-no after the age of 29 and mini-skirts are off limits after 27 and crop tops after 28.
If you’re a man, you’d better bin your football replica shirts once you reach the age of 37 and growing a goatee à la Brad Pitt is unadvisable after 34.
As for baseball caps, they allegedly shouldn’t be worn by anyone over 32 – and if they are to be worn back-to-front, the cut off point is 25.
What a load of old nonsense! Who were the 1,000 people they questioned? The Fashion Nazis?
I have a tattoo on my shoulder which I had done when I was 18. So what do they suggest I do now I am 37? Have it removed by laser?
But the one that really got my goat – as opposed to my goatee beard – was when I read that very steep high heels should be disallowed for anyone over the age of 32.
How completely ridiculous is that? I practically live in high heels and when you are 5ft 1-and-a-half inches small, heels are a necessity rather than a luxury.
In fact, so used to balancing on towering heels are my feet, that they actually hurt on the rare occasion I wear flats.
What gives judgemental people the right to say that women should be banned from wearing heels when they reach a certain age?
There’s no expiry date on high heels as far as I know. And don’t people actually SHRINK as they get older?
This surely makes the necessity to wear heels even greater. I certainly can’t afford to get any shorter.
And if you’re packing a bikini for your summer holiday, think again if you’ve hit 48 as the morons who took part in this survey believe that women over this age should only wear one piece costumes.
Try telling that to Jerry Hall.
It got me thinking about the recent story that went viral on social media sites after mum-of-five Tanis Jex-Blake spoke out about why she refused to be ashamed of her post-birth stretchmarked stomach.
The 33-year-old Canadian wore a bikini for the first time in 13 years but was left upset and humiliated after she overheard teenagers mocking her body and describing it as “disgusting” and “gross”.
The devastated mum pretended to ignore the comments but admitted she cried all the way home in the car.
She later penned comments on Facebook which went viral, saying what she wished she’d said to her teasers and accompanied it with a photo of what she described as her “battle scars”.
She wrote: “I’m sorry if my first attempt at sun-tanning in a bikini in public in 13 years ‘grossed you out.’
“I’m sorry my stomach isn’t flat and tight. I’m sorry that my belly is covered in stretch marks.
“I’m NOT sorry that my body has housed, grown, protected, birthed and nurtured FIVE fabulous, healthy, intelligent and wonderful human beings. I’m sorry if my 33-year-old, 125 lb body offended you so much that you felt like pointing, laughing and pretending to kick me.
“But I’ll have you know that as I looked at your ‘perfect’ young bodies, I could only think to myself ‘what great and amazing feat has YOUR body done?’”
You go girl! She is absolutely spot on. What gives people the right to condemn people for what they choose to wear?
And who passed the law saying there is a suitable age or correct body shape for wearing certain items?
I say live and let live. Let everyone wear what they want to and what they feel comfortable being seen in public in, at whatever age they see fit.
If you don’t like it, tough. Just avert your eyes.
I, for one, will carry on fighting for the right for height. Hopefully, I’ll still be tottering around in my heels until a ripe old age.
Even if I am pushing a zimmer frame at the time.