Thursday, December 4, 2014

You look great for...


This is Jada Pinkett Smith's mom.  Her name is Adrienne Banfield-Jones and she is 61 years old.



I can just hear some of you saying, "She looks great FOR HER AGE."

Stop! (First of all, look at her.  Most of us could only dream).

I can't really blame you.  When I was younger, I thought this was a compliment too.  But now that I'm getting (ahem) to the age where people might conceivably say this to me, I don't see it that way.  To me it sounds like, "Wow, if you were 25 you'd look like an old bag, but compared to the other hags your age, you look pretty good."

#Sensitive?  Maybe.  But what is a certain age supposed to look like/act like/exercise like?  I'm in better shape than a lot of the people in their 20s I see at the gym and even work alongside sometimes.  Now more than ever, I see people of all ages running marathons, climbing mountains, and fighting fire.  I also see people of all ages who have simply given up.  What does "for your age" really mean?

So next time, do a favor to me and to the other older gals still out there hiking and trail running and fighting fire and looking great doing it.  Say, "You look great!" and stop right there.  That's a real compliment.  Remember, you'll be here someday too, if you're lucky!

9 comments:

  1. Wow - Adrienne looks FANTASTIC!

    I'm 51 (soon to be 52) and people are amazed that I still hike long trails, ski up and down mountains, and run marathons. And I'm damn proud to still be doing this in my 50s! I don't care if people say I look good "for my age." I take it as a compliment.

    I have a lot of hiking and skiing buddies that are in their 60s and 70s - and my goal is to be just like them. I really don't care if I look "sexy" or not, as long as I can still keep up and do the activities I love.

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    1. Great attitude, Linda. I'm not sure why the "for your age" part bothers me so much. Maybe because it seems like it is usually said by a younger person and seems sort of condescending. Anyway, I'm with you...just happy to be out there for years to come.

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  2. Adrienne's body = my dream body! Gotta run:-)

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  3. I don't know exactly why either, but the one that bothers me is, "I hope I can be like you when I'm your age." Not sure what that means...depends on the person I guess, but ALIVE? comes to mind. Well, maybe they are all really jealous...at least that's what I tell myself!

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  4. Or the newspaper reporter using "elderly" as a description for a person in his 60s. When I suggested via email that she drop the adjective because it's unnecessary and subjective, she got defensive and thought it was perfectly okay. File away along with "spry" and "spring chicken."

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  5. I didn't even think about the "for her age" when I saw her picture - I just thought "Wow, she's gorgeous!!!" And you're right, she looks amazing, even more so than people in their 20s. You're totally right though, adding the "for her age" or something demeans the actual compliment! It's like when someone says, "You look nice, TODAY!" I think compliments have become so disingenuous and insincere, which is a shame...

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    1. I think for some reason people think they can say anything. For example, "You look tired." What are you supposed to say to that?

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