The New Year brings with it the promise of a renewed resolve to transform our less than perfect lives and those of us who have experienced this at least 50 times or more often settle for less than the great expectations of all of those past New Years resolutions.
Why do we settle for less than we want ? We have paid our dues! Sacrificed, nurtured, acquired knowledge and encouraged countless others to reach their potential. What is it that stops us from reaching our goals? Is it external or internal or maybe both? Whatever it is needs to be understood so that we continue to reach for the stars and to grow and be as fabulous as we know we can be!
The saying Mutton dressed as lamb is first found in the journal of social gossip that Mrs Frances Calvert compiled in 1811. Exracts from the journal were published in 1911 as an Irish Beauty of the Regency. Someone the other day asked the Prince of Wales whether he did not think some girl pretty. Girl! answered he, girls are not my taste. I don’t like lamb but mutton dressed like lamb!
This was slightly preceded by an earlier version in which women were said to be dressed “lamb-fashion”. An example of that appeared in the anonymous 1810 novel Splendid Follies. Ewe mutton without garnish is tough to bite, be sure, but methinks she’s dished herself of the day lamb-fashion.
Mutton dressed as lamb was originally a disparaging description of a woman aiming to deceive a man into believing she was younger than she really was-it being an economic necessity for a woman to marry while still of childbearing age. Its current usage, while still disparaging is of a woman who is apparently DELUDED and thinks herself attractive in clothes usually worn by women much younger.
The motivation having changed from marriageability to those of SELF ESTEEM!! There it is in black and white!
Who is perpetuating this 18th century draconian notion that women past childbearing age are and should be less attractive, less visible, and accept not feeling good about themselves ? I ask my husband and his answer is other women! Could it be true that there is not only misogyny at work here and that the sisterhood is its own worst enemy? I have to admit to using the phrase myself albeit the 21st Century version, mutton dressed as leopard which I first heard from the lips of Trinny & Susanna! I thought it was pretty funny at the time but now I am ashamed that I didn’t see that it is still as disparaging and self esteem destroying as mutton dressed as lamb.
Cougar is the latest label for women who are obviously not as young as they used to be and are still daring to cross the ageists line! The very word suggests a predatory nature there is even a TV series called Cougar town! I haven’t watched it so I can’t comment on its content but I ask you what woman wouldn’t want to look like Courtney Cox?
Obviously women are not consciously perpetuating this self esteem destroying belief we have been conditioned to think this way over many years. It is no wonder we are so confused about what is and what isn’t socially acceptable. Where’s my soap box?
You are never too old, it is never too late and we don’t really know what we are capable of until we try! Amelia Erhart in a letter to her husband wrote:” Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail their failure must be a challenge to others”
Coco Chanel after closing her fashion house during the war re-launched her brand when she was in her seventies and continued to establish herself as a leading light for women’s liberation through fashion!
Madonna continues to defy the ageists and pave the way for women of all ages.
Iris Afpel is still designing and leading the way for women Iris is in her 90′s.
My New Year resolution for 2014 is to perpetuate the truth that women past childbearing age are beautiful, intelligent, sexy, creative and an absolutely necessary part of the survival of humanity. The only resemblance we bear to mutton, leopards and cougars is our ability to survive in a sometimes less than kind world. Found my soapbox it was in the closet underneath my leopard look boots!