My friends tell me that now I have reached the stage of life that can be best described by the French saying "une femme d'un certain age" (a woman of a certain age). I suppose this means I can no longer wear mini skirts and short-shorts without looking ridiculous.
It probably applies to both genders. I should start by saying this is not a scientific sampling; it's just women I met from different religions and backgrounds. This is what I found from my own interviews:
The world has a habit of judging people on their looks. I wish it were different, but it's not. You'll quickly learn that everyone has an opinion on what's pretty and it's virtually unavoidable to not feel the weight of those expectations.
I've adopted various styles: punk, rebel, grunge, minimalist, funky, bohemian, edgy rock -- confusing people into thinking my style was eclectic. In fact, I was being true to my current state of mind, en par with my evolving taste.
I tried the suit, in its strictest, mannish form, for a day at the office. Just a shirt and brogues. Walking down the street, I missed the sound of my heels. No "clickity clack" while walking, no swaying, no teetering. My steps were quick and paced like a metronome.
It's another moment for me of realizing the urgency of political action. Guns have long been a problem in this country. But the recent spate of horrific shootings have awaked the nation and President Obama to the need to rise up.
A case in point is my own ugly phase. I think back to my least favorite first day in class back in the 1950s and how it all turned out. It reads funny now, but I really felt the pain. Perhaps it will ease someone else's.